Or we can simply leave as quickly as possible — which means that Iraq is likely to become what it was not before our invasion and occupation: a state which serves as headquarters for those who wish to destroy us, and which is genuinely and in fact a grave threat to us. Which, I repeat, it was not before. That obviously is not a very good idea, either. So the only way out that I see at this point, which admittedly is not a good “solution” at all, is to bring the international community into a much more active role in rebuilding Iraq, and as quickly as possible. (That would mean, among other things, that we cease demanding that others pay for the reconstruction efforts, while maintaining almost all control ourselves.) That would serve several ends: it would lessen the financial burden on the United States; it would defuse at least some of the enmity currently directed toward us; and it might save some American and Iraqi lives. Not a good solution in my view, but markedly better than the others.
But there is one tactic the hawks ought to give up at this point. They should stop saying, as one of the commenters to my earlier post did, that none of those who opposed the war with Iraq are offering “constructive” proposals at this point. This is remarkably offensive for several reasons. First, it wasn’t the opponents’ policies that created this horrible dilemma. It was the hawks’ policies. They are responsible for this nightmare, and no one else. They shouldn’t expect — and often demand — others to offer solutions to the daunting problems that their policies have created. Where is the justice in that? Or even the common sense? They got us all here; they ought to show some intellectual responsibility and creativity of their own, and get us out.
(Got this link from Liberty & Power.)