Saturday, December 02, 2006

The final curtain, part deux

Author and journalist James Fallows sums up what the options are in Iraq:

If it is not in our power to prevent these disasters [e.g., an uptick in the violence when the US departs], then it is better to do as little extra damage to ourselves as possible before they occur. Sure, it is theoretically in our power to do more in Iraq. It’s just not possible in the real world. To start with: we’re not going to double the size of our military to sustain an open-ended presence in Iraq.

So the choice is between a terrible decision and one that is even worse. The terrible decision is just to begin leaving, knowing that even more innocent civilians will be killed and that we’ll be dealing with agitation out of Iraq for years to come. The worse decision would be to wait another year, or two, or three and then take that terrible course. If we thought a longer commitment and presence would lead to a better outcome, then the extra commitment might be sensible. But nothing occurring in Iraq in the last year has given rise to any hope that things are getting better rather than worse. (This, by the way, is the reason I have changed my mind: the absence of evidence that the chances for a “decent” departure will improve.) [emphasis in the original]

Fallows says that there is no evidence that staying will do any good. We're just going to have to live with the obloquy of this one, boys and girls.

Via Altercation.

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