There's lots not to like in National Review
's symposium on Iraq
, but oddly it's the most dovish contribution, from General Bernard Trainor, that's most maddening:
By just about every measure, our strategy is not succeeding. Common sense would dictate that we cut our losses and get out as soon as feasible, leaving the Iraqis to settle matters in their own way. But that would be taking a leap into the great and highly dangerous unknown, perhaps creating problems more vexing than those we currently face. Opponents of precipitous withdrawal raise âout of the frying pan, into the fireâ scenarios â and they may be right. If so, staying the course and working for improvement is the only logical choice unless at some point the chaotic situation absolutely forecloses that option.
Trainor clearly has a grip on reality that many of his fellow contributors lack. What's more, as a retired Lt. General from the Marines he has a kind of credibility that, say, a 25 year-old guest blogger lacks. These are the kind of voices the country is going to need to hear more from if we're ever going to straighten ourselves out. And yet his argument here is that opponents of withdrawal are correct to oppose withdrawal if and only if opponents of withdrawal are right. But, obviously, we shouldn't leave if
withdrawal opponents are right. The question is are they -- am I -- right?