NYTimes Op-Ed Piece Calls Iraq "A No-Win Situation"

In this Op-Ed story, columnist Paul Krugman brings up some very valid points that don't leave a very pretty picture of Iraq's future.

For a long time, anyone suggesting analogies with Vietnam was ridiculed. But Iraq optimists have, by my count, already declared victory three times. First there was "Mission Accomplished" - followed by an escalating insurgency. Then there was the capture of Saddam - followed by April's bloody uprising. Finally there was the furtive transfer of formal sovereignty to Ayad Allawi, with implausible claims that this showed progress - a fantasy exploded by the guns of August.

Now, serious security analysts have begun to admit that the goal of a democratic, pro-American Iraq has receded out of reach. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies - no peacenik - writes that "there is little prospect for peace and stability in Iraq before late 2005, if then."

Mr. Cordesman still thinks (or thought a few weeks ago) that the odds of success in Iraq are "at least even," but by success he means the creation of a government that "is almost certain to be more inclusive of Ba'ath, hard-line religious, and divisive ethnic/sectarian movements than the West would like." And just in case, he urges the U.S. to prepare "a contingency plan for failure."

....Here's another thought. President Bush says that the troubles in Iraq are the result of unanticipated "catastrophic success." But that catastrophe was predicted by many experts. Mr. Cordesman says their warnings were ignored because we have "the weakest and most ineffective National Security Council in post-war American history," giving control to "a small group of neoconservative ideologues" who "shaped a war without any realistic understanding or plans for shaping a peace."

It's a well written piece that says of Iraq exactly how I've felt all along. You can't expect a country to just turn on a dime into a "democracy". I love how they still say that Iraq is "free" now, that it's democratic, when the people there don't have many specific rights. They didn't elect their ruler and I wonder if we'll soon see the day when they do. Their oil is earmarked to pay for this war, even though it's not even close to enough to pay for all the damage Iraq and America have both sustained. Simply pulling out isn't an option at this time. But it's obvious, if we leave this administration to try and finish the job, things are only going to get worse.

Mission Accomplished Indeed.
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