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At Least a Little Bit of Sanity
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I'm currently watching Meet the Press, and Tim Russert just asked Senate Foreign Relations Chair Dick Lugar how long it's going to take to establish a functioning democracy in Iraq.

He said he thought we should frame this in terms of years. He said he'd put it in the ballpark of about five years.

And this is the first time I've heard anybody in our government actually come out with a time estimate, and a realistic one at that.

The Bush Administration has been reticent about putting any kind of time frame on rebuilding and democratizing Iraq. But anybody with an ounce of sense must realize that it cannot be done in a matter of months. That's simply ridiculous.

The Europeans may not want to hear that we're going to be in Iraq that long. The Arab world may not want to hear it. And the American public may not even want to hear it (though as I've said, anybody who supported the war should realistically have been prepared for a lengthy stay).

But we need to be saying it, loud and clear. At least one of our government representatives had the perspective and guts to spell it out.

Update: Here's the news story on Lugar's comments.

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