Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal


A forceful argument for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Howard Zinn's book Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal, though it appeared five years before the United States eventually abandoned that war, argued with remarkable foresight that getting out was the only realistic option. Now, nearly forty years later, the United States is once again involved in a seemingly intractable foreign conflict. And, following in the footsteps of Zinn,...
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A forceful argument for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Howard Zinn's book Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal, though it appeared five years before the United States eventually abandoned that war, argued with remarkable foresight that getting out was the only realistic option. Now, nearly forty years later, the United States is once again involved in a seemingly intractable foreign conflict. And, following in the footsteps of Zinn, Anthony Arnove (his co-editor on the widely acclaimed Voices of a People's History of the United States) has written a book that will likely prove equally prescient.

Arnove sets out a compelling case for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Countering widespread arguments made in support of the occupation by conservatives and liberals alike, Arnove insists that the U.S. presence is the major source of instability and suffering for the Iraqi people. He challenges the idea that George W. Bush has ever been interested in bringing democracy to the country and explores the real reasons behind the invasion, which centrally involve control over strategic Middle Eastern energy resources. And he sets out a constructive vision for the antiwar movement, one that involves soldiers, military families, and the many communities affected by the occupation, who together can build a coalition to bring the troops home.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Three years into the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the dire predictions of the prewar opposition have proved remarkably prescient, notes activist, writer and editor Arnove (Voices of a People's History of the United States) in this impassioned, categorical argument for immediate withdrawal. But today's broad sentiment against the war-including the opinions of Americans who explicitly align themselves with an antiwar movement-remains deeply divided on the question of pulling U.S. forces out right away. Arnove, whose book title pays homage to historian and colleague Howard Zinn's classic foray into the Vietnam War debate, accordingly offers a point-by-point challenge to the assumptions underlying arguments accepted by war skeptics for supporting (however reluctantly) an increasingly bloody occupation. His clearly written, well-sourced anti-imperialist critique identifies fear, racism, religiosity, hunger for oil and a "civilizing" pretense behind the Bush administration's rhetoric on the Iraq war and places the conflict in a historical, economic, political and ideological context. Arnove's persuasive reasoning and summaries of relevant events (with two eloquent bracketing essays by Zinn) will prove an invaluable resource to antiwar voices, if unlikely to change adamantly prowar minds. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Arnove (Iraq Under Siege) urges immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq to end the suffering of the Iraqis and prevent future casualties. He counters the view that it would be more dangerous for the United States to leave Iraq too soon and feels that America cannot win this war. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595580795
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 6/1/2006
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Arnove is the editor of Iraq Under Siege and co-editor, with Howard Zinn, of Voices of a People's History of the United States. His writing has appeared in the Financial Times, The Nation, Mother Jones, Monthly Review, Le Nouvel Observateur, Z Magazine, and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Howard Zinn is a professor emeritus at Boston University. He is the author of numerous books, including A People's History of the United States.
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Table of Contents

Map of IRAQ x
Foreword xi
Introduction xv
1 A War of Choice 1
2 The Reality of Occupation 13
3 The New White Man's Burden 31
4 A History of Occupation 43
5 The Resistance in Iraq 55
6 The Logic of Withdrawal 65
7 Out Now 85
Afterword 107
Appendix Istanbul Declaration 119
Acknowledgments 133
Notes 135
Index 173
About the Author 185
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2007

    Bring the Troops Home Now!

    In 'Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal', Anthony Arnove lays out in convincing detail the reasons behind the failure to secure Iraq. The U.S. occupation of Iraq is a disaster because #1) the war was illegal and unjust from the very beginning, #2) the war continues to be sold on the basis of lies, #3) the war does not serve the interest of the Iraqi people, the vast majority of whom despise and oppose the occupation of their country, #4) rather than promoting democracy, the occupation of Iraq serves primarily the interests of corporations and the American political elite, #5) the war in Iraq is fueling anger around the world towards the U.S., thereby increasing the terrorist threat, #6) the occupation is fueling sectarian division and leading to full-blown civil war, and #7) the ideology behind the war is one based on imperialism, not noble notions of exporting democracy or providing security. These are just a few of many reasons behind why Arnove calls for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. He also attacks the rationale that says 'the war was a mistake, but we should stay and try and fix it'. This line of thinking only adds to the problem and avoids serious analysis of the situaion in Iraq. Arnove's book is exactly what the world needs right now: a clear, honest, and direct analysis of how the policies of the Bush Administration (and the Blair gov't, etc.) are contributing to social unrest and terrorism. Every member of Congress should read this book (not that we should have much faith in their abilities to end this war). This is a book not just for the antiwar movement, but for everyone, regardless of their position on the war. I applaud Anthony Arnove for this book and his dedication towards ending the war in Iraq. Bring the troops home now!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2006

