by Ian Welsh, Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 02:05:25 AM EDT
Matt Stoller has an article in which he notes that the Democratic front runner, Hilary Clinton, is effectively for continuing the war. What's interesting to me is not so much Matt's article but the responses in comments.
It seems a lot of commenters, presumably Democrats, think that the US has to keep troops in Iraq to fight al-Qa'eda.
I am, frankly, floored by the sublime stupidity. Not only is this buying, lock stock and barrel, into Republican framing, but it's simply incorrect.
The US will never, ever, defeat al-Qa'eda in Iraq. They haven't in the years they've been there, and as long as they have significant numbers of troops there odds are very strong al-Qa'eda will also be there. The only people who can ever defeat al-Qa'eda in Iraq, are Iraqis, because only Iraqis will actually have the necessary informant network. Since al-Qa'eda is a relatively small movement in Iraq, defeating it militarily isn't that difficult - if you can find it. It doesn't take US military forces, any of the major Iraqi militias have the necessary military strength to do it so long as none of the other major militia's protect it.