Monday, June 26, 2006

Wishes are Not Ponies

I disagree with The One True Keeper of the Flame Tomasky. More than that I think that whether you're concerned about Iraq from a practical perspective or a political one it's thinking like that which is going to doom us. The belief that we'll be mostly out of Iraq in 3 Friedmans is the compainon of the belief that things will get better in one Friedman. If I'm correct, as I think I am, there will not be significant troop reductions this year, or next year, or the following year. It's possible there will be minor troop reductions, with perpetual promises of more to come between one and three Friedmans from "now," but they plan to stay and while civil war rages they can't stay with a small number of troops.

The belief that eventually Iraq will improve and we will leave is part of the reason why there hasn't been until recently significant political pressure for there to be any change. Absent significant popular and political pressure nothing will change in Iraq. Not this year, not the next, not the next... I'm not optimistic that such pressure will lead to changes absent new political leadership, but at least we can try to bring the debate back to where it needs to be.

The presidential primary season will be heating up less than a year from now, and Iraq will likely be even a more central issue in that election - and the general in 2008 - than it was in 2004.

It's dangerous to assume it will just go away. It won't.