For all my posting of the Vietnam/Iraq deathtoll charts, I haven’t talked much about the similarities of the two wars lately. I guess I feel like there’s not much more to say that I haven’t said already, like in Vietnam and Iraq: A comparison, which I wrote three years ago, and which, sadly, seems to have held up all too well.
Except for loons who manage to twist reality more violently than most in defense of their ideological viewpoint (you know who you are — or, well, you actually don’t, but the rest of us do), the situation in Iraq has become more and more clear with the passage of time. And what with the personal time crunch I keep whining about, it’s hard to justify beating a dead horse. But sometimes it’s good to touch base with reality, and I think this post from Kevin Drum today does a good job of that: Withdrawal pains.
Anyone who advocates withdrawal needs to understand just what the consequences would be. But, as Kaplan admits, responsibility nonetheless lies squarely with the war’s architects. In Iraq, if anything, we are having even less success than we did in Vietnam, and there’s hardly even a colorable argument left that we have any hope of turning this around. Withdrawing may be an appalling and grisly option, but would it be better to kill a few hundred thousand more people and then leave? Those like Kaplan who oppose withdrawal have a question of their own to face up to.