[Updated] The Christian Science Monitor carries a troubling summary of news stories on our military adventure in Iraq. “[U]nless the new Iraq government gives Iraqis something to believe in,” a senior official said, “‘I think that this could still fail.'” Of course, Iraqi insurgents don’t accept the “Pottery Barn analogy” which claims, “We broke it, we bought it;” they just want us out, now.
Even the Shi’ites, who largely prevailed in the dubious January election, and are friendly with Iran, have opposed the US presence, demanding “a timetable for US military withdrawal.” An Associated Press story reports that “[t]housands of Shiites stomped on American flags painted on roads outside mosques in a show of anger over the U.S. presence in Iraq.”
Even if Iraq was available for purchase under the “Pottery Barn analogy,” it would be at a price the US is unlikely to be able to afford. Our involvement there is unsustainable, recruiting is “more difficult than at any point since the end of the draft in 1973,” and we will have to decide between two unpalatable (to the Bush administration) options: imposing a draft or retreating.