A few items in the report where the left should agree.
- Iraq is a disaster
- The primary cause is sectarian violence, not al-Qaida
- Current policy is not working and should be changed
- Troops should be withdrawn
- Resources should be redirected to Afghanistan
Given there are so many points of view advocated by the left explicity stated in this report, its a bit shocking to see it roundly denegrated.
It is true many of the findings of the report have been known for years. Some of them espoused on this very blog. Frustration that no one listens until a blue ribbon commission comes along to give blessing is understandable. But instead of pooh-poohing the politics of the situation, the left should be celebrating the fact that it was likely the continued pressure for realistic assessments that led us to this point.
It is tragic every time a soldier dies. 10 more died in Iraq today. But the fact is any tactician will tell you withdrawal in the face of enemy forces is the most dangerous maneuver. It is delicate and it is time consuming. Immediate and absolute withdrawal might prevent deaths in the present but possibly would defer those deaths to the future as one of any horrific scenarios comes to fruition in the rapid vacuum we would leave. We had our chance at rapid withdrawal years ago and for not taking that opportunity the Bush administration should be held accountable. In the present, however, its simply no longer a reasonable option.
The troops are coming home. Not as fast as some of you may like, but they are coming home.
If it takes the blessing of some "grand old men" (and one woman) to get our boys and girls home as soon as possible, so what?