"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Righteousness of Action in Iraq

Now that Sam has brought the war up again, it seems like a good time to share my political sense of the thing. Smart people on both sides have their questions about the war in Iraq, but there is one point of discussion that I think has eluded most. Think carefully for a second. If you wanted to manage the aftermath of 9-11 politically instead of strategically, what would you do? My answer is that the President could have looked very good by hitting Afghanistan, knocking out the Taliban, and calling it a day. Americans would have felt the flush of victory and would feel they had a measure of revenge for the loss of life and property endured in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. The fact that he didn’t settle for a fairly easy victory over the Taliban tells me something. I think the security team and the President believed more was required to secure America’s safety and that they decided to pursue that course without regard for political consequences. If that is the case, the adventure in Iraq has been thoroughly righteous.

1 comment:

Evanston said...

Precisely what I was saying at the time, though as a LtCol in the Marines I couldn't say it publicly. Though militarily Iraq was quite do-able, politically is was clearly fraught with problems. As I told people before we launched the war, if Bush does it, "he has balls." Sorry to put it so crudely, "righteous" sounds better and may be more apt. But there are occasions when we Marines have no effin' couth.