Over the next few days, I'll post a few expert opinions offered to Tim Dickinson (Rolling Stone, 3/22/07) regarding the range of scenarios for Iraq, from best to worst. Let's start with the best, if you can call it that.
- It's not a question of whether we're going to leave Iraq - it's a question of when. And everybody in Iraq knows that. So they say, "Fine. We'll stock arms and wait for you guys to leave. And then we'll do what we want." - Gen. Tony McPeak, member of Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War.
- All the things they say will happen are already happening. Iraq is a base for terrorists; there is already civil war. We've got 150,000 troops there now and we can't stop it. - Richard Clarke, Counterterrorism Czar 1993-2003
- Even in the best-case scenario, the disaster we're seeing now is nothing compared to the disaster that we'll see after we leave. The real issue here here is American interest: The longer we stay, the more people we get killed. I don't think the longer we stay, the better we make Iraq. Proably the reverse. - Michael Sheuer, Former Chief of CIA's Osama bin Laden unit
- There's going to be a genocide of Sunnis in Baghdad. The Shia have the numbers to do it; they can absorb all the Sunni car bombs it takes. The Americans aren't capable of stopping it; they can't tell a Sunni from a Shia. The best you can hope for is that it doesn't spill into the neighboring countries. - Juan Cole, Prof. of modern Middle East history, U. of Michigan