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August 01, 2006



"But this is the right question, not whether withdrawal looks weak or cowardly. Perseverance in a misguided cause can only lower the world's opinion."

Professor Miron,

It doesn't matter if the French think a little less ill of us. What does matter is whether our enemies fear us because that fear is an invaluable deterrent.

Weakness invites aggression and your "cut and run" strategy would certainly embolden our enemies and demoralize our allies. Al Quaeda, North Korea and Iran would all conclude that the Unitd Stated doesn't have the stomach to see a fight through and our potential friends would learn that we cannot be relied on.

It is wishful thinking that, having gone into Iraq, we can just abandon it without disastrous consequences. It would become a safe harbor for terrorists, just like Afghanistan was, and we would have to go in again.

Mike Huben

I suspect that Friedman's idea of success is not "making Iraq better" in some way. I think he means that the oil should end up in the hands of western corporations rather than providing resources for a possibly hostile dictator or government. These corporations can then buy off threats to their oil revenues or hire their own local mercenaries to kill off threats.

The oil wealth going to western rich folks rather than serving public purposes: that would be Friedman's success. He wouldn't want another Venuzuela.



I agree with you re: deterrence, but why must the mode of deterrence be a costly and lengthy war in Iraq? Why not deterrence at the border, in aircraft, etc? Don't you think we could get more deterrence at a lower cost this way?

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