The Blame Game

More

070616-D-7203T-012

Atrios nails the problem with a residual force with his customary pith: "What drives me nuts about this residual force stuff, aside from how arbitrary it is, is that there's never any thought to exactly what these 50,000 should do. Basically, as the violence rages around them they're supposed to sit there to ensure that... there isn't even more violence raging around them. But it isn't really enough people to actually intervene, especially given that not even close to that many would be combat troops."

Quite so. Unfortunately, in another customary attribute that I'm less enthusiastic about, the target of Atrios' ire is International Herald Tribune columnist Roher Cohen. Cohen is appropriately mocked as a "Very Serious Person." But while media criticism certainly has its place, the reality is that the prime advocates of a residual force in Iraq aren't Cohen or other "wankers" in the press, but Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, and much of the Democratic congressional leadership. That we can be in the midst of a primary campaign during which the candidates are supposedly looking to "pander" to the dread damn dirty hippies of the base and yet none of the front-running candidates will make a clear promise to leave Iraq and attack his or her rivals for failing to do the same is rather astounding.

If a pollster called me tomorrow and asked who I was supporting, I would say "Bill Richardson" out of a hope that perhaps a smallish Richardson surge would convince someone else to adopt his position on Iraq -- we should leave.

Defense Department photo.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Breathtaking Tour Above the Moab Desert

Filmmaker Ian Cresswell rigs an HD camera atop a remote-controlled "octocopter" for some spectacular aerial views.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In