(1) This New Republic piece on “the selling of the Iraq war,” where truth about the reliability of the intelligence on WMD was ” the first casualty, is an excellent overview of how it went down and what it means. What’s interesting about it is that it’s an attempt by TNR to salvage the value of pre-emptive war from people like Dubya. TNR was for the war for the reasons Dubya stated.
Unlike most conservatives, they’re not looking to play a shell game and argue that the liberation of Iraq was the point all along. Still, that misses the point. It’s the policy, not the people. Now that we have started giving the OK on pre-emptive war, it will be much easier for presidents to take us into future wars. Sometimes those wars will be based upon sound intelligence, but at this point the odds of that don’t seem very strong.
(2) Sen. Richard Lugar says U.S. forces will be in Iraq for at least five years, at least. Is it possible, is it wise, to leave sooner? Cato’s Charles Pena says yes, and points to Afghanistan and Panama as examples of successful quick exits. I’m not so sure.
It’s not clear to me that U.S. security is worse off by our presence in Iraq. Agreeing to leave immediately as so many in Iraq clearly want may result in a resurgence of Hussein and friends or some other dastardly coalition that will be at least oppressive and maybe virulently anti-American and supportive of terrorism. On the other hand, I’d hate to have to face the mothers and fathers of the one to two U.S. troops killed every day since “major hostilities” ceased.