Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Good thoughts on the war

John Derbyshire on The Corner:

Ramesh: While my scorn for the "Bush lied, men died" gang is every bit as great as yours, it is a fact that no American, in March 2003, thought we would have a huge army planted in Iraq 2½ years later. The administration did not even hint at such a possibility -- not because they are liars, but because, like the rest of us, they did not envision it. If they had, I doubt Congress would have approved the war. (I would not have.)

Now the administration is being driven by events, and making up war aims as it goes along. Jihadis, and squabbling Iraqi politicians, are essentially calling the shots. The tragedy of this war, in my view, is that the salutary effect it might have had on Middle East Muslims, if done properly, has been frittered away by this pointless, and apparently endless, and increasingly embarrassing, occupation. I would much rather we had done ten times as much damage, killed ten times as many Iraqis, and left ten times as quickly. That is the war I should have liked to see; that is the war that might have done us some good and advanced our interests. This is a half-hearted war, a nice war, a lawyer’s war.

He forgets to mention the active sedition of the Left, the Dems and the MSM to undermine the war effort and give comfort to our enemies for the petty reason that they can't accept that as weak and lame as Dubya was, they put up a even lamer candidate who was such a transparent phony and liar that people decided to stick with the known quantity than gamble on someone who was clearly worse.

Rich Lowry, OTOH, disagrees strongly:

Now, I obviously disagree with you, but I think you make some valid points. You're right in your post responding to Ramesh that the administration didn't expect what we've gotten in Iraq, and that if everyone knew there were no WMDs and we'd be fighting a bloody insurgency for years, there would have been no congressional authorization. But you have to operate on the information you have at the time, which is always imperfect.

I understand why you would want to topple Saddam and leave, having sent a stern message to the world (and you're right that we should have killed more enemy at the beginning). But we would have been leaving chaos, civil war, and perhaps another Baathist regime. Now, I know you will say, “So what? They're Iraqis. I don't care about Iraqis.”

But this is one your big blind spots. The nature of regimes matters--not just for people living in the countries in question but for those of us who want to see jihadis dead.

Read it all and ponder it a bit. Then flip on the Randi Rhodes show and hear all the lies that the children's money can buy!

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