Tuesday, January 23, 2007



A combination of factors have changed my mind about the troop surge. However...

By "combination of factors" I suppose I mean a flurry of op eds, critical objections, and other articles, sometimes coming from Republicans and experienced generals in addition to Democrats and progressives, as well as the pervasive, stubborn "brute force" strategy that seems to be the only way this administration can work out any equation.

By "changed my mind" I mean that I am going from cautiously supporting the troop surge to cautiously supporting a prompt phased withdrawal. I think that everyone who has spoken to me in public and private were essentially right; our hands are tied by now. 20,000 troops is not the beginning of a fix.

By "however..." I mean that everything I said before about having an rigorous and invested discussion about the situation and needs of Iraqi civilians, a discussion involving the Iraqi people has been tragically absent from this debate. I believe that the whole political spectrum has been somewhat complicit in this. We still don't have a clear picture of what a demographic cross-section of Iraqis want.

I should lastly add something I learned today. If you want your blog to get 60 hits in 3 hours, just put "Saddam Hussein" in the title of your entry. Nobody's left a comment, though.



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