I have been following the opinions of Gen. (ret.) William E. Odom since he published last year America's Inadvertent Empire. We are eager to hear what he says, since a former Reagan's NSC Chief is a winner and someone who can tell the difference between a real enemy (the commies) and the UFO Osama bin Laden. General Odom has just published an article in Nieman Watchdog <http://niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm> a stunning assessment of America's adventure in Mesopotamia, "What's Wrong With Cutting and Running?" I think all interested WAISer's could read it and debate the content of what he calls "America's Greatest Historical Strategical Disaster". He lists some of the arguments against pulling out:
1. We would leave behind a civil war.
2. We would lose credibility on the world stage.
3. It would embolden the insurgency and cripple the move toward democracy.
4. Iraq would become a haven for terrorists.
5. Iranian influence in Iraq would increase.
6. Unrest might spread in the region and/or draw in Iraq's neighbors.
7. Shi'ite-Sunni clashes would worsen.
8. We haven't fully trained the Iraqi military and police forces yet.
9. Talk of deadlines would undercut the morale of our troops.
He deconstructs the arguments and I leave you with General's Odom's conclusion: "The wisest course for journalists might be to begin sustained investigations of why leading Democrats have failed so miserably to challenge the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The first step, of course, is to establish as conventional wisdom the fact that the war was never in the U.S.' interests and has not become so. It is such an obvious case to make that I find it difficult to believe many pundits and political leaders have not already made it repeatedly."