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John Burns of the NYT on troop withdrawal
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Of course no one here will listen to him, but just for grins, his assessment of the consequences of withdrawing American troops from Iraq. From the Charlie Rose Show on PBS:
BURNS: “[T]he one thing I think that virtually all of us who work here or have worked here for any length of time agree is that the levels of violence would eclipse by quite a long way the bloodshed we`ve seen to date [if U.S. combat forces withdraw from Iraq in the near future].”

ROSE: “Can you give me more understanding of what you mean by that?”

BURNS: “Well, I think, quite simply that the United States armed forces here — and I find this to be very widely agreed amongst Iraqis that I know, of all ethnic and sectarian backgrounds — the United States armed forces are a very important inhibitor against violence. I know it`s argued by some people that they provoke the violence. I simply don`t believe that to be in the main true.

“I think it`s a much larger truth that where American forces are present, they are inhibiting sectarian violence, and they are going after the people, particularly al-Qaeda and the Shiite death squads, who are provoking that violence. Remove them or at least remove them quickly, and it seems to me — controversial as this may seem to be saying in the present circumstances, while I know there`s this agonizing debate going on in the United States about this — that you have to weigh the price.

"And the price would very likely be very, very high levels of violence, at least in the short run and perhaps, perhaps - perhaps for quite a considerable period of time...

“[T]here`s no doubt that the price of staying is very, very high in American blood, to begin with, and American treasure too. But it seems to me incontrovertible that the most likely outcome of an American withdrawal any time soon would be cataclysmic violence. And I find that to be widely agreed amongst Iraqis, including Iraqis who strongly opposed the invasion...

“General Lynch feels, as do the other commanders of the surge, that they have made substantial progress. And that they`re likely to make more if they`re given time. They know they don`t have beyond March of next year because March 31st, '08 is the deadline the Pentagon has set as a matter of troop limits to how long they can support the surge. But they believe that if they`re given that amount of time, they can make a real difference in the levels of violence. They`ll have more time to train up Iraqi forces to come in behind them and hold those areas...”
Funny that ... he directly contradicts his editorial board which is sure keeping our troops "will only make things worse".

You can watch the interview here.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Well he’s fired...
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
So their main Iraq correspondent who has been in Iraq for several years disagrees with the editorial board based in NYC.

Who should I believe?
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Why, the editorial board of course, like Karl Marx reporting on the Crimean War from London, they know all they need to know right there in their New York offices.

Silly conservative.
Written By: looker
URL: http://
looker, you missed:
Silly conservative.
Tricks are for libs!

Yours, Tom Perkins
Written By: Tom Perkins
How can you believe Burns? He’s hunkered down in the Green Zone taking his reports from Iraqi stringers, who all lie!

And should you hear the same thing from embeds or independents who are in the field like, say, Michael Yon, why, then they’re both either lying or wrong. See, we know what we believe and even a NYT reporter obviously speaking against interest is simply not credible.

Y’all got that?
Written By: spongeworthy
URL: http://

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