Now that it's becoming overwhelmingly obvious that we'll be starting to get out of Iraq before Bush's 2nd term ends,I'm glad to see that even the Democrats are becoming wary about the consequences, according to the New York Times:
John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, would keep troops in the country to intervene in an Iraqi genocide and be prepared for military action if violence spills into other countries. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York would leave residual forces to fight terrorism and to stabilize the Kurdish region in the north. And Senator Barack Obama of Illinois would leave a military presence of as-yet unspecified size in Iraq to provide security for American personnel, fight terrorism and train Iraqis....
Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico stands apart, having suggested that he would even leave some military equipment behind to expedite the troop withdrawal. In a forum at a gathering of bloggers last week, he declared: "I have a one-point plan to get out of Iraq: Get out! Get out!"
On the other side of the spectrum is Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, who has proposed setting up separate regions for the three major ethnic and religious groups in Iraq until a stable central government is established before removing most American troops.
Still, many Democrats are increasingly taking the position, in televised debates and in sessions with voters across the country, that ending a war can be as complicated as starting one.
I've opposed both wars on Iraq from the start, but I've also consistently opposed a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq War II for the reasons these politicians are beginning to cite. Too bad about Bill Richardson's position; I think he's an otherwise very good candidate.
Despite the fact that this war was a bad idea from the very beginning, despite the fact that there was completely inadequate planning for how it would end, the United States still bears responsibility for instigating the whole horrid sequence of events that leaves us in the impossibly difficult situation in which we find ourselves today. There's a lot of blood on our hands, and it's imperative that we minimize the amount of blood still to come, including that shed by any government that replaces the one we toppled.
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