Saturday, August 11, 2007

Wesley Pruden is not Wesley Prudent

An interesting article on "progress" in Iraq.

My thoughts:

I find referring to pulling out of Iraq as "surrender" to be rather base propaganda. We would not be declaring that we could not "win" in the sense of crushing those in Iraq with whom we are fighting, nor would be be giving up our country to them. We would just be declaring that trying to create a client state or a democracy in Iraq is not worth the cost. As Justin Raimondo said:

The American people are not "defeatists" on Iraq: they realize that we could, if we wanted, station a million-man Army in Iraq, change the rules of engagement to permit much more "collateral damage" (i.e., war crimes), and pour half the Treasury into Bill Kristol's grand scheme to remake the Middle East. But you know what? They don't think it's worth it.

Pruden also only gets hald of the point in this statement:

Americans are fed up with the Iraq war not because they think resisting jihad is wrong, but because they think the leaders at the top may not necessarily be serious about winning without apology.

This is another Diana West moment, where he not so subtlely suggests that we just start killing those darn ragheads everywhere we find them in Iraq. Well, yes, a lot of Americans probably would love it if the government decided to go the genocide route. But there are a lot of others who just don't see Iraq as being central to our fighting against jihad. Very few people are saying "we must allow the terrorists to grow and take over the world." Most people just don't see fighting in Iraq as being especially helpful to defeating jihadists.

The rest of the article includes some interesting points, including Democrats who actually do seem to fear good news from Iraq (obviously, if the war goes well, it will be bad politically for those who opposed it and good for those who supported it). However, he also seems to place inordinate trust in anyone who claimsthings are going well and seems to reject the possibility of any pro-war bias by General Petraeus or by the Brookings Institute (although mercifully he did not imply that the two were antiwarriors forced to change their mind by the situation on the gournd, as so many columnists have either cluelessly or dishonestly done).

I do grate, however, at his implication that anything other than a willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve victory is disloyal, or that one cannot be patriotic and want to withdraw for prudent, if incorrect (in his opinion) reasons:

A loyal opposition could persuasively argue that the president erred in trying to do too much with too little, forgetting, as generals and presidents often do, that wars can't be fought on the cheap with airplanes and diplomats.

Also, let us remember that we have been hearing about how successful things were goiong in Iraq since the war started. Pardon me if some of us are skeptical now.

That is all.

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