Some serious questions about Iraq for the serious people …

Let's pause for a moment to reflect on just how damn good the White House still is at steering the nation's political discourse. Following the elections, the conventional wisdom was that Rove and Co. had lost their mojo, but in just 8 short weeks since they've managed to shift the conversation from how and when Washington will be forced to respond to Americans' demand that the occupation of Iraq come to a conclusion to a heated debate about whether escalating the war with 30,000 more troops is just an honest case of wishful thinking or a profoundly stupid and transparent ploy to buy enough time to lay the disaster off on another president in 2008 (it's the latter).

It's worked out great; as Glenn Greenwald points out, the Washington Post editorial board thinks that the idea of "surging" more troops is based on a "serious argument," and that John McCain and Holy Joe Lieberman are "principled and even courageous in making it."

[Deep sigh]


But the great unanswered -- and largely unasked -- question remains: what do we hope to achieve by delaying the inevitable withdrawal?

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