Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hard to Believe The Republicans in Congress Can't Grasp This

I first came around to the "set a deadline" point of view in late 2004. In the three years since that strategy was rejected, basically every single bad consequence (ethnic cleansing, civil war, Iranian influence, al-Qaeda propaganda gains) that I was warned would follow from leaving happened even though we stayed. There's no sense in looking at a complicated, unpredictable situation that crucially depends on dozens of variables outside of our control and simply assuming that all potential ills will flow from U.S. military withdrawal and all potential goods will flow from a continued presence. It's not being glib to assert confidently that if we do leave Iraq and stop squandering our blood and treasure that, that no matter what happens the United States of America will endure and most likely Iraq will, too. This idea has taken grip that it's the height of seriousness to contemplate Iraq with nothing but dread and agony, but insofar as the upshot of this is merely to produce paralysis and to de facto endorse the policy prescriptions that follow from the hawk faction's fantastical analyses, there's nothing serious about it.
-- Matthew Yglesias

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