Negotiations for a law to specify how oil revenue will be shared in Iraq are once again breaking down, once again casting the failure of the surge into stark relief. Bush meanwhile, has decided that his plan to end the surge when it’s logistically impossible to continue it is a moderate “way to bring America together.”
At the same time, Barack Obama’s latest, most detailed scheme for withdrawing troops from Iraq isn’t perfect in my view, but does meet all of the whining objections from the dwindling liberal hawk caucus that anti-war people are ignoring the humanitarian aspects to the situation. Obama’s plan won’t magically eliminate the now-inevitable continuation of the massive suffering that’s been taking place for years now in Iraq, but it is the most thoughtful program out there for how to mitigate it.
Of course, since the political purpose of raising these humanitarian issues is just to try to build political support for an open-ended military deployment whose relationship to humanitarian goals is very hazy, the existence of an actual plan of humanitarian action isn’t going to actually shelter Obama from these criticisms.