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April 09, 2008


win what?

Since we already won the Iraq War back in 2003, I presume Cokie means Americans would prefer to win the "occupation", hopefully before it bankrupts the country.

I'm not sure there is a contradiction between Americans wanting to pull out of Iraq and also wanting to "win." If the question were asked this way: "Would you rather we 'win' or 'lose' the war in Iraq?", most Americans, I'm sure, would vote for "winning."

The problem, as you've pointed out, is that "winning" has no sensible definition and never has. Most Americans want out of Iraq, not because they don't want to "win," but because they can't see what winning would look like and suspect, correctly, that there never will be a satisfactory definition.

The way to "win" is to declare victory, then pull out.

Considering Sadr's Shiite rebels control half of Baghdad, even after the "surge," that's the best we can hope for.

If we don't do this, Sadr is likely to lift his cease fire, which will plunge Iraq into it's darkest, bloodiest days yet.

Any way you slice it, we've created a de facto Shiite republic of Iraq, allied with Iran, with an autonomous Kurdish region and a restive Sunni minority. Lengthening the occupation won't change these basic facts, and will only make matters worse.

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