Monday, November 06, 2006

Even Conservatives Are Calling Iraq a Failure

The chorus of voices lamenting our misadventure in Iraq grows almost daily. This editorial in the Military Times has gotten a great deal of attention:
“So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused and informed public opinion ... it is necessary to tell the hard bruising truth.”
That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Marguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War.
But until recently, the “hard bruising” truth about the Iraq war has been difficult to come by from leaders in Washington.
One rosy reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: “mission accomplished,” the insurgency is “in its last throes,” and “back off,” we know what we’re doing, are a few choice examples.
Steve Clemons at The Washington Note comments on the unseemly spectacle of neocons running for cover:
And now as the neocons are huddled in duck and cover positions, trying to blame Bush's "dysfunctional administration" for the failings in Iraq -- Richard Perle issues a salvo against Vanity Fair for issuing tidbits of his juicy assault on Bush "before the election."
The American Conservative has declared Iraq to be a failure:
Faced on Sept. 11, 2001 with a great challenge, President Bush made little effort to understand who had attacked us and why—thus ignoring the prerequisite for crafting an effective response. He seemingly did not want to find out, and he had staffed his national-security team with people who either did not want to know or were committed to a prefabricated answer.
As a consequence, he rushed America into a war against Iraq, a war we are now losing and cannot win, one that has done far more to strengthen Islamist terrorists than anything they could possibly have done for themselves. Bush’s decision to seize Iraq will almost surely leave behind a broken state divided into warring ethnic enclaves, with hundreds of thousands killed and maimed and thousands more thirsting for revenge against the country that crossed the ocean to attack them. The invasion failed at every level: if securing Israel was part of the administration’s calculation—as the record suggests it was for several of his top aides—the result is also clear: the strengthening of Iran’s hand in the Persian Gulf, with a reach up to Israel’s northern border, and the elimination of the most powerful Arab state that might stem Iranian regional hegemony.
When a leading conservative magazine make the case for change in such stark terms, we've gone well past a tipping point.

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