Before the release of the ISG report, Spencer Ackerman predicted its real impact would be turning withdrawal into a “respectable” point of view. I don’t think it’s quite happened yet, but we do see more and more folks throwing in the towel. Andrew Sullivan stands for nothing if not the elite consensus, and he’s had enough:
The moral cost of withdrawal is huge. We should do all we can to provide amnesty for any Iraqis who have been loyal to us. (It does not surprise me that we shamefully haven’t. This is the Bush administration.) But the moral cost of plowing on is also exponential. It may merely delay the day of reckoning. It risks sending young Americans to die in order for a president to save face, not in order to win. The truth is: we have lost this battle, if not the war.
Escalation, at this point, is just throwing good money after bad. The good news, for hawks, is that it’s not their money that they’re throwing, not their lives that they’re ruining.