I stole this graphic from Matthew Yglesias, who stole it from Brian Beutler, and frankly, if you have a blog, you should steal it, too. If ever there was a good visual guide depicting the slow, steady disintegration of Iraq, this is it. As Matt says, “if there ever was a time when the situation was amenable to ‘fixing’ it was a long, long time ago before things metastasized and anything resembling the current dynamic took hold.”
What we would have to do to stabilize Iraq is unring the metaphorical bell. We have to make it so that the last three years of sectarian violence never happened. We can’t do that. And all we do in maintaining a troop presence in Iraq is put our own soldiers in harm’s way, while the situation slowly spirals further out of control.