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No way. Really?


Slowly, slowly they learn . . .

Joe Scarborough, former Reaganite Congressman from, if memory serves, Infested Swamp, Florida, and now an MSNBC host, writes:
For the past six years George W. Bush has been the target of ridicule from liberal circles. But now, instead of laughing at Democrats’ ill-directed arrogance, Republicans are quietly joining the left in questioning the President’s intellectual prowess.

The biggest knock on Bush’s brain is his lack of intellectual curiosity. Former administration officials still close to the White House will tell you Mr. Bush detests dissent, embraces a narrow world view and is intellectually incurious.
George W. Bush narrow and incurious? Huh. Who'd have thought it?

Meanwhile Rich Lowry at the National Review, the Bible of the Paleo-cons, is starting to think maybe, just maybe Iraq has some elements in common with Vietnam:
For the past 30 years, left-right debate over America’s wars has traveled a well-worn rut. The Left says whatever war is in question is “another Vietnam,” while the Right denies it. After three decades of being serially wrong, in the Iraq war liberals might be making their first-ever correct diagnosis.

In Iraq, as in Vietnam, we face a vicious insurgency that has worn down the will of the American public. In Iraq, as in Vietnam, we have failed to cut off the enemy from re-supply. In Iraq, as in Vietnam, we have had ever-shifting military strategies. In Iraq, as in Vietnam, we have had trouble building effective, clean governmental institutions in the soil of an alien culture. Most importantly, in Iraq, as in Vietnam, we face the prospect of defeat.
In fairness, as Lowry implies, the following were not "another Vietnam:" Panama, Granada, Haiti, Somalia, Colombia, Kosovo, Gulf 1, Afghanistan. But Lowry is a bit off about the consequences of defeat:
The consequences of that defeat would be remarkably similar to those in the wake of Vietnam. The prestige of the U.S. government would sink around the world, emboldening our enemies and creating a period of American doubt and retreat. A humanitarian catastrophe would likely befall Iraq, just as it did Vietnam. The only significant difference is that in Iraq, radical Islamists harbor ambitions to come to our shores and kill Americans, whereas the Viet Cong never wanted to follow us home.
That's kind of a major difference there, Rich. Next editorial maybe you'll come closer to accepting the fact that this is the greatest American foreign policy disaster since . . . well, since forever.

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“No way. Really?”

  1. Anonymous Anonymous Says:

    Another thing Iraq and Vietnam will soon have in common is a form of denial of defeat on the right. That is to say, they will say the US didn't really lose but was stabbed in the back by war critics and other pansies.
    Yet neither war could be won, short of nuking the countries. Some on the manly right will admit as much, and argue that we should have done just that.
    Nuts? You bet.

  2. Blogger Eric Blair Says:

    Naah, the greatest foreign policy disaster was WWI. Hell, the entire middle east is all fall-out from WWI. The Iraq war is nothing compared to that.

  3. Blogger M. Takhallus. Says:

    Anon:
    They're already doing that. Check out any of the pro-war blogs.

  4. Blogger M. Takhallus. Says:

    Eric:
    Yeah, but WW1 wasn't our foreign policy disaster, it belongs to Germany, France, Russia and of course the late, unlamented Austro-Hungarian empire. We showed up as a relief pitcher in the ninth inning.

    But setting that aside, yeah. WW1 gave us Bolsheviks and Nazis, not to mention the map of the middle east. That record of insanity will stand for quite a while. (I hope.)

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