If we make a comparison of the White House statements since the summer of 2003, we can see that the Administration has continuously said that victory in Iraq is imminent and we don’t have any other choice but to keep our current policy. However, with luck, a transparent decision, a more courageous Democratic Party and the support of the Iraqis, the war in Iraq may end within the year.
Contrary to what George W. Bush affirms, our choice is not between “victory” or “defeat” but between staying without winning or leaving without losing. Victory, as defined by the Bush Administration (a stable, unified and democratic Iraq with a defeated insurrection), is unlikely. More troops would have been needed since the beginning as well as more support on the part of the Iraqis to achieve it. In addition, neither the Shiites nor the Kurds are willing to subordinate their interests to an Iraqi army that’s still an illusion. Therefore, trying to achieve a victory by meeting those conditions is useless and expensive in monetary and human life terms. On the other hand, the concept of “defeat”, as it’s being considered, is still marked by the Vietnam trauma, something that offers a deceptive point of view.
We must withdraw from the country. American citizens won’t back that war for a long time in the name of empty slogans. The Shiites and the Kurds can reorganize the country without the United States. The President must leave his political isolation and accept listening to people who are not part of his group of advisers.
Washington Post (United States)
International Herald Tribune (France)
The International Herald Tribune is a version of the New York Times adapted for the European public. It works in direct association with Haaretz (Israel), Kathimerini (Greece), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), JoongAng Daily (South Korea), Asahi Shimbun (Japan), The Daily Star (Lebanon) and El País (Spain). It also works, through its head office, in indirect association with Le Monde (France).