I noticed a strange comment in this article below:
Al-Qaida says it has captured three US soldiers
“We all wish that foreign troops would leave the region and give a chance to countries in the region to establish security themselves,” Mr Ahmadinejad said during a meeting with Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, the UAE president. “With each other’s help, we can turn the Persian Gulf to the gulf of peace and friendship.”
Now, as anyone who reads this site regularly would know, I’m not a fan of the US invasion of Iraq. But, the above comment is absurdly naive. The bulk of the violence going on in Iraq right now is it’s own people against each other (or, perhaps some amount of other regional actors as well). The ironic part of this situation is that the foreign occupation has given the Iraqis the freedom to kill each other. They did not have this under Saddam because he would have massacred anyone even loosely involved.
This is a big part of why I’m not personally in favour of a full US withdrawal. They broke it and they still need to find a way to help fix it, although fixing it does not mean clamping down on the population more. It likely means stepping back a bit, finding small ways to prove to the Iraqis that they are there to help rather than keep slaughtering them, and dumping in tons of cash to rebuild the country they destroyed.
The West has caused a lot of problems in the Middle East over the last few centuries and made existing problems a lot worse. But, whether or not the US had invaded Iraq it was not a “Gulf of peace and friendship,” nor close to one.