When We Gonna Get Out of Iraq?


Last Friday, the House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution calling Iraq a (the?) central front in the War on Terror and saying no to any "abritrary date" for pulling troops out. The Dem leadership in the lower chamber has been calling for an announced timetable to get out.

This week, the Senate will take up the same issue, and the wrangling started up on the Sunday yak shows. As CNN reports, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is pushing to set dates for troop withdrawals:

"A timetable, some goals, some discussion with the Congress by the administration. The president might not have wanted to have done that early on, but three years and three months and a bogging down, I think, suggests that the time has come for some discussion as to where we go from here."

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) responded thusly:

"When you're seeing the Iraqis starting to step away from fear and starting to really cooperate like they have, when you see a new president really setting priorities on the electrical grid and water and better life for the people of Baghdad, and when you see progress, at least to some extent, I don't think now is the time to set a timetable."

The real rub: Support for the Iraq war is at 38 percent, with 54 percent of Americans opposing it, according to a recent CNN poll. There's an even 47 percent-47 percent split on whether troops should be home within a year.

More here.

Elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal opines that Iraq is not in any way, shape, or form like Vietnam, except that homegrown subversives are intent in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory:

Iraq is different from Vietnam in many ways, but its main similarity is that any defeat won't be inflicted on the battlefield. The U.S. won big military victories at least twice in Vietnam, in the 1968 Tet offensive and the 1972 bombing campaign, only to squander them because of defeatism in Washington. The U.S. has sacrificed too much already in Iraq to withdraw just when victory once again looks possible.

Go here to read the Journalites agree with Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) that withdrawal (or "retreat") is not "a smart strategy."

In March, around the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Reason asked libertarian-leaning folks what we should do now. Those answers are here.