Why don’t we allow the Iraqis to hold a nationwide referendum on whether or not the United States should promptly withdraw from Iraq? I have been wondering about this for some time. I have never seen this idea seriously proposed by anyone in our government, but it seems so obvious to me. The Bush administration touts that it has brought democracy to Iraq, and the world has seen elections successfully held in there. A referendum of the sort I propose is good for both the United States and Iraq. If the Iraqis vote “Yes, the United States should leave,” the United States could then withdraw without losing face and without emboldening Al Qaeda, since our withdrawal would be implemented out of respect for the will of the Iraqi people, not be due to a loss of will on behalf of the United States. Alternatively, if the Iraqis say, “No, the United States should stay to help maintain stability,” the United States can justify its continued presence in Iraq to itself and to the rest of the world. The United States would then be seen as a peace keeping nation rather than an occupying nation.