8/11/2005

ParaPundit: Unilaterally Withdraw From Iraq Or First Partition?

nilaterally Withdraw From Iraq Or First Partition?

William E. Odom, retired US Army Lt. Gen., former director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan, and currently at the Hudson Institute has told the Wall Street Journal that the best the United States could do in Iraq is to withdraw rapidly. (same article here)

It was hard to disagree with Odom's description of Mr. Bush's vision of reordering the Middle East by building a democracy in Iraq as a pipedream. His prescription: Remove U.S. forces "from that shattered country as rapidly as possible." Odom says bluntly, "we have failed," and "the issue is how high a price we're going to pay - less, by getting out sooner, or more, by getting out later."

At best, Iraq will emerge from the current geopolitical earthquake as "a highly illiberal democracy, inspired by Islamic culture, extremely hostile to the West and probably quite willing to fund terrorist organizations," Odom explained. If that wasn't enough to erode support for the war, Odom added, "The ability of Islamist militants to use Iraq as a beachhead for attacks against American interests elsewhere may increase."

Odom sees Bush Administration Iraq policy as an unmitigated disaster. Strong stuff coming from someone with his record.

Democracy scholar Larry Diamond has decided not to return to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq because Diamond thinks the attempt to establish a democracy in Iraq is a lost cause.

"We just bungled this so badly," said Diamond, a 52-year-old senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. "We just weren't honest with ourselves or with the American people about what was going to be needed to secure the country."

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ParaPundit: Unilaterally Withdraw From Iraq Or First Partition?

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