Iraq: Now that we’re gone, will Iraq go up in smoke? car bomb goes off in Baghdad, Iraq. U.S. Army photo released in public domain via Wikimedia Commons.With the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, what’s next for this Middle Eastern country? The National Journal posed this question to several experts, and some of their predictions are dire: sectarian violence and civil war lay ahead for Iraq. At best, we can hope for stability, but not democracy—at least not in the sense we know it.

Do you agree with the experts?
A majority of the American people do, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Six of ten Americans say that an “all-out civil war” in Iraq is very or somewhat likely. A majority (52%) believe that it is somewhat or very unlikely that the country will become more settled and less violent. And, a majority of Americans (60%) say it’s unlikely that Iraq will achieve a stable democracy.

What will happen here? Will there more terrorist attempts on U.S. soil as a result of pulling our troops out of Iraq? Almost half (47%) of Americans say this is at least somewhat likely. A majority (52%) say this is unlikely to occur.

The experts didn’t offer an opinion on the question of more or less terrorism, but one did offer an opinion of what is likely to happen here in the U.S.: nothing. We’ll probably forget what happened and the lessons it could have provided us.

Do you agree with these experts?

What do you think is next for Iraq?

Will learn lessons from Iraq, or forget what happened?


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Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.

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