Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Reality check

Posted by pennywit on March 20, 2008

This morning, three different national editorial pages offer three different perspectives on the Iraq war five years on, but only one newspaper offers a dollop of common sense. The New York Times excoriates the Bush administration for not paying attention to facts. At the Wall Street Journal editorial desk, hope springs eternal. And the Washington Post bursts with righteous anger as it calls Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and President Bush to task for living in fantasy worlds.

Of the three, the Post makes the most sense. Five years into the invasion and occupation of Iraq, this nation’s leaders owe it to their constituents to move beyond swapping blame for the Iraq situation and arguing about how we got there. As the Post urges, they also need to move beyond the idiotic dichotomy of “stay the course” vs. “withdraw now” that has dominated airwaves for the past five years. Neither blame nor fantasies serve the American electorate.

I do not argue that America should not reflect on the Iraq invasion and its consequences. But with the exception of a few bright spots, the intense partisan rhetoric has shed much heat and little light on the Iraq situation. Moreover, the “lessons learned” examination of Iraq can wait. More immediate and more essential is coming to grips with reality. The United States toppled the Iraqi government and has continued interests both in that nation and in the greater region. How will it manage those interests going forward?

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6 Responses to “Reality check”

  1. Ara Rubyan said

    I think it does matter how we got into this war — and not for the reasons you might think. Set aside the notion of accountability. I believe very strongly in it, but my voice is in the minority.

    Instead, let’s focus on the big picture for a moment. To me, the real point of looking back is to help us look forward. If you think we’re fighting the right war, then you probably believe that challenges we face are purely tactical ones.

    In other words, if you focus on doing the same thing except somehow doing it “better,” there will never be any clear definition of victory or success. As a result, success will simply be defined as maintaining a messed-up policy indefinitely.

    I could go on, but I think you catch my drift.

  2. Your drift seems to be Pennywit’s, Ara.

  3. Ara Rubyan said

    Couldn’t say. Don’t know ’em.

  4. Babylon said

    Literally, not rhetorically, I wonder who, out there, believes in “survival of the fittest”?

  5. Well what do you mean “believes in,” Babylon?

  6. hydralisk said

    Fantasy no good. Probably it’s a good thing that we the American public during times like these get ourselves in the mood to put those of us best acquainted with wartime reality–our military heroes–into the top commanding office, as we seem likely to do this year.

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