Friday, April 20, 2007

Why Harry Reid Is Wrong

Harry Reid says we're losing the war. He's right... but he's also wrong.

I think people kind of tend to forget what the objective of the Iraq war was. If memory serves, it was 1) to depose Saddam, 2) eliminate the threat of WMD in Iraq, and, with a bit of a stretch, 3) give democracy to the Iraqis. As far as I'm concerned, we can put a check mark in each of those boxes. Done. Won. Over.

The problem is that Colin Powell's famous reference to the fictional Pottery Barn rule, "If you break it, you own it," has now come back to bite us in the ass. We shattered Iraq's Saddam-enforced veneer of stability, and, voila: it's now a mess o' potamia (thank you, Jon Stewart). Whether you think the "war" is winnable at this point depends largely on whether you think Iraq can be peacefully patched back together (or separated). Some folks still do but I chalk that up to either the inability to admit a mistake for something they once supported or else a grossly simplistic view of what the issues are. Time will identify the winner of that ideological battle but the point is that all we're doing at this point is playing referee. Is that a "war"? I don't think so... I think it's just crappy exit strategy planning.

I'd be all for staying if I thought for a minute that my kids would be better off for it, but I don't. Time for someone to start giving some consideration to that infamous Plan B that nobody will accept responsibility for. We need to figure out what we can still affect over there and then figure if there's anything we can do to contain the damage.

And then we need to go.

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