Friday, September 07, 2007

Iraq as the new Korea

As I watch the Democratic candidates orating to the left and tiptoeing to the right, I conclude that the Iraq debate is pretty much over. We still have to take off our shoes in order to count the months from now to November 2008, but Clinton, Obama, Biden, et al are nothing if not dexterous. They know two things about Iraq:

1) Bush will bring some troops home next year, and probably before Christmas; and

2) there'll still be more than 100,000 American troops in Iraq on January 20, 2009, when the 44th president of the United States takes the oath of office.

Whether the next president is the first woman to hold the office, or the first black, or--even more remarkable--another Republican, he or she will own the Iraq War for the indefinite future.

So really, the argument is over. No way is the United States going to turn Iraq over to Iran, Syria, and Turkey as a playground for their regional aspirations. American troops may leave Baghdad to a rush of media attention, much as British troops left Basra in recent days, but like the British they won't go very far. Iraq will be the new Korea, though without the 38th parallel to keep the peace between the factions.

Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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