Today's carnage in Iraq, when Shiite mobs torched and killed more than 200 Sunnis in the deadliest day in that country, is a grim preview of what might become all too commonplace if US troops leave. Yes, many Americans want their men and women back; yes, intellectuals argue that the American presence might be inflammatory; yes, Iraq might already be in the midst of a civil war ... but are we really ready to see a large-scale genocide where tens of thousands of Shiites and Sunnis are butchered? And on whose hands would the blood be, given we deposed that crazy tyrant who kept the factions from killing each other. Well, yes, it was the Bush administration and the neocons who pushed for the case, but the US as a nation has a collective responsibility ... and indeed would have an ethical responsibility to prevent genocide if it were to happen.
Much has been talked about Darfur and the crisis there ... some Americans even support the idea of American boots on the ground to prevent the rape and massacre of the local people at the hands of Janjiweed militia. And yet, here in Iraq, we have boots on the ground, and the minute the boots leave, the killing will begin!