An Excellent Piece on Getting Out of Iraq
In the Wash Post:
What will pulling out of Iraq mean for the United States? It will certainly not mean losing access to Iraqi oil, which will inevitably find its way to the market. To be sure, bringing the troops home will preclude the Pentagon from establishing permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq -- but the Bush administration has said all along that we don't covet such bases anyway. In addition, withdrawal will put an end to extravagant expectations of using Iraq as a springboard for democratizing the Islamic world -- but that notion never qualified as more than a pipe dream anyway.
For Bush personally, the consequences of leaving Iraq might be the most painful. The prospect of looking antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan in the eye to explain exactly what her son died for will become even more daunting. But as it is, the president can't dodge that question indefinitely. Postponing the issue simply swells the ranks of those with similar questions to ask.
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Andrew Bacevich, a Vietnam veteran and professor of international relations at Boston University