Juan Cole's got a plan that would get us out of Iraq without making us look like idiots. It's not quick, it's not cheap, but it's way better than most of the alternatives. The key is that the Iraqis really must pull together something like a civil society and functioning state, and we can help them do that if we actually make some demands. The other key is that we have to be willing to treat the new government like a client ally, rather than a colony or a fully independent state.
Oh, and though he's right that the security of oil infrastructure is crucial to world stability, he needs to tie that more closely to his point about abandoning the linkage of aid to US corporate involvement: the reason why so many people think we went to war to control oil production is that we turned over control of oil production to our companies (which also have defense and civil engineering divisions....)
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