I think Sen. Chuck Hegel is right when he says that Iraq is looking more and more like Vietnam, and that we need to figure out what to do. He says that we should not destabilize the Middle East: that the longer we stay, the more like is destabilization. I think that leaving any time soon is more likely to produce destabilization than staying. We need a strong hand to put down the insurgency and prevent Iraq from degenerating into civil war under a fundamentalist Islamic government.

In the Washington Post, Kissinger raises the question of what criteria we use to determine whether we are winning in Iraq. If we don’t win, Iraq may degenerate into civil war, and the radicals will become ascendant in the Middle East. It would be ironic if the domino theory that politicians used as a justification for the Vietnam War turned out to be more applicable to the Iraq war.

Now is when we need the support of the international community, but because Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld gave the finger to the UN and the international community, we are unlikely to get much support. It may be that they will be so worried about the world instability that the US bull-in-the-china-shop approach has created that they will do something, if only for their own self preservation. But sending John Bolton to the UN is yet another example of Bush giving the finger to the international community, making the cooperation of other countries less likely.

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