Can you tell ZNet, please, what Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal is about? What is it trying to communicate?
In Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal, I make a case for an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq and the immediate withdrawal of all troops. I try to explain the real reasons for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, which have nothing to do with the reasons given by pundits, the press, and the politicians (weapons of mass destruction, the imminent threat posed by Iraq against the United States, connections between Iraq and al-Qaeda). I try to show why the U.S. occupation will only lead to more suffering, greater instability, and greater likelihood of civil war the longer it continues. And I try to counter all the myths about why the United States can’t pull out of Iraq.
Can you tell ZNet something about writing the book? Where does the content come from? What went into making Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal what it is?
My book is inspired by a brilliant book that Howard Zinn wrote in 1967, Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal, which was republished in 2002 by South End Press. (Howard has written the foreword and afterword to Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal.) In that book, which is sadly all too relevant today, Howard challenged liberals who were reluctant to call for an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Vietnam. His argument was remarkably prescient, and it’s one we should heed today.
What are your hopes for Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal? What do you hope it will contribute or achieve politically? Given the effort and aspirations you have for the book, what will you deem to be a success? What would leave you happy about the whole undertaking? What would leave you wondering if it was worth all the time and effort?
My hope is that it will contribute, in some small way, to building the movement to end the occupation of Iraq. Politically, I hope it will help put the occupation in a historical and political context that helps illuminate why the United States intervened in Iraq and why U.S. imperialism is not a force for democracy in Iraq or the Middle East. I also hope it will give readers insight into the grim reality of the occupation, which we do not get from our government or their establishment media echo chamber. Writing this book will have been worth the effort if it can help counter the arguments for continued occupation, can bring more attention to the voices of Iraqis, the voices of conscientious objectors and soldiers who are speaking out against this war, or families who have lost loved ones in Iraq and are organizing to ensure that more Iraqis and soldiers do not die and compound the tragedy they have experienced. I also hope it will help raise awareness of the institutional roots of U.S. empire, and raise awareness of the broader challenges we face today in the antiwar movement, not least of which is the serious escalation of the threat of a U.S. attack on Iran.