Hayden doesn’t actually use the term “abandon Iraq” — his essay is titled, “How to End the Iraq War” — but his meaning is clear to anyone who knows the code. For everyone else there’s this paragraph, which removes any doubt:
The important thing is for anti-war activists to become more grounded in the everyday political life of their districts, organizing anti-war coalitions including clergy, labor and inner city representatives to knock loudly on congressional doors and demand that the $200 billion squandered on Iraq go to infrastructure and schools at home. When trapped between imperial elites and their own insistent constituents, members of Congress will tend to side with their voters. That is how the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia were ended in 1975.
Got that? What happened in South Vietnam and Cambodia — concentration camps, boat people, genocide, continued war — after the U.S. cut and ran is of no importance. The fact that the post-war horrors might have been averted if the Congress, empowered by the post-Watergate Democratic landslide in the 1974 elections, hadn’t denied further aid to South Vietnam, is of no importance. All that matters is that our war ended, and that people like Hayden helped to thwart U.S. policy. High five, dude! What a great victory for the cause.
In Hayden’s view it’s always about the U.S., because the Left sees the U.S. as a destructive force in international affairs. If only U.S. actions were blocked, then things would be better. Needless to say, the only way to hold such a view over a long period of time is to ignore most of what happens in the rest of the world. But hey, movement politics are so much more interesting and meaningful than world history.
Remember that, the next time some lefty panjandrum dispenses political advice or tells Americans that they don’t care enough about what happens in other countries.