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I was for this thing. I went out on a limb and backed it openly, saying in print what some hawkish liberals would only whisper. I wasn't the only well-known lefty and/or liberal to openly back the war—and I was far from the highest profile or most influential. It's fair to say that the opinion of one dope-smoking, knob-licking, sex-advice columnist didn't have too much of an impact in the Situation Room at the White House.

First things first: I wanted this thing to succeed. I still do. But it's time to declare victory and get the fuck out of Iraq.

Listening to the radio the other night, I learned that attacks on military convoys have gone up in the last 12 months. (On August 14, the New York Times reported that A U.S. general said that IED attacks on his convoys had doubled in a year.) How'd that happen? How many billions spent, and how many Americans and Iraqis dead, yet things just keep going from bad to worse? Well, $187 billion spent, if you want the numbers; and 1,850 U.S. troops have been killed; and estimates on Iraqi deaths range from 12,000 to 100,000.

It seems that the more corners we're told we've turned, the more walls we run into. And it keeps coming back to manpower—"just enough troops to lose," as Andrew Sullivan puts it on his website. There were never enough troops on the ground—and since this president never met a fuckup he wouldn't pin a Medal of Freedom on, the same fuckups who mismanaged this thing from the start are still grinning at us on TV. Rumsfeld is still at his desk in the Pentagon, while General Shinseki, who told congress that we would need 300,000 troops in Iraq to secure the country, is long gone.

Does anyone in the White House know what the fuck they're doing? One day it's the war on terror, the next day it's "a global struggle against the enemies of freedom," then it's back to the war on terror. We're going to set a date to start reducing troop levels—no, wait, we're not. Killing Saddam's sons will change things for the better—no, wait, it won't. Capturing Saddam will take the wind out of the sails of the insurgency. Wait, that didn't work either. Say, now that everyone in Iraq has a purple index finger, the insurgents are going to slink away. Nope, sorry. We clear a town of insurgents, but we don't have the manpower to hold it, so we pull the troops out and—surprise—the insurgents take the town back.

"Dead enders," "last throes," "losing steam"—on and on it goes, and the news doesn't change, or get any better. If it needs a new name perhaps we should call it the Groundhog Day War. Does anyone believe that the Iraqi constitution—postponed this week—is going to change anything?

George W. Bush is good at one thing and one thing only: winning elections, then coasting along. Forget the maybe/maybe not criminal outing of a CIA agent—the prosecution of this war is the administration's signature crime.

I no longer have any faith—none whatsoever—in the jackasses running this show. Does anyone? Do Republicans? Does Limbaugh, Hannity, or Coulter? Really?

Like all liberals who supported this thing because they believed in combating tyranny in the Middle East, and the terrorism our support for tyranny earned us, I'm more angry about George Bush's handling of this war than any liberal who opposed it. Liberal hawks wanted to win this more desperately than anyone else. But it's time to bring down the curtain. Why? Not because I hate Bush so much that I want to see my country lose this war. I love my country. And not because I don't care about the Iraqi people. I'm one of those liberals who backed the war for humanitarian reasons, among others.

No, we should get out now because, with the Bushies in power for the next three years, we're simply not going to win. It's just going to drag on and on. This war, as any idiot can see now (including this idiot), is either going to be nasty, brutal, and short—or nasty, brutal, and long. I prefer nasty, brutal, and short, if only because it will mean fewer Americans will die. And fewer Iraqis, too.

To paraphrase a war hero: How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for an incompetent?

savage@thestranger.com