Whose Side Are You On?

I find myself in email conversations with various readers, attempting to explain why I remain a skeptic about the ability of even the most gifted general to turn around an already far-gone sectarian civil war in Iraq. My pessimism is greeted by the argument that we have to plow on anyway - or give in to terrorists. But this begs a further question: which terrorists? The Shiites? Or the Sunnis? Al Qaeda or Iranian-backed death squads? The metric is no longer Iraq versus terror; it's Shia terror versus Sunni terror versus al Qaeda terror. In those circumstances, the most relevant question to ask anyone supporting Plus Up is simply: who do you want to win? Since we are engaged in a civil war, and since wars are designed to defeat one side, which side are we trying to defeat? The first question in wartime is: whose side are you on? The fact that no one can currently answer that question is the best reason to cut our losses.