Shorter Frank Rich: Iraq is FUBAR. Let's just get the hell out.
I call him an honorary blogger because this week's column is all linky. Like a real blogger, linking to the sources of his factual assertions. I haven't seen any of the Times columnists do this before. Brooks couldn't, because he makes up most of the facts in BoBo's World. Friedman, the six-monther, could keep recycling his links every six months. Dowd's links would be all snarky. But I digress.
Frank Rich, NYTimes: Supporting Our Troops Over a Cliff (TimesSelect wall)
The marriage-amendment campaign will be kicked off tomorrow with a Rose Garden benediction by the president. Though the amendment has no chance of passing, Mr. Bush apparently still thinks, as he did in 2004, that gay-baiting remains just the diversion to distract from a war gone south.
So much for the troops. For all the politicians' talk about honoring those who serve, Washington's record is derelict: chronic shortages in body and Humvee armor; a back-door draft forcing troops with expired contracts into repeated deployments; inadequate postwar health care and veterans' benefits. And that's just the short list. Now a war without end is running off the rails and putting an undermanned army in still greater jeopardy. "Today, the Americans are just one more militia lost in the anarchy," Nir Rosen, who has covered Iraq since the invasion, wrote in The Washington Post last weekend.
We can't pretend we don't know this is happening. It's happening in broad daylight. We know that "as the Iraqis stand up, we'll stand down" is fiction, not reality. We know from the Pentagon's own report to Congress last week that attacks on Americans and Iraqis alike are at their highest since American commanders started keeping count in 2004. We know that even as coalition partners like Italy and South Korea bail out, we are planning an indefinite stay of undefined parameters: the 104-acre embassy complex rising in the Green Zone is the largest in the world, and the Decider himself has said that it's up to "future presidents and future governments of Iraq" to decide our exit strategy.
...[A] country that truly supports the troops has no choice but to start bringing them home.
Ed Strong usually has the full column, though it's not up yet tonight.