Date: August 22nd. 2005
Sent to but not published by the New York Times

The war in Iraq is lost.

We lost the war when we entered it for false reasons.

We lost the war when we let Iraqis riot in the aftermath of the downfall of Saddam.

We lost the war when we failed to provide enough men and equipment to occupy the country.

We lost the war when the UN quit Iraq after the destruction of its staff and offices in Baghdad.

And our biggest defeat, we lost the war when we abandoned our principles at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.

We should withdraw now from Iraq. With US troops there holding the circle, the Iraqis have little incentive to develop their own competencies in internal control. With the US still there, the Iraqis have little incentive to make the compromises needed to achieve a stable federal democracy. The Iraqis need to be left to stand on their own two feet.