A week or so ago, I closed an interesting comment thread because the comments were getting too personal and heated, with a promise to open a new one where we could talk about future actions in Iraq and the Middle East in general.
It seems like a good time to reopen that discussion, as Congress struggles with the issue, and as the press – which I’ll claim had pushed hard against the war since the immediate post-invasion (i.e. as soon as it became real, rather than theoretical) – itself begins to realize that “just quit and come home” may not be an answer without its own set of problems.
So let’s discuss. I’ve argued that Iraq is a strategic failure, because it demonstrated to the nation-states who I hoped to shock into better behavior that we’re actually not all that serious. But it remains a focus for jihadi activity, and more than that, a real country, populated by real people who both suffer because of the war today and are – according to pretty much all authoritative sources – at great risk if we end the war by just coming home.
For myself, I’m in a holding pattern. Part of me thinks that the best course is just to sit and push and prevail – to do what we’re doing now – smarter, hopefully, but to keep paying the price we’re paying – and can arguably afford to pay in reality – in an effort to essentially break the other side. Part of me thinks that there are better strategies – there must be – but, to be honest, I haven’t seen one or cooked one up yet.
So here’s the chance to do it. I’m way overworked, and stressy and cranky in general, so my tolerance for snark and personal slagging is incredibly low at the moment. make arguments. Make passionate, heated ones. But show some respect for the other folks here, or you’ll be shown the door.