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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bacevich vs. Gordon on Iraq

Old reliable Michael Gordon of The New York Times, who helped bring us this war, explained today what's wrong with all the Democratic plans for a phased withdrawal from Iraq. His prime assumption, as always, is that only the U.S. can save the Iraqis from each other. Umm, I believe we have spent thousands of lives, billions of dollars, and almost five years training a very large Iraqi army and police force?

For a more sane commentary, try the redoubtable Andrew Bacevich at The Washington Post, one of the sharpest analysts (who also happens to have lost a son in Iraq, unlike virtually anyone else who writes about the war): "In short, the surge has done nothing to overturn former secretary of state Colin Powell's now-famous 'Pottery Barn' rule: Iraq is irretrievably broken, and we own it. To say that any amount of 'kicking ass' will make Iraq whole once again is pure fantasy. The U.S. dilemma remains unchanged: continue to pour lives and money into Iraq with no end in sight, or cut our losses and deal with the consequences of failure. In only one respect has the surge achieved undeniable success: It has ensured that U.S. troops won't be coming home anytime soon. This was one of the main points of the exercise in the first place."

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