Out of Iraq

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In the wake of the Bush administration’s sort of announcement that it has plans to draw down troops from Iraq by the end of 2006, here are two worthwhile posts on the subject, by Dan Darling and Mark Safranski—both conservatives. It really does seem that the wretched state of the Reserves and the National Guard, along with GOP concerns about the 2006 midterms, is the main driver here.

As to what comes next, I won’t try to predict. John Robb thinks the U.S. is going to stage a “controlled chaos exit,” relying on Shiite and Kurdish paramilitaries to keep order as the Iraqi state dissolves. Ayad Allawi is worried that death squads will run rampant. Juan Cole reports that the U.S. may make a stronger push to negotiate with Sunni insurgents. And Seymour Hersh is reporting that the U.S. will continue to use massive airpower to bomb insurgents, and whoever else happens to get in the way, after the draw-down. Understandably, he—along with a number of Air Force officers, apparently—thinks this is a bad idea.

Well, maybe any or all of those things will come to pass. Nadezhda seems to have the best prediction here, though: “[F]or at least the next six months, it’s hard not to predict a continued absence of a clear strategy. In turn, that means a continued reliance on messy improvisation, with the quality of outcomes in part dependent on the talents of various improvisers.” How does the saying go? “I don’t see any method at all here, sir.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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