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May 18, 2004

Faster Iraq

Kausfiles has been pushing the "faster Iraq" plan for some time. We generally, tentatively, agree with him.

He makes a simple point in the latest offering, one we've been meaning to make ourselves.

Many conservatives want to stay in Iraq longer, and do more, because they believe that doing so correlates to a more stable Iraq, a more democratic Iraq down the road, and an Iraq more predisposed to being America's ally.

If this belief is true, then getting out of Iraq more quickly would indeed be a sell-out, a betrayal, a cutting-and-running for political reasons.

But what if this belief isn't true?

What if the positives of America staying longer and doing more also come with significant negatives? What if staying longer, doing more actually produces more anger among Iraqis than goodwill; less appreciation for America rather than more; and a greater likelihood of instability and take-over by hostile Islamofascist forces rather than less?

And what if these negatives will actually get worse and worse the longer America retains control of Iraq? What if such negatives begin to exceed, and even dwarf, the positive benefits of a longer stay?

We admit that there is little firm evidence for the latter proposition. But there is just as scant evidence for the former proposition. We just don't know either way.

But those who would counsel "stay, stay" should bear in mind that there exists at least the possibility that the "stay, stay" plan is actually detrimental to the interests of both democracy-seeking Iraqis and American security.

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posted by Ace at 02:42 PM

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