Everyone in the blogosphere is writing about the report they released today, and, frankly, I don’t have anything to add. Suffice it to say I find it:
~ Interesting that they suggest “all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq” by spring of—surprise!—2008.
~ Shitty that they recommend threatening Iraq with a reduction in “political, military, or economic support” if their government can’t get it together on “national reconciliation, security, and governance.” Maybe I’m just a daft rube, but it seems to me that it’s difficult to orchestrate a national reconciliation without effective governance, but it’s tough to effectively govern without decent security, and decent security is hard to come by during a civil war. So it also seems to me that we’ve basically broken the shit out of their country and now we’re telling them we won’t give them any glue, tape, or bubble gum to fix it unless they…fix it.
Instead of using the Iraqis’ failure to ‘fix it’ as a last-ditch effort of eschewing (and redirecting) responsibility for this debacle, it would be awesome if we could just be honest, at long last, and say, “We’re sorry we fucked all your shit up. It’s our fault. And worse yet, your only hope now might be our leaving. So we’re gonna try that, and see what happens. Whatever support you need, we’ll give you, if it will help. In the meantime, our deepest apologies.” That’s the kind of thing grown-ups say when they make an irreversible mistake with no easy solution.