Detroit Free Press: Time to Pull Out
Detroit Free Press
Progress in Iraq falls far short
July 13, 2007

No matter how you do the math, eight out of 18 with mixed results on the other two is not a glass half-full, even if President George W. Bush chooses to see it that way. There has not been satisfactory progress in Iraq on 10 of the 18 benchmarks set by Congress, according to a report Thursday. There is little more than hope behind the president's belief that things will be better by September, when the U.S. military issues yet another report.

And how many Americans will die in the meantime? How many Iraqis? How many soldiers and civilians will have their lives forever altered by a bullet or bomb or the injury or death of a loved one? At $10 billion a month, how much more of the U.S. Treasury will be poured into trying to stop a vicious civil war in a foreign land? How much more effectively could American resources be used to secure this country against terrorism?

It is understandably difficult for the president to declare Iraq a "lost cause" in terms of the decisive victory and thriving democracy he envisioned five years ago. And Bush is correct that presidents are elected to do what they believe is right, not what is popular.

But it is not right to maintain a costly course that is failing to deliver results. Even the modest progress to date could easily evaporate.

"There is no near-term answer," Daniel Goure, vice president of the Lexington Institute, a military policy research group, told the Associated Press. "Does that mean that you can't win this thing? This is winnable -- in about 10 years. But you could lose it ... in about an hour and a half."

It is time to start getting America out of Iraq, to stop debating whether the glass is half empty or half full, and start to drain it.

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