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People argue with me all the time about Iraq. I argue that we must shift our role in Iraq from policing a bloody and sectarian civil war to an advisory role that focuses on counterterrorism, border security, logistics, force protection, intelligence, and security forces training. I call for a strategic redeployment of our troops to the perimeter of Iraq, and away from the focal point of combat. People say to me that doing this will lead to more chaos. When we argue about Iraq, we talk about it as though this is a case study in International Relations. It is not. Take a long, hard look at the pictures from the field below, and you'll realize why this war is an important topic on which we should focus.

We won this election in 2006 because Americans were tired of seeing these pictures. We can't let those voters down. We can't accept this ludicrous idea from the Iraq Study Group or the Joint Chiefs or John McCain that if we just send more troops, we can win this. There is no definition of victory. There is no meaning to the word "win" here. If we continue to send our troops into the middle of this fight, we will only see more bloodshed. The smartest strategy here is to keep this situation contained, but to withdraw largely from the center of it. We can prevent this civil war from becoming an international headache, but we shouldn't spare another American soldier to make the Sunnis and Shia play nice.

In 2008, I'd like us to have a Presidential nominee who had the good sense to judge this war a mistake from the beginning. Being President of the United States is not something anyone can truly prepare for, but having good judgment on this war is a critical prerequisite for me. Senator Obama and Vice President Gore are the only two possible candidates who opposed this war from the beginning. If Senator Obama does not get in (I hope he does, and Gore is a pipedream to get in), I will have to choose who among the remaining candidates has the greatest judgment on this war, but it will not be easy. Senator Obama should get in, because he is the right person with the right judgment to be President of the United States at this time.

Now, here is what Hell on Earth looks like.

Don't forget these pictures when you argue about this war in Iraq. This is not a case study, this is real life.


Jeremy said...

While I agree that a withdrawal or redeployment of troops, especially in conjunction with pressure on Iraqi politicians, could be the answer to the hell that is Iraq I think you are discounting the risks that a withdrawal presents, especially for the war ravaged Iraqi people. Any reasoned debate on this important subject should acknowledge the terrible risks for any solution. By giving the militias more room to act we risk much more than
"making sure the Sunnis and Shiites play nice", we risk clear cut, pseudo state sponsored, ethnic cleansing by the militias, especially that of Muqtada al Sadr. So while I agree that redeployment is likely the eventually answer, there are many risks to it as a strategy that must be acknowledged. George Bush has largely lied to the American people, the Democrats should not follow in his footsteps.