Friday, September 17, 2004


Three more marines were killed yesterday in Iraq. Kidnappings are commonplace. The insurgency is growing and becoming more sophisticated, which means more deadly. Ordinary Iraqis are becoming ever more enraged at the U.S.

When the newscaster David Brinkley, appalled by the carnage in Vietnam, asked Lyndon Johnson why he didn't just bring the troops home, Johnson replied, "I'm not going to be the first American president to lose a war."

George W. Bush is now trapped as tightly in Iraq as Johnson was in Vietnam. The war is going badly. The president's own intelligence estimates are pessimistic. There is no plan to actually win the war in Iraq, and no willingness to concede defeat.

I wonder who the last man or woman will be to die for this colossal mistake.

Precisely right. It was a colossal mistake. We will continue on because it will be falsely believed it is necessary to show strength, when it shows just the opposite.

I have no idea what the best exit strategy is, but neither did Rumsfeld and the gang when they started this thing. There will be no "good" outcome, all we can hope for is that we figure out how to minimize the damage. The people who inflicted it are not the ones we can trust to do that wisely.