Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
No more time for partisan bickering
By DAVID IGNATIUS Washington Post Writers Group
Published July 13, 2007
WASHINGTON - The last time I remember Ambassador Ryan Crocker warning about a possible bloodbath, it was in September 1982 as the Sabra-Shatila massacre was taking place in Beirut. So when Crocker tells the New York Times that a rapid U.S. withdrawal from Iraq could produce a human tragedy on a far larger scale, people should take notice. He has seen it happen before.
Iraq's foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, described the dangers starkly on Monday, in explaining what might happen if the United States withdraws its troops too quickly from Iraq: "The dangers could be a civil war, dividing the country, regional wars and the collapse of the state."
Those are the stakes as the Senate debates the military authorization bill this week. The daily death toll measures the cost America and the Iraqis already are paying, but Crocker and Zebari are right in warning that a sudden U.S. withdrawal could be even more costly: The violence that is destroying Iraq could spread throughout the region - an inferno stretching across Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Syria and even Egypt and Saudi Arabia - with devastating consequences for global security.
Getting into Iraq was President Bush's decision, and history will judge his administration harshly for its mistakes in the postwar occupation. But getting out of Iraq is now partly in the hands of Democrats who control both houses of Congress. History will be equally unforgiving if their agitation for withdrawal results in a pell-mell retreat that causes lasting damage.
The Iraq debate in Washington this week is intense and angry. But the rhetorical fireworks mask the fact that there's an emerging consensus on what the final result should be. Leaders on both sides endorse the broad strategy proposed last December by the Iraq Study Group: a gradual withdrawal that shifts the American mission to training, force protection, counterterrorism and border security.
It used to be said of the Palestinians that "they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity." Sadly, that has been true for the Bush administration during the past year in its failure to shape a bipartisan policy on Iraq. The release of the Baker-Hamilton report last December provided an opportunity; Bush missed it. Another chance arose in late May, when Bush himself proclaimed that his strategy for the future was "Plan B-H," meaning Baker-Hamilton; but he didn't follow through.
There's broad agreement on the need to put Iraq policy on a sustainable path that will gradually withdraw American forces without producing the bloodbath. But Bush and the Democrats are running out of opportunities to make it happen.