February 26th, 2007


Notes From the Adults on Iraq

Here's how to think about it. And for those who want the current dope check out the usual suspects.

But now, a brief quote:

I understand the frustration, anger and exhaustion so many Americans feel about Iraq, the desire to throw up our hands and simply say, "Enough." And I am painfully aware of the enormous toll of this war in human life, and of the infuriating mistakes that have been made in the war's conduct.

But we must not make another terrible mistake now. Many of the worst errors in Iraq arose precisely because the Bush administration best-cased what would happen after Saddam was overthrown. Now many opponents of the war are making the very same best-case mistake--assuming we can pull back in the midst of a critical battle with impunity, even arguing that our retreat will reduce the terrorism and sectarian violence in Iraq.

In fact, halting the current security operation at midpoint, as virtually all of the congressional proposals seek to do, would have devastating consequences. It would put thousands of American troops already deployed in the heart of Baghdad in even greater danger--forced to choose between trying to hold their position without the required reinforcements or, more likely, abandoning them outright. A precipitous pullout would leave a gaping security vacuum in its wake, which terrorists, insurgents, militias and Iran would rush to fill--probably resulting in a spiral of ethnic cleansing and slaughter on a scale as yet unseen in Iraq.
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Preliminary Notes

Just met in passing Randy Rose, the guy who invented Big Sunday. For those who don't know, it's a board game that teaches the strategy of American Football (if you've ever wondered what is going on as you watch the game, this may be your best place to start). It covers the running game, passing game, penalties, the two minute warning, and even NFL coaches and players seem to recognize their game on the board.

If you know someone of junior high age, he's old enough to understand the game: though it takes one game with the instructions in your face, after that, you concentrate on strategy. Not so bad, eh?