Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Matthew Yglesias is making sense

On why the US needs to leave Iraq, now:
Now ask yourself if anything in that regard has changed in the past twelve months. Have we accomplished anything at all worth accomplishing in that time period? To be sure, things have happened. Tens of billions of dollars have been spent, American troops have been killed, other American troops have perpetrated some massacres, Shiite militias have grown more adept at extrajudicial killings of Sunni Arabs, Sunni Arabs have killed lots of Shiite civilians, etc. But have we achieved anything? Are we closer or further from "full-blown civil war" or whatever it is that's supposed to distinguish the current situation from what might happen if we leave? Does anyone expect liberty to blossom in the desert at this point?
Needless to say, I agree - as I've said before, the most crucial question to ask when using force is: can we achieve our goals? If we can't - and the Americans manifestly cannot in Iraq - then the answer is simple: leave. Bad things happen in war, and bad things happen when wars end. This isn't a reason to stay - it's a reason not to go to war in the first place.

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