BFF. To follow-up on Matt's point that the Bush administration not only missed, but actively subverted our opportunity to withdraw from Iraq, it's really worth stating the implications of this clearly. For years, the sector of the left concerned with the appearance or existence of imperalist tendencies was mocked and pilloried -- remember Zell Miller foaming over hearing our troops called "occupiers" rather than "liberators"? But they were right.

The Bush administration is actively working against the wishes of the elected Iraqi government and the expressed preferences of the American public to pursue an indefinite occupation of Iraq. This is a perpetual deployment on behalf of no stated goals, no wish-list of accomplishments, and no obvious purpose. I can't say whether we want the military bases, the oil, the regional foothold, or anything else; but invading a country, overthrowing their government, and then remaining against the wishes of the elected successors is the very definition of an occupying power, and in any international context, the neocons would be quick to define it as a hostile occupying power. Folks sometimes wonder why we don't have an exit strategy. The answer, now obvious, is because we don't want one.

--Ezra Klein