Juan Cole provides a roundup of what Democratic candidates said about Iraq in yesterday's debate. What jumped out at me was how much most are still attached to the illusion that the U.S. controls its own fate in the Iraq devastation we have made. They don't get it or they refuse to level with us: when you lose a war -- and the U.S. has lost a war -- you lose control.
- BIDEN: you cannot pull out of Iraq without the follow-on that's been projected here, unless you have a political solution. ...
- CLINTON: the best estimate is that we can probably move a brigade a month, if we really accelerate it, maybe a brigade and a half or two a month. That is a lot of months. My point is: They're not even planning for that in the Pentagon.
- OBAMA: We've been talking about Iraq -- one of the first things that I would do in terms of moving a diplomatic effort in the region forward is to send a signal that we need to talk to Iran and Syria because they're going to have responsibilities if Iraq collapses. They have been acting irresponsibly up until this point. But if we tell them that we are not going to be a permanent occupying force, we are in a position to say that they are going to have to carry some weight, in terms of stabilizing the region. . .
- RICHARDSON: The diplomatic work cannot begin to heal Iraq, to protect our interests, without troops out.