October 20, 2007

"US Out How?" in Mother Jones

For those readers interested in light weekend reading, look no further this special issue of Mother Jones. Yes, that's right, Mother Jones, erstwhile opponent of the Iraq War.

But as General Anthony Zinni, former head of U.S. forces in the Middle East, told us, "Your conscience is not clean just because you're a peace demonstrator." In other words, just because you weren't in favor of going in doesn't mean you're not responsible for what happens when we pull out.

Charlie hasn't had a chance to carefully read through all of it just yet, but the breadth of interviews alone is astounding. To wit: TX Hammes, Paul Hughes, HR McMaster, Jim Miller, John Nagl, Paul Pillar, Barry Posen, Ike Skelton, and Tony Zinni, among others.

Each were asked questions along these lines:

What's your schedule for withdrawal, and what consequences do you foresee? Which comes first—withdrawal, a functioning Iraqi government, or a solid international peacekeeping force? What concessions would you make to get Iraq's neighbors to help? What degree of bloodshed are you prepared to stand by and watch?

If our military and civilian leaders had (honest) answers to even half these questions, Charlie would feel a lot better about the way forward. More thoughts later in the weekend.