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February 10th, 2009
10:25 AM ET

Re-thinking Iraq

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/10/obamamad.jpg]
Andrew Sullivan
The Atlantic


Since my initial excessive enthusiasm for the Iraq war disintegrated on impact with reality, I've done my best to keep empirical facts at the center of assessing strategy – and to accept the limits of my own understanding more thoroughly. Of course, such an assessment includes reviewing domestic US politics – hence my support for Ron Paul and Barack Obama in the last campaign – and wider American aims and goals in the Middle East and beyond, a sense of the fiscal and diplomatic costs of any course of action, and a willingness to rethink and adjust in the face of new realities in what is a very dynamic and often opaque situation. This can lead to criticisms such as this:

Andrew Sullivan no longer is interested in winning in Iraq, in fact is probably quietly eager for a defeat there, doubtless out of a combination of a certain degree of conviction, a ravenous hunger for leftist Web traffic, and because having decided a few years ago he’d picked the wrong horse in supporting it, he finds it unbearable to imagine that the wrong horse may prove to be the right horse after all.

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Filed under: Iraq • President Barack Obama • War on Terror
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. MAJ Knapp, United States Army

    Before the Bush administration left office, a withdrawal agreement between the United States and Iraq was signed. In essence, this withdrawal agreement or status of forces agreement (SOFA) provides that US combat forces will depart Iraq by December 31, 2011. Of course, SOFAs can always be renegotiated, but I think in this instance it will hold. So, combat forces in Iraq may well not be a legal option to protect our "interests," nor do I believe that "our" influence in the Iraq will diminish after this date. The U.S. and the free world have interests in the region and in the preservation of peace and stability. And, the US is also not the only victim of terrorism. Even the losses of 911 were felt across the globe. When the world trade centers fell it took with it members of 90 countries. I think a comprehensive solution will continue to be a shared responsibility.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  2. earle,florida

    Afghanistan was Russia's,"Achiles-Heel",and the Talibans lifeline! The India's were the British Empire's nenesis, incubating ,and nursing the descension of Pakistan thus parsing a whole! Iraq is to America, the covert adversary of, "Nimrod's Mystique" ! Thus, near term history,coupled with WW II speaks volumes of Germany's (parallels) demise,that being ,a" Two Front War",bringing the world's greatest military regime to total capitulation! We are not the world's police,and our "Declaration of Independence" ,and founding fathers were implicit in their message! Absolutely Great Read, Thanks(:

    February 10, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  3. sean brizendine

    anderson i think that in reality the solution for iraq is gonna take a real comprehensive solution that frankly is gonna require a lot of financial aid and incentives and a small combat force to protect our interests there.
    "sean in santa rosa"

    February 10, 2009 at 11:37 am |