i understand why many am.lib bloggers point to 2500+ dead am.soldiers, and the weekly price-tag, and the incremental terrorist-creation and so on - but these arguments are merely political issues (ie persuasive to some particular goal.) However, the decision making process ought to be primarily centered around the proximate moral issue - i.e what is the best thing to do by iraq (and, relatedly, the rest of the world)
the options seem to be a) get everyone out b) keep every one in c) add more grunts d) hang out over the horizon. frankly, i have no idea what can or ought be done - but the decision making framework ought to be framed around what is best for iraq (or more precisely iraqis) and best for the rest of the world (eg the risks of the war spilling over into other countries etc)
i've long argued that the presence of am.troops actually contributed to the war and the concomitant death and destruction - and im kinda confident that i've been correct all along. and i've always argued that the stupid americans in charge are too stupid (or too corrupt, ideologically or otherwise) to do anything properly. Nowadays, I'm still confident that they are still too stupid and/or corrupt - and i'm pretty sure that they should get out of iraq - but i think the responsible thought process should consider specifically why they should get out - and whether iraq will be a better place because of it. 'reasons' like 'its costing us $6bn a month' and '2500+ american soldiers are dead for lies' are specious. (the good side of) america has a responsibility to do the best that it can by iraq - and if getting the hell out of there is the best idea, then lets make sure that the argument is something other than 'it costs (us) too much'
again, i'm not arguing that america should stay in iraq - the clusterfuck is so enormous that there arent any good alternatives - and i presume that the best idea is getting the hell outta there (presuming that this doesnt free up am.troops for an invasion of iran or something stupid) - but i think it'd be best if we open up the discussion with full transparency and accounting and such - "out now cos it costs us too much" isnt a particularly justifiable argument (altho it might make sense politically).
for one reason or other, i dont usually rant here - and this place has basically become a clearing house of snippets of stuff that i read (BUT IM MUCH MORE INTERESTING THAN THAT! HONEST!) - but the trigger for this particular rant was this NYT piece by peter galbraith (via glenn) where galbraith writes:
Seeing as we cannot maintain the peace in Iraq, we have but one overriding interest there today — to keep Al Qaeda from creating a base from which it can plot attacks on the United States.now, i presume that galbraith is a smart guy - but there is so much wrong in these 30 words that i cant even begin to wrap my head around it.
seriously, i'm going to resist the temptation to unpick that parargraph.
you dont believe me?