Friday, May 14, 2004

Matthew Yglesias - How to Get Out of Iraq

Matthew Yglesias has a roundup of suggestions by various individuals (11 at last count) about how a US disengagement from Iraq might be effected. I've linked to only one of the posts, but the rest should be easy enough to find from there.

The good thing about Yglesias is that while he's a partisan Democrat, and does hold more than a few statist views that make me cringe with horror, he is at least the calm, reflective sort, open to empirical facts, rather than an ideological attack-dog like Atrios and company. In particular, he doesn't let his hatred of an administration cloud his ability to appreciate that whatever policy America decides upon will have major effects on the lives of Iraqis, and that a hasty American pullout with tail tucked between legs is not going to magically make everything better.

As for myself, I'm not going to claim that I know for certain what course would be best to follow in Iraq, especially as I am neither on the ground there nor endowed with access to comprehensive information about what's going on in the country. What I can say with absolute certainty is that given what we know about ethnic fractionalization and governance, an Iraq that is not partitioned into at least a Kurdish and an Arab portion, or, failing partition, governed as a loose confederation, is destined to fall either into another round of absolutist despotism or into civil war. Why the administration feels obliged to prostrate itself before the false god of a unitary Iraq is completely beyond me.