Monday, February 12, 2007

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Anna Quindlen writing for Newsweek

There is no better way to support those fighting in Iraq than to guarantee that no more of them die in the service of political miscalculation.

Tomorrow. That's when the United States should begin to bring combat forces home from Iraq. Today would be a better option, but already it's tomorrow in Baghdad, in the Green Zone fortress Americans have built in the center of the city, out in the streets where IEDs are lying in wait for passing soldiers and every marketplace may be the endgame for a suicide bomber.

Now the party line is that American forces will get out, but they cannot get out now. They cannot get out now because Iraq would become a place of civil war, of untrammeled violence, of complete chaos.

Iraq has been a place of civil war, untrammeled violence, complete chaos for a long time now. American intervention has not made that better. It has made it worse.

Get out now. Provide plenty of consultants to organize police forces and help with reconstruction. Persuade the Iraqi government, such as it is, to ask for peacekeeping assistance from other nations. Put the arm on allies in the Middle East to participate for the sake of stability in the region. Recognize that much of this is about access to oil, and negotiate accordingly while trying to persuade Americans to go to rehab for their fossil-fuel addiction.


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