CRUNCH TIME….Matt Yglesias appears to be on the same page as me:
Under the circumstances, a simplistic debate between staying the course and bringing the boys home is unenlightening. If a broadly supported interim government can be found, then staying in force to support it against extreme elements is preferable to allowing the situation to devolve into chaos. If not, however, then the aims of the occupation — however laudable — are simply infeasible, and we should look for a way to extricate ourselves from a futile enterprise undertaken on dubious pretenses. The approach offered thus far by the Bush administration — long on bravado, but short on actual plans to improve the situation — threatens to bring the worst of both worlds.
This seems sadly accurate. If the situation is impossible, we should pull out. Alternatively, if the situation is salvagable but the Bush administration doesn’t have the political courage to take the steps necessary for the salvaging, we might as well pull out.
It’s hard to come to any other conclusion. Bush either needs to put political considerations aside, admit past mistakes, and produce a serious plan for winning in Iraq, or else he needs to get out and quit wasting American lives in an enterprise he doesn’t have the stomach for. It’s well past time for him to make up his mind.