This is a letter I wrote to the editor of the SB News-Press. Don't know if it will be published.
To the editor:
NBA coaches make big bucks because they anticipate the endgame. What’s The Worst, The Best, and The Most Likely outcome?
Applying that discipline to Iraq, The Worst is a twenty-point loss: Iraq becomes a “breeding ground for terrorists,” a threat to the Western World. The Best is a fourth-period win: Iraq becomes a “shining star of democracy,” dutifully pumping oil into Western corporate coffers. The Most Likely is a squeaker: A shakily independent Iraq that seeks to maximize oil profits while resenting Western domination.
It’s time to get real—as the Bush administration has not—and consider The Most Likely. How do we get there?
Do we throw more troops into the violence, to kill more Iraqis? No way. When you’re down by two with twelve seconds left, you don’t commit a flagrant foul. A “troop surge” will confirm America’s place as an outlaw occupier, as oppressive as the Soviets in Hungary, the Nazis in Warsaw.
Or do we play for a squeaker, by withdrawing our troops immediately, placing sufficient money—billions less than it takes to continue the occupation—in the hands of the “duly elected” government of Iraq as reparations for the massive damage we’ve done to their nation? We would thereby deflate the claims that we invaded to take control of Iraq’s strategic location and resources, while simultaneously quieting the constant drumbeat of hatred of America.
Isn’t it time we played for The Most Likely, to salvage Iraq—and America?