There's much ado about the "difficult" question of setting a timetable for the US withdrawal from Iraq. Joe- an online acquaintance of mine- blogged recently about this very thing, and I think his post is rather typical of many people's thoughts on the matter, albeit expressed in a more erudite, lucid manner. Joe weighs the options and while he doesn't exactly commit, he seems to settle on not instituting a timetable for withdrawal. His reasoning is really what I'm taking issue with. So, as promised, here is my crystal clear solution to this difficult issue in 1 1/2 points:
1. Do what the Iraqis want us to do. Not only is this our responsibility as an occupying force, but it's the only thing we should care about if we're doing this to "help" the Iraqis. 70% of all Iraqis think we should set a solid timetable for withdrawal regardless of the security situation. Um... so what exactly do we have to argue about?
1 1/2. Huge majorities of Iraqis think our presence makes the security situation worse. This is beating a dead horse (because point one is strong enough to stand on its own) but this is twice the reason to get out of Iraq (perhaps even now.) Sure, we might like to view ourselves as the last strand holding the thin veneer of Iraqi society together but that's pure fantasy. 64% of all Iraqis (ibid, your honor) think that crime and violent attacks would decrease as soon as we leave, and they also think they'd better able to cooperate in Parliament.
Of course, I may be emboldening the enemy as we speak (the 3:00 mark.)