Yglesias Award Nominee

"What depresses me, and makes me despise so much war criticism even when I agree with it, is that so many of those positing it seem so happy about what's gone wrong. They seem to relish the probability that Iraq will get worse and worse so that they can be righter and righter.

This isn't new. I remember an anti-war activist who was staying in our hotel in Baghdad, who had not come to Karbala for that first ashura. A good person trying to do good things, she had stayed behind to prepare a media alert on the horrors of the occupation - which, especially at a time when the coverage out of Iraq was largely very upbeat, was a very worthy thing to be doing. Still, one thing really bothered me about her. When, upon everyone's return from Karbala, the activist heard that the day had actually been free of violence, and full of jubilation, she looked as if she had tasted a bad olive, and spit out her response: "Oh, fuck."

How she must be gloating now. Reality has made sages of the most dire prophets. It's perfect: Iraq really has gone to hell, and the demon neocons are the ones that sent it.

Like liberals - and thinking conservatives, and sentient beings - everywhere, I gravely doubt that the troop surge - so little so late - will do anything to save Iraq. But for the sake of the Iraqi people, I sure hope it does - even if that helps the Republicans," - Tish Durkin, Huffpost.

Me too, even if it helps Bush. We are approaching a dreadful decision, one that should leave no one unscarred: whether to risk the chaos that leaving Iraq would entail or to risk the nightmare of an open-ended occupation, spreading throughout the entire region, and fomenting blowback as we've never seen it before. Our job now is to make the right decision, and it will be an incredibly tough one. I don't see how anyone can do anything but hope that Petraeus somehow manages to offer a third option by the fall. I doubt it, I'm afraid. But we can still hope.

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