Directions on Iraq: conclusion

The colloquium is now closed although I’m sure the discussions will go on. I would like to thank my primary contributors John Burgess, Michael Cook, James Hamilton, Shivaji Sondhi, and Non Partisan Pundit for their fine presentations, those who brought potential adjunct posts to my attention, and all of those who took part in the discussions either here or on the various home blogs of the contributors and adjunct bloggers.

There’s no lack of opinions about what to do or what to think about Iraq these days. The blogosphere is full of them. I’ve written a bushel of them myself. The Iraq Study Group just produced a report consisting mostly of such opinions.

Whether we send another 100,000 American soldiers to Iraq or withdraw all of our forces tomorrow or anything in between or something drastically different, Iraq and the Middle East will continue to be important to us for the foreseeable future.

Fortunately, the blogosphere is a marvelous resource. In the interest of generating more light than heat I decided to try to engage some of the resources that the blogosphere had to offer and I sent out a score or more of invitations to people with genuine background, credentials, and experience on Iraq and the Middle East and the issues that need to be considered in forming an opinion.

Some responded and this colloquium has consisted of the contributions of those who did.

The first installment consisted of an introduction of the contributors and the first set of primary contributions and adjunct posts. The second recapped some discussion that had taken place on the first set of posts. The third installment consisted of some additional thoughts from the primary contributors and the fourth installment consisted of an interesting proposal for revising our strategy in Iraq and some intriguing adjunct posts. If you’ve just stumbled across the colloquium please take advantage of some of the fine contributions by linking over to the various installments of the colloquium.

I’m not interested in counting political coup or peripheral skirmishes with the press or other bloggers. I am interested in the welfare of my country and that of the people of Iraq. I think it’s clear that events in Iraq are very, very serious and not trending in a positive direction nearly fast enough if at all. Perhaps the posts here have provided some reason for hope and some food for thought.

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