After Abu Ghraib

According to “Teresa Nielsen Hayden”:, “it is now impossible for us to win this war.” I was one of the people who thought that it might be possible to win it — I opposed it on the grounds that the costs would be too high (they have been), that it was a distraction from the real war against Al Qaeda (it has been), and that it would make us _less_ safe, not more. But even given my reservations, I didn’t imagine things would turn out this badly. Maybe it’s my emotional reaction to the photos that’s tipping the scales, but Abu Ghraib, even more than Fallujah, does seem to be the point beyond which there can be no acceptable outcomes, from anyone’s perspective.

Credit should go to people like “Jim”: who not only opposed the war all along, but also predicted that there was no way it could be won. I used to think that, as bad an idea as the war was, we had to stay around to finish the job and rebuild Iraq. Now I’m on the fence as to whether picking up and leaving Iraq is best of a truly awful set of options, not only for us but for the Iraqi people as well.