I don't know if the U.S. has a chance to make Iraq safe for democracy. But President Bush's troop buildup and strategy of placing more soldiers and marines in the neighborhoods that are rife with violence and conflict is worth a try.
I have been in some of these places, and there is still no electricity. Unemployment, especially among the young, is more than seventy percent. What if the streets were really safe? What if daily life began to resemble something like normal?
This last chance will cost American lives. And if my kid were there, I'd be saying, "What the hell have we been doing the last four years?" No doubt this war has been mismanaged. As John McCain has said over and over, there have never been enough troops there.
Does President Bush deserve another chance to get it right? That is the wrong question. It's America's war, America's colossal mistake, and I believe we owe it to the Iraqis to get it right.
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By Harry Smith