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Brookings' O'Hanlon and Pollack, Crazy on Iraq

By       Message Michael Leon     Permalink
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Via MAL Contends

Michael E. O’Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack of the Brookings Institution have the most inane piece in today’s New York Times.

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They argue that “there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.”

Typical blather from two liberals hoping to make more appearances on the Sunday talk shows.

I counted 20 uses of the word “we” in their piece, though the imperial mindset and their sense of entiltement to invade any country the U.S. sees fit are more revealing than the use of their first-person voice.

We (the U.S.) lied; we invaded; we owe reparations; we are occupying a foreign land illegally; and we need to acknowledge that 100,000s of Iraqis were killed and maimed.
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They do not want us there. And it’s their oil.

Write the Brookings boys:

VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms.

Getting somewhere. Like where Juan Cole notes: “The aid organization Oxfam estimates that a third of Iraqis, about 8 million persons, are in urgent need of aid, lacking potable water and in many instances even food to eat.”
How about to that special place where 71 percent of Iraqis want U.S. troops out within a year (polled in September 2006).

Oh right, children starving, Iraqi civilians being killed, and Iraqis' wishes do not figure in O’Hanlon and Pollack's military terms. But their deaths and suffering are predictable consequences of war, in you know, human terms.
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That is the most important thing Americans need to understand.




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Michael Leon is a writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. His writing has appeared nationally in The Progressive, In These Times, and CounterPunch. He can be reached at

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