October 28, 2003
U.S. OUT OF EUROPE, NOW: Eugene Volokh responds to Gregg Easterbrook on Iraq.
UPDATE: Eric Kolchinsky writes that the key to victory is at home. Likewise, the key to defeat. Meanwhile reader Jim Ryan emails:
Why are we even having this discussion? Leaving Iraq right now is not even a remotely plausible option. Tens of thousands of innocents would die in the ensuing years of civil war, and Iraq would descend again into the hands of madmen. And terrorists would judge us to be weak – rightly.
Yes, and I think that the American people know that. We’re reaping the result of decades of weakness — starting in Tehran, and continuing through Beirut, Mogadishu, etc. The terrorists are counting on pulling off another Mogadishu.
Gautam Mukunda also thinks that Easterbrook has this one wrong:
Indeed, it is removing ourselves from Iraq and allowing it to collapse into anarchy – whatever the initial reasons for our action – that would be dishonorable.
MORE: Read this excellent post by Michael Totten, too: “If we faced a genuinely popular insurgency in Iraq, we’d have one hell of a serious problem. But this crowd is the absolute scum of the earth, and most Iraqis know it. If we don’t run away, they are not going to win.”
STILL MORE: From Winds of Change: “I’ve said in the past that the two keys to winning this war are an iron butt – the simple willingness to sit it out – and the adaptability to learn from our mistakes and the opponent’s tactics. We may be showing both.”