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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Quote du jour

The longer I'm here, the more I'm persuaded that Iraq cannot be analyzed by these kind of discrete benchmarks.
US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker, dictating to NY Times stenographers from Saddam's former Republican Palace (his Democratic Palace was leveled by cruise missiles in the first days of the war).

What Crocker is saying, I think, is that the longer he and his fellow invaders are there the more obvious it becomes that no benchmarks will ever be reached.

Elsewhere from the article:
On the potential for worsening violence after an American withdrawal from Iraq, [Crocker] said: "You have to look at what the consequences would be, and you look at those who say we could have bases elsewhere in the country. Well yes, we could, but we would have the prospect of American forces looking on while civilians by the thousands were slaughtered. Not a pretty prospect."
As opposed to now, where American forces don't just look on (though they do plenty of that), but they also take part in the slaughtering and being slaughtered.
Mr. Crocker said there were better ways to measure progress, including the levels of security across Iraq, progress in delivering basic services like electricity to the population, and steps by Iraqi leaders from rival groups to work more collaboratively.
So how's all that going, Mr. Crocker? Care to set some benchmarks? Got any evidence that the American presence has improved any of that? Why didn't you bring this up before?