Monday, August 29, 2005

No winning scenario

Ampersand doesn't usually post completely about foreign affairs, but today he offers a post that summarizes the outlook for Iraq and our involvement there, and it's worth your reading. Whatever your take on how we got in or what we hoped to accomplish, it looks like we have no prospect of making things better to any realistic degree at this point, given the degree of support at home and the steep requirements of manpower and other sacrifice to accomplish a "win." Amp wraps up with this:
Too many hawks discuss our options in Iraq as if we're choosing between withdrawal and victory in Iraq. What is "victory in Iraq"? I'd suggest that, at a minimum, victory requires the establishment of a stable democracy in which (to quote Johnson) "the average Iraqi can move around the country without fear of being killed or kidnapped." (And remember, the average Iraqi is a woman). That doesn't seem too much to ask for - but it's far more than the American military or executive branch is realistically capable of offering.

Bottom line: It doesn't matter how morally correct an outcome is if it's not something that we can feasibly bring about in the real world.
Well said, if far from heartening. And I'd add, if you have no shot at the "morally correct" outcome, then perhaps you should be weighing the realistic alternatives, rather than pretending that such consideration is in itself treasonous. (Or maybe this chirade of gun-point constitution-writing is driven by exactly that idea. ugh.)

No comments: