Monday, February 27, 2006

Getting out of Iraq: another progressive's view. She raises tough questions we need to answer:
So where does this leave all our teeth-gnashing about whether the US should stay or go? Many, including me, have argued for the last six months or so argued that if an increasingly implausible set of conditions could suddenly arise, it would render our presence in Iraq a worthwhile bulwark against civil war. We've proposed benchmarks for staying in, none of which appear to have been met. Kevin Drum reports that we're now down from one fully combat-ready standalone Iraqi battallion in December to zero today.

At this point, on the one hand its starting to look like the US presence in Iraq isn't doing much good: we're paralyzed in the face of the worst military crisis the country has confronted, our troops holed up in barracks for fear that getting involved would only make things worse. On the other hand, were we to leave now in significant numbers, its hard to escape the sense that we'd be pulling out just as Iraq collapses. Even the White House doesn't seem to know how to spin this.

The hope is, of course, that Iraqi political leaders and clerics will succeed in their call for calm, securing a hiatus in widescale sectarian bloodshed. If that happens, we need to look seriously at whether there's any justification for continuing to put American troops at risk. The Administration's "strategy" - after dozens of reformulations and refinements - is failing. Its possible that the tactics being used now could have worked if adopted earlier, but they aren't equal to righting Iraq in its present condition. With a losing strategy, we will not succeed.

The only thing worse than Iraq as a failed state is Iraq as a failed state with 130,000 Americans serving there.

The Blog | Suzanne Nossel: Iraq: What's Worse than Civil War? Civil War with 130,000 Americans On the Ground | The Huffington Post

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