Wednesday, October 11, 2006

655 thousand and 65 percent

The first figure is the best estimate on the number of excess deaths in Iraq following the 2003 invasion. The second number is the low end of several polls that asked Iraqis if they want American troops to leave (high end is 80 percent).

Below is the unimpressive history of my views on Iraq:

2002-03: undecided over whether we should invade. If I were President, I wouldn't have done it, but if I were in Congress, I probably would have voted in favor of giving Bush the authority. I could claim there's some way to reconcile those positions, but I won't bother. After all the time I spent in Burma, I couldn't easily pass up a chance to overthrow an entrenched dictator.

2004: I realized it was a mistake, and unlike some VIPs, also realized that I should have known better before the invasion. I didn't think we should pull out though.

2005: Moved to undecided on whether to pull out.

early 2006: Increasingly believe the US should pull out in 6-18 months.

now: We should definitely pull out in 6-18 months.

I find it very hard to argue with 655,000 dead and 65% who want us out. Yes, the Iraqi parliament might be different, although they haven't put it to a vote there, I believe. Even if the parliament wants us there, I still think it's a mistake. And I don't expect things will go well if we leave, either.

The Democratic and moderate Republican position should be get out of Iraq, and double our effort to fix Afghanistan. That's the best option we have now.

UPDATE: Just thought I'd also add that unlike some VIPs who've acknowledged their mistakes, I don't believe that the fact that I was wrong before somehow makes my opinion more weighty than people who have been right from the beginning.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.