A Fair Question
Posted by JohnNorris
The comments on the conduct of the war have been withering. One Canadian general has suggested that the strategy “will be used for generations as an example of how not to wage a war.” Another commentator has argued that America now has “the worst foreign policy team since the Second World War.” A major newsweekly has cited the war “as the latest example of an incoherent foreign policy driven by moral impulses.” British author Hugo Young has called it “a slow disintegration of American purpose.”
All of these were comments made in the first half of 1999 about the Clinton foreign policy team in the middle of the Kosovo bombing campaign. In retrospect, these comments look like a mixture of sour grapes and almost hysterical desperation.
This brings me to the question for the day: Is Iraq simply immersed in the darkness before a painful dawn, or have things really slid off the rails in such a profound way that it makes sense for the United States to begin a careful withdrawal? The answers are probably not as cut and dried as partisans on both sides of the aisle would like us to believe, and it is unfortunate that the atmosphere here in Washington has become so poisonous that intellectually honest debate has become very, very difficult. To all I wish a good New Year, and thanks to Derek for letting me sit in during his well-deserved absence.