What's The Answer To Iraq?
I got to hear our president being interviewed by Jim Lehrer last evening, and he was relatively well-spoken. I was partly impressed.
...I find his inability to "lose face" over a dreadful mistake he's made, is turning out to be worse than the mistake to begin with.
Here's how I see the situation.
First off, we had no business going into Iraq, other than to try and finish a vendetta the Bush administrations seem to have had with Hussein. It think it's pretty clear that no one really believed that there were weapons of mass destruction. It's been made even clearer, that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. And if this country was intent on spreading democracy, there were seemingly many other places that could have used the U.S. version of democracy more than Iraq.
But, that's all water under the bridge. What should be done now?
Solution 1 - Stay the course
Hasn't worked so far. Insurgency grows, Iraq government doesn't step up and try to take the reins, many troops get killed and maimed, as do Iraqi citizens. Democracy doesn't seem to get anywhere, and Iraqi's seem to get more and more resentful of our presence there.
Solution 2 - Withdraw all troops
Likely the current civil war in Iraq will erupt. The Iraqi's that have stepped up will be at significant risk of retribution. Most likely, it will take a cold-blooded killer like Hussein to bring any order back to the country, and the Iraqi's will be in a lot worse shape than when we got there, and our relations with them completely ruined.
Solution 3 - Surge and steady withdrawal
Focusing on stabilizing Baghdad with a surge of troops, and make it safe. Set up a city where there is some order, some work and internal resources and logistics. Slowly begin to withdraw our troops, hoping that Iraqi forces will take up the slack. Call it a day and hightail it out of Iraq. Eventually, the same thing as Solution 2 will happen, and Saddam II will be back in power. At best, Iraq is left with strength in Baghdad only, and terrorism taking over the remainder of the country.
Solution 4 - Troops, Diplomacy and Negotiation
I know we don't negotiate with terrorists, but most folks say that the only viable solution, or minimally, the least damaging solution, is some combination of politics and combat. I'm sure it's a more difficult option, that requires skill and finesse, and there's a distinct possibility this solution could end as badly as any of the other three. But, it still seems like it's worth looking at more closely.
I got some more work done on the Dark Tweed Pullover, and I also made a little bit of progress on the Colorblock sweater in Araucania.
I'm thinking this might make a nice oversized cardigan, but I'm not sure yet which direction I'll head.
First of all, thanks for all the good wishes with the new kitty. After his initial intimidation of being in a new place, Thaddeus tells me he's turning into a "holy terror" with boundless energy. I couldn't be happier.
Kathy (the Al Gore maligning one), writes, "I will gather my concerns about the presentation in an organized way and post here very soon..."
If it's going to be a lot of text, just e-mail it to me, and I'll post it to the blog. I was glad that Meira posted the Slate.com article. The only other thing I had heard that made it sound like Mr. Gore was overstating the issue, was a conservative pundit, who basically said that all urgent, environmental issues to-date, have been solved much more quickly than originally estimated (he mentioned issues such as the hole in the ozone layer), and that would lead him to believe that global warming would be similar once remedies were put into action.