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So, in reading Joe's post below, I'm trying to fully comprehend if the Baker commission is adopting "cut & run" or "Vietnam"? Because it sounds a little of both.

What it sounds like they're saying is the following:

Tell the Iraqis we're pulling out, yes we are, but don't make any real plans to pull out because that would be setting a deadline/timetable, and those are bad things, unless they're good things. The fact that the Iraqis think WE have a deadline, that's good, because it will inspire them to fight harder. (I suppose we're just assuming that the Iraqis are stupid and that they don't read the New York Times and thus they don't know that Bush's threat to withdraw is apparently a feint.) But at the same time, the insurgency won't, somehow (I'm assuming with the help of magic pixie dust) find out that we have set a timetable for withdrawal (or then again, we haven't) and thus insurgents won't just wait for us to cut and run before they fight even harder.

A bit more trouble on the horizon, the plan wants us to kind of, sort of withdraw some of our troops, maybe to big bases in Iraq, or even to move them to surrounding countries. Well, that doesn't sound like bringing our boys home, and let's not forget, this war is costing us hundreds of billions of dollars that we don't have, and our military is already overstretched and can't really fight any more wars, so how does this solution solve those problems? It doesn't. It also begs the very large question of, if our troops are withdrawing to finally get them the hell out of Iraq, then why deploy them on the periphery of Iraq, unless you're considering sending them back in, if needed, and if you are, then here we go all over again.

And finally, to the extent Bush does adopt a partial troop withdrawal, where does that leave the remaining tens of thousands of US service members still in Iraq? It leaves them with fewer comrades to support them. So in that sense, this is Vietnam in reverse. Rather than upping our engagement slowly, to death, we're going to withdraw-but-not-withdraw slowly, to death.

All I can say is, this is the Republicans' war and I'll be very interested to watch how out it turns out as the 2008 elections approach.

Okay, so it's not an open thread. Invade me.

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