Saturday, December 03, 2005

The No Win Situation

Scanning the right wing blogs and columnists there is a common talking point about Democrats and Iraq. The argument is that Democrats have no consistent stance on Iraq, and offer no good solutions.

On one level there is degree of truth to this. There is no reason that the opposition party needs to unite on a single plan. It is also true that the consequences of every plan are far from what is desirable. Stay and we have both increased casualties and continue to benefit the two parties which really profit from Bush’s policies–al Qaeda and Iran. Leave and we risk chaos (which is likely to occur regardless of when we leave, and is already the situation).

To argue that there are no 100% satisfactory plans misses the point. First of all, any plan, despite its poor consequences, is likely to be preferable to what the Bush Administration is doing. More importantly, the inevitability of winding up without any good options is the whole point of our initial opposition to the war. It was clear before going into Iraq that no good could come out of this. John Kerry warned of these dangers in his pre-war speech at Georgetown where he urged George Bush not to rush to war. Many others also gave similar warnings.

The lack of a totally satisfactory plan is a result of the total incompetence of the Bush Administration in getting us into this situation. While we might not agree on how to get out, one thing is clear. When you are trapped in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging.


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