Saturday, October 28, 2006


Yesterday, I received a query from an occasional email correspondent of mine. In it, he took me (and others) gently to task for fulminating about George W. Bush.

“Frankly,” he writes, “I hear repeatedly about all the mistakes made…all the campaign rhetoric. I’m not hearing any answers, especially to [the following] very real ‘what-ifs’…"

Those "what ifs" can, I think, all be boiled down to one question- a very real, and very perplexing question:

What is the U.S. response if, after we withdraw from Iraq, chaos (in the form of internal genocide, increased freedom of operations from terrorists, or an encroachment by one of the “bandit nations”—or “axis of evil”, if you will) results?

This essay is my attempt to answer that question. I will say, right off the bat, that, aside from a BA in history from a small Vermont State College, I bring no particular expertise to the table. I am simply an American citizen trying to think intelligently about the problems that I (and 300 million of my fellow citizens) have been collectively asked to solve.

Because of my shortcomings, I welcome intelligent, well thought out points of view that differ from my own current thinking.

As far as premature withdrawal from Iraq goes, I agree with Colin Powel: You break it, you bought it. I’ll return to this a little later, but right now I just want to say that I, personally, do not believe that we can simply walk out of Iraq at this stage. We must solve the problem of stability before we disengage and return our focus to the real War on Terror.

You asked me to consider the tasks I would assign the next Chief Executive, and I will do so in a moment.

But first, let me say that, thank the lord, we don’t have to worry about that just yet. This year, the job is simply to elect a new Congress which will put the breaks on the current executive team; forcing a return to checks and balances on an administration run wild.

To that end, what the new Congress collectively thinks is not so terribly important in the short run. What is important is that they, and the executive leadership, enter a period of gridlock, replacing one-party rule, and allowing us, as a people, to concentrate on building the political will to do the job right...

You can read the rest by clicking here: Checkmate?

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