Iraq Will Be in Chaos Whether We Stay or Go

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The ardent supporters of the war in Iraq constantly tell us that there will be widespread chaos and bloodshed if U.S. troops leave the country.

Sen. John McCain is especially vocal on this point in his presidential campaign for the GOP nomination next year. Rep. Sam Johnson, Republican of Texas, calls it a "surrender" if our forces come home.

Let's examine these claims.

Iraq was a country of roughly 24 million people before the hostilities began four long years ago. Two million have left the country for Jordan, Syria, Iran, or other safe havens. Many of the most educated and affluent are among this group because they can afford it.

About 1 million have been killed, wounded, or maimed, with most of the casualties coming after Saddam Hussein was toppled. Remember Dick Cheney's words that we would be treated as liberators once Saddam was ousted.

An additional 500,000 have died in infancy. In other words, the population is dwindling and fast.

The chaos and bloodbath are already present, Senator McCain. And after four years of trying to salvage the country, Johnson has the gall to call it a surrender to start bringing our men and women back home.

President Bush continues to call for patience. A recent poll by ABC News showed that 51 percent of Iraqis say it is all right to injure Americans. The patience, Mr. President, ran out long ago for most of us.

So the next time politicians talk about the havoc that would come with a U.S. pullout, remind them of what has and is going on already in that wartorn and unforgiving land.