But the complexities of the situation make every possible decision one that hurts a lot of people and pleases few. James Traub lays out the nature of the problems. They remain complex, but at least he gives us some clue. Think about this:
The Hippocratic tie-breaker—"Above all, do no harm”--works well enough among merely bad choices, but not here, where we’ve already done immense harm and are bound to a great deal more no matter how we choose.Go read James Traub's post at TPM Cafe.
Instead, we have to ask both how to mitigate the harm and how we will apportion it between the Iraqis and ourselves. And also: Are there short-term harms we must accept in order to avoid much greater damage down the road?
Read quickly. The situation in Iraq changes so fast that this may not be all that accurate in a few months.