Friday, September 16

[Nightly news roundup: G-SAVE edition]

This is scary.

On a related note, Condi doesn't think the insurgents in Iraq have widespread support. While I don't suppose they have ticker-tape parades for the guys who wander the streets with bombs strapped to their chests, I don't think the insurgents face enough overwhelming stern opposition — from the Iraqis or the U.S. or anyone else — to stop ruthlessly killing people left and right. They just keep doing it. I don't know what the solution is; I think we've fucked it up to the point where there is no solution that will save lives. If we stay, people die. If we leave, people die. It's just a matter of degree, really. As much as we've fucked up, I want us to get it right, do the right thing, and leave that country better off than it was when we got there. How to do that? I don't know. And I certainly don't trust Rumsfeld to suddenly figure it out.

From Ezra Klein:

"We can't win if we can't stop this. And we can't, it seems, stop this. So long as our forces fail to secure the country, we will be failed occupiers, not heralds of civic utopia. And so long as we can't secure this country, the men and woman within it will want us out, if for no other reason than because a change might, might calm the random killings. And even if our absence didn't bring peace in its vacuum, the shiites, freed from our direction, could launch war against the Sunnis, a response that'd at least erase the feeling of powerlessness in the face of constant assaults. And so President Talabani, while grinning and promising he'd never accept a timetable, widens his grin and happily says the US can withdraw 40,000 or 50,000 troops by the end of the year. It's time for you to go. We have to deal with this.

"Iraq's in a bad way now. And I don't know what to do about it. I don't believe our presence there is making anything better. Indeed, I think we're making it worse. But I don't believe withdrawal will sprinkle fairy dust on Baghdad and turn the place into an Arab 'It's a Small World' either. We've fucked up, we've fucked this country up, and while we can slowly tiptoe away, they can't."

The best news I've heard out of Iraq lately is that insurgents finally released the hostage from Cordova, Roy Hallums. I hope more aspects of this whole situation end up having happy endings.


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