Saturday, January 20, 2007


Re: the mess in Iraq, this seems sensible. From Steve Soto at The Left Coaster ("Is There Hope For Iraq?"):

But we do see progress here at home, when someone like right-wing pundit Charles Krauthammer now supports a sensible redeployment outside of Baghdad, which meshes with what John Murtha has been talking about for over a year.

(I first read about it on Andrew Sullivan's blog; I don't read Charles Krauthammer.) Krauthammer writes:

Right now there are only three policies on the table: (1) the surge, which a majority of Congress opposes, (2) the status quo, which everybody opposes, and (3) the abandonment of Iraq, which appears to be the default Democratic alternative.

What is missing is a fourth alternative, both as a threat to Maliki and as an actual fallback if the surge fails. The Pentagon should be working on a sustainable Plan B whose major element would be not so much a drawdown of troops as a drawdown of risk to our troops. If we had zero American casualties a day, there would be as little need to withdraw from Iraq as there is to withdraw from the Balkans.

We need to find a redeployment strategy that maintains as much latent American strength as possible, but with minimal exposure. We say to Maliki: Let us down, and we dismantle the Green Zone, leave Baghdad and let you fend for yourself; we keep the airport and certain strategic bases in the area; we redeploy most of our forces to Kurdistan; we maintain a significant presence in Anbar province, where we are having success in our one-front war against al-Qaeda and the Baathists. Then we watch. You can have your Baghdad civil war without us. We will be around to pick up the pieces as best we can.

This is not a great option, but fallbacks never are. It does have the virtue of being better than all the others, if the surge fails. It has the additional virtue of increasing the chances that the surge will succeed.

[Emphasis mine.] Sounds like some Right Wingers are becoming a little squeamish about all that blood on their hands. Also sounds like the surge isn't necessary to begin with and we should have followed Murtha's (Democrat) plan, which as I recall was roundly rejected by the Right Wing at the time it was proposed.

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