Would Defeat in Iraq Be So Bad?

Viewpoint: The dominoes didn't fall after Vietnam, argues Leslie Gelb, former head of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the same might be true in Iraq.

To me, the relentless mud slide of insurgency and civil war in Iraq is leading to unacceptable strategic disaster for the U.S. There appear to be no viable paths to follow in order to avoid it. Neither "staying the course"--whatever that Bush strategy now means--nor the Democrats' idea of exiting by timetables offers a semblance of success. Both approaches produce only nightmares: general chaos; Iraq's center taken over by terrorists emboldened by victory over America, their pockets bulging with Iraqi oil money; southern Iraq controlled by pro-Iranians or Iran itself; and Iraq's neighbors picking at the nation's carcass until regional war erupts...

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