I was against the Iraqi invasion from before the time Bush started talking about it but at this point whether you were for or against the invasion is neither here nor there. Now the challenge is for America to find an elegant way out of Iraq. As America looks for inspiration I think it's time that the Bush administration emulate some of the tactics of its enemies in the Middle East but put them to better use. Witness how pseudo-democrat Ahmadinejad is using democracy to promote its anti-American global agenda by hosting "conferences" and using anti-American rhetoric to gain popular support. Now if theocracies like Iran can have leaders like Ahmadinejad run democratic-type campaigns why is it that America itself cannot inject more elements of democracy rule into Iraq? Personally, I think it's time America does this and runs the "Should I Stay or Should I Go" referendum in Iraq. This is the idea. Instead of having yet another Washington meeting to decide the future of Iraq, America should organize a referendum and directly ask the Iraqi people what they want them to do in Iraq, stay or leave. This referendum could be organized group by group to respect ethnic minority views.
For this plan, I envision a very concrete referendum where voters are given a clear choice. Something like: Should America leave Iraq by Dec 31, 2007? Yes or No? While we all know that it is very complex to run a referendum in the midst of a civil war I still think that this referendum is doable and whatever the results America and the West will be better off. If the Iraqi majority asks America to stay then their presence is legitimized. If, instead, the majority of all minorities asks America to leave, the Bush Administration can rephrase its "mission accomplished" statement into a truer one. The main argument of the Bush administration would then be to stress two positives. The first being when America went into Iraq the country was managed by a genocidal dictator now (literally) gone. And the second would be the mere fact that the Iraqis have chosen to democratically ask America to leave so that they can manage their own destiny which shows that a significant element of democratic rule is in place and it is time to leave. Lastly, if only one minority group asks America to stay and America chooses to stay at least an argument can be built around the purpose of America's presence in Iraq to protect this group. Overall what I find unacceptable is the future of Iraq being decided at the American Congress. This must change.