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Iraq ain't Korea

The Bush administrations latest attempt at finding positive spin on Iraq is to compare it to Korea.  Great, that means we'll be there for 50 years and counting...

I agree with TIME magazine that this analogy doesn't hold.  The biggest differences are that 1) Our forces in Korea are enforcing a peace that has been in place since the cease fire at the end of the Korean War, 2) The South Koreans want us there and manage domestic security in their country just fine, 3) our regional allies (like Japan) also want us there and 4) our presence in Korea is relatively small and safe.

Will Iraq turn into Korea?  If it is going to do that, we'd have to sign a peach treaty with someone.  Who will sign with us?  We'd have to engage deeply with regional powers, including Iran, to lower the tensions.  That's just starting to happen.  And, we'd have to be welcome by the Iraqis and Iraq's neighbors.  Not likely.  And, time won't change that.

Let's be honest with ourselves -- we broke it, and we own it.  Now, we have to be proactive to fix it.  That will take a combination of a military presence which ramps down over time and strong diplomacy with the Iraqi government and all the countries in the region.


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