Friday, December 02, 2005

The "Pottery Barn Rule" Does Not Apply to Iraq

The Pottery Barn rule, "If you break it you own it," has been cited many times as a reason for our staying in Iraq. Regardless of how we got there, now that we have "broken" Iraq, we have to stay there until we fix it. First articulated by Colin Powell, this rule is repeated by may people, including many Democrats.

Is it a valid rule? Not necessarily, according to Rosen in the Atlantic Monthly.

His reasons include:

1. Supposedly, our presence is preventing a civil war. Rosen says that the civil war is already under way.

2. President Bush has said repeatedly that our departure would embolden the insurgency. On the contrary, says Rosen. The insurgency is aimed at the Americans. It is revenge for the death and destruction rained on the Iraqis by the Americans. Departure of Americans would end the insurgency.

Rosen deals with several other issues. Over all, his article is persuasive.


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