"Civil war worsens." But it has changed and now it is... Wave of retaliation sweeps Iraq"
"However, there is an element of hypocrisy inherent in the Israeli position. Israel possesses nuclear weapons capabilities that were acquired surreptitiously, and fields a force of modern ballistic missiles capable of firing nuclear warheads into not only Iran, but also every other nation in the region. The irony of Israel, a nation born of the Holocaust and alone among Middle Eastern nations in possessing the holocaust-generating power of nuclear weapons, condemning Iran for its rhetoric while itself espousing the demise of the Iranian government, is lost on few outside of Israel and the United States, and for a large part explains why the legitimacy of the Israeli concerns about Iran to a large extent fall on deaf ears."
* athenae (in full):
"It occurred to me this weekend, listening to family and others talk about the war, that really what we're doing now as a country is looking for some answer that doesn't make us wrong, doesn't make us assholes, doesn't make us the people who screwed this up so catastrophically that there's no way out.
You see that with McCain and his troop plans, you see it with various Bush officials and their whole "we have to give it time, just like Vietnam" schtick (which, way to lose the five people you still had on this issue, Genius McMensa), and you see that with every single person around the Thanksgiving table that talks about how "we can't leave now, it'll just turn into chaos." And I think the liberal war supporters are most swayed by the last argument, because c'mon, they clung so desperately to their hope that Bush wouldn't cock this up, plus they were the ones screaming about US sanctions and repression in the Middle East long before we needed those excuses to blow some stuff up.
Things will be horrible if we leave. The answer to that last is always, unequivocably yes, yes, it will. Iraq will continue to be chaos, civil war, a breeding ground for hatred of America and a place of misery for those who live there. When the bough breaks, the cradle of civilization will fall. It's time to stop dancing around that and just admit it. If we leave, it will be awful. For us, for them, for everyone.
BUT THERE'S NOTHING WE CAN DO TO STOP IT ANYMORE.
We lost this war three weeks after the invasion; we lost this war two and a half years ago at least. Those of you who read this blog just to be pissed off and think I take some pleasure in that can just go fuck off, you don't know how much I wanted to be wrong about the sick feeling in my gut at seeing the looting start. We lost this war before it even began, with the piss-poor excuses for planning that gave us the Ballad of Dougie Feith and His Sidekick Ahmed Chalabi, that gave us Curveball and WMDs and letting libraries burn. We lost this war when we marched in with our own ideas about how to run Iraq and as much as said to the locals, fuck off now, let us play with our new toy. We lost this war long ago, while the majority of Americans were still waving flags and singing "we'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way." The only way to fix it, the only way to win, is to build ourselves a time machine and go back and not invade in the first place.
What's more, I think the people saying we can't abandon the Iraqi people, I think they know it, too. I think deep down they know there's no way this is going to end well, considering how it began. I think deep down they know there's no way to turn this around, but they don't want to look at it yet, stare themselves in the face, see how completely and utterly taken they got. Take responsibility for the collective American failure. Take the weight of that on their souls.
I do get it: It's not wrong to want the best. But it is selfish and small and downright immoral to allow your wanting the best to put others in danger when you know your delusions are just that. You have the right to pretend. You don't have the right to ask someone to die for your puppet show. You don't have the right to keep thinking it'll get better, not when you know it won't.
And so the answer to the statement, the desperate excuse, the Hail Mary: "We can't just leave, it'll be chaos."
Yes. Yes, it will."