Thursday, July 12, 2007

WPost: Give 'the Surge' More Time

Surprisingly, the Post gets it just right:

...Advocates of withdrawal would like to believe that Afghanistan is now a central front in the war on terror but that Iraq is not; believing that doesn't make it so. They would like to minimize the chances of disaster following a U.S. withdrawal: of full-blown civil war, conflicts spreading beyond Iraq's borders, or genocide. They would have us believe that someone or something will ride to the rescue: the United Nations, an Islamic peacekeeping force, an invigorated diplomatic process. They like to say that by withdrawing U.S. troops, they will "end the war."

Conditions in Iraq today are terrible, but they could become "way, way worse," as the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan C. Crocker, a career Foreign Service officer, recently told the New York Times. If American men and women were dying in July in a clearly futile cause, it would indeed be immoral to wait until September to order their retreat. But given the risks of withdrawal, the calculus cannot be so simple. The generals who have devised a new strategy believe they are making fitful progress in calming Baghdad, training the Iraqi army and encouraging anti-al-Qaeda coalitions. Before Congress begins managing rotation schedules and ordering withdrawals, it should at least give those generals the months they asked for to see whether their strategy can offer some new hope.

The Post does not add -- but ought to -- that this is really a sham by the Democrats anyway, who have shown that they're brave enough to mock and browbeat the President, but too timid to do what they profess to believe in. As Captain Ed says:

If the Democrats wanted a withdrawal, they would simply cut off the funding for the deployment. No one disputes that they have that power -- but the Democrats don't want to take responsibility for what comes afterwards. It's not wishful thinking but political expediency that drives their efforts this summer.

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