It Would Be Violent if We Left Iraq

A headline and subhead in the Los Angeles Times:

Iraq attacks raise new concerns about U.S. pullout

Suicide bombings, car explosions and gunfire that killed at least 70 in an apparently coordinated assault suggests Iraqi forces may be overwhelmed by insurgents after American troops withdraw.

Of course, these attacks happened while U.S. troops are still in the country– making the point about the U.S. “pullout” somewhat hard to follow.

But this is a familiar argument. Remember the Time magazine cover photo of a disfigured Afghan woman last July? The magazine’s political point was summed up by the text on the cover: “What Happens If We Leave Afghanistan.” The attack that left her disfigured happened with U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The implication in both cases is that violence will overcome these countries due to the absence of U.S. troops– which obviously obscures the fact that the U.S. presence is often the source of such violence, or the justification used by armed groups seeking to drive out U.S. troops.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.