Iraqi Time Lines
It's official; I'm tired of people talking about timelines for Iraq. That's right, I think such things are stupid and I'll tell you why. (You didn't expect a reason, did you?)
Imagine, if you will, that you have hired a contractor to do some work in your bathroom. The contractor said that the work would probably be done Thursday. Now, Thursday comes around and the contractor leaves. That's when you go into the bathroom and find the toilet sitting in the bathtub. There's a huge hole in the floor. Bare wires stick out of the walls. Was it right for the contractor to leave Thursday if the job wasn't done? I bet you think it's wrong.
Now, let's apply the idea to Iraq. There is a job to be done. Even if we can estimate a date of completion, that date is just an estimate. The only time to leave is when the job is finished. If some day of the week that a politician pulled out his butt comes up and we still have not accomplished our goals, we must stay.
Of course, that brings up another issue. We can only work toward our goals if those goals are very clearly defined. What must we accomplish before we leave? Do the goals allow for a stepped departure? Are there some goals that are optional or flexible? Regardless of the goals, we must have them outlined.
How about the establishing an Iraqi Republic? That would be good. How about building schools? Maybe we can do something to help, but maybe not a definite goal. Painting the desert a bright shade of purple would be an interesting goal, though I'm not sure I support that one. As long as the goal is clearly defined, it can be worked on and the troops can leave when it's done.
See, I told you picking a date for departure is retarded. Stay till the job's done and stop quibbling about stupid things such as distant future dates.