One of my classmates today quoted veteran New Yorker political commentator Elizabeth Drew writing in the New York Review of Books:
Almost everyone in Washington understands, even if they don’t say it, that there is no real solution to what now seems to be the most disastrous foreign policy decision in American history. It’s now a matter of how to bring America’s involvement to an end with the fewest bad consequences. Despite all the studies and reports and amendments, events in Iraq itself will likely define the outcome.
US deaths in Iraq have amounted to 3064 over nearly four years.
Grant’s attack at Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864, which cost the lives of 10,000 Union soldiers (from a population of 26 million) in twenty minutes was a disaster. The loss of three thousand citizens of a nation of 300 million, a country which loses 26,000 lives annually in traffic accidents, over the course of nearly four years is something very different from Cold Harbor.
Iraq has not been a military disaster. US forces have suffered no battlefield defeat. Our troops are not demoralized. And there is no possibility whatsoever of our enemies achieving victory by military means.
Their only hope for victory, for bringing about the disaster of US withdrawal which has not yet occurred, is via the cowardice, defeatism, and disloyalty of our own chattering class elite.