    Excellent case for withdrawing all foreign troops from Iraq

    This outstanding book makes the case for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq. This would meet the democratic demands of the Iraqi people, and also of the American and British peoples. In a September 2005 New York Times-CBS News poll, 52% supported the immediate withdrawal of US troops. Arnove sums up, ¿Every single argument the Bush administration made to justify the invasion of Iraq has turned out to be false. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, posed no imminent threat to the United States, and had no connection to al-Qaeda or to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Iraq was attacked not because it had weapons of mass destruction, but because it did not (a fact that has not been lost on other potential targets of U. S. intervention). U. S. soldiers were not greeted as liberators, and the occupation has not paid for itself, or required few troops, or been quickly concluded. Nor has the occupation made the world safer or reduced the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, it has made Iraq, the Middle East, and the world far more dangerous.¿ From the start, the war on Iraq was a huge lie. As Arnove writes, ¿The attacks of September 11, 2001, provided the pretext the Bush administration needed to portray an offensive war to reshape the Middle East as a defensive measure to protect the people of the United States.¿ Everything we are told about the war is untrue. For example, we are told that the occupation troops conduct a humanitarian war on the ground. In reality, the USA is waging war largely by massive, unreported, bombing: the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing alone dropped more than 500,000 tons of bombs on Iraq between May 2003 and December 2005. We are told that there is no national resistance attacking the foreign occupier, just terrorists attacking civilians. In reality, for every attack against civilians, there are a hundred against the occupying forces. British governments have always lied to us about matters of war and peace, of security and the national interest. This Labour government is different only because its lies have been more stupid, so that we have rumbled it more quickly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2006

    An utterly compelling case for bringing the troops home now

    'We find ourselves in a remarkable situation today,' argues Anthony Arnove in _Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal._ 'Despite a massive propaganda campaign in support of the occupation of Iraq, a clear majority of people in the United States now believes the invasion was not worth the consequences and should never have been undertaken... Yet many people who opposed this unjust invasion, who opposed the 1991 Gulf War and the sanctions on Iraq for years before that, some of whom joined mass demonstrations against the war before it began, have been persuaded that the U.S. military should now remain in Iraq for the benefit of the Iraqi people. We confront the strange situation today of many people mobilizing against an unjust war but then reluctantly supporting the military occupation that flows directly from it.' (65-66) Arnove's very readable book is aimed at resolving this paradox by providing a clear case for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq. He poses the question -- in contrast to widespread fears of what might happen if the U.S. leaves Iraq -- of what happen if it stays. The first five chapters lay the groundwork for the book's main argument in favor of immediate withdrawal. The first two chapters compare the claims made by politicians and pundits to the reality of the war's deadly consequences. These chapters comprise an exhaustive compendium of the most damning facts, quotes and stories about how the war was sold and the devastation it has wrought. By exposing the occupation from every angle -- from the unwillingness of the mainstream media to question the lies coming from the mouths of the government, to the corporate profiteering and sheer corruption of the neoliberal regime being imposed upon Iraq to, most of all, the inhumanity and brutality of the U.S. as an occupying power -- they are an invaluable resource for activists. The next three chapters place this occupation in its historical context, showing how it fits into a history of U.S. colonialism on the one hand, and a history of Iraqi occupation -- and resistance -- on the other. Because of how little this history is discussed in U.S. society, much of it will be new to many committed antiwar activists. Having thus set the stage, Arnove attempts to lay out a solution in the last two chapters of his book. Chapter six puts forward eight arguments for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Most of these arguments are framed as direct refutations of the common arguments to stay¿for example, 'The United States is not preventing civil war in Iraq,' or 'The United States is not honoring those who died by continuing the conflict.' Taken together, they are utterly compelling. Finally, chapter seven raises the question of how this vision can become a reality. It considers the factors that forced the U.S. to abandon its war in Vietnam and argues that all are beginning to be in play today, though they are not yet sufficient to outweigh the importance of occupying Iraq to a U.S. political elite determined to expand its imperial ambitions throughout the world. The heart of this chapter is its examination of the movements to end the occupation -- among students, soldiers and their families, unions, and Iraqis themselves -- and its analysis of what it will take for these movements to once again develop the power to defeat the mightiest superpower in world history. As an antiwar activist, I feel that I've been waiting a long time for a book like this, and yet it could hardly be more timely. _Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal_ is a crucial contribution toward clarifying why immediate withdrawal can be the only solution in Iraq -- and why an antiwar movement that takes this as its central demand is the only hope of achieving it.

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