But no matter who wins the U.S. elections in November, there is no foreseeable endgame in Iraq that does not include many more American casualties over the next several years....
In the interim, a U.S. withdrawal would almost certainly lead to civil war, turning Iraq into a failed state and a haven for Islamic jihadists....
What does "winning" mean in Iraq? For U.S. troops, it means just surviving....
Confronting reality in Iraq, and reducing expectations, also means backing whatever sources of stability we can find, even if they are anti-American.... Washington must swallow the likelihood that Iraq will enter some drawn-out Islamic phase before it ever turns into a secular democratic model.
For the Americans who went to war in Iraq hoping for historic change, those options are pretty much all that's left on the table. That is what "winning" in Iraq will look like for years to come. It's the best we can do right now, even if it looks like losing.
Sunday, September 26, 2004
Winning in Iraq, "even if it looks like losing"
Michael Hirsh is a senior editor at Newsweek, and has a sober piece in the Outlook section of the Washington Post. These are just a few lines of the last few grafs, which gives you the general idea:
Posted by David at 8:38 AM
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