Friday, December 08, 2006

the Economist--just say no

The Economist weighs with a cover story on the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group. From the leader:

What will not help is scuttling from Iraq before exhausting every possible effort to put the country back together. The Baker-Hamilton group is right to say that America should neither leave precipitously nor stay forever. Leaning harder on Iraq's politicians is an excellent idea. But setting an arbitrary deadline of early 2008 for most of the soldiers to depart risks weakening America's bargaining power, intensifying instead of dampening the fighting and projecting an image of weakness that will embolden enemies everywhere. On this recommendation, Mr Bush needs to insist on his prerogatives as custodian of America's foreign policy and just say no.

I forget who in the shrillosphere has said the best way to determine an effective foreign policy is to do the opposite of whatever Bill Kristol is advocating at any given point. I’d like to extend this principle to the Economist’s analysis of the war in Iraq. As far as I can tell, the newspaper's editorialists have never been right about any aspect of Iraq policy.

1 comment:

Karla said...

I too notice (along with many of the left-leaning commentariat) that the only people we really need to take seriously on the Iraq issue are those who first supported the war but now don’t. Somehow those who said it would end in disaster from the beginning are too extreme, not responsible or serious enough to be listened to. They happen to have been right, but being spot on about the outcome won’t cut it—they were right at the wrong time. It’s like the people who left the communist party too soon back in Stalin’s era—OK, said the true-believers of leftist orthodoxy, we realize Stalin was a mass murderer now, but you were wrong to criticize him then, so even though you were objectively correct then, it was too early, so we won’t take you seriously. It’s a human thing I guess, maybe whenever groupthink, ideology, and orthodoxy trump what is before our eyes.