Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Fareed Zakaria's Illogical Stand

WHAT'S DONE IS DONE. Fareed Zakaria's done many excellent columns on the situation in Iraq, but this week's effort to show there's something inconsistent in Howard Dean's view (shared by Wes Clark and many others) that even though the war was a bad idea we should see it through is inconsistent doesn't add up.

In the particular case of Iraq, it's hard to see how Zakaria's plan to find a friendly general and then leave would in any way mitigate the damage this war has done to our diplomatic situation, and it certainly wouldn't bring any of the dead soldiers back to life. There is, moreover, no guarantee that whatever government we picked would actually be strong enough to resist the insurgent elements without significant US support. And however contained Baath Iraq may or may not have been before the war, if the party were somehow to come back into power after chasing us out of the country it would be very hard to contain in the future.

If I could, I'd like to turn back time about twelve months and see this whole situation handled in a calmer, more patient manner exhibiting a better sense of priorities, but that simply can't be done, so the best thing to do at this point is try and make the policy work.

--Matthew Yglesias in Tapped

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