Wednesday, November 16, 2005

War spinning

The debate drones on and on...How and why did the war start? Intel? WMD? Whatever...
E.J.Dionne Jr. has two cents worth that is pretty good. He compares and contrasts the very different ways the two Presidents Bush handled the politics of going to war. Here's how it ends:

The bad faith of Bush's current argument is staggering. He wants to say that the "more than a hundred Democrats in the House and Senate" who "voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power" thereby gave up their right to question his use of intelligence forever after. But he does not want to acknowledge that he forced the war vote to take place under circumstances that guaranteed the minimum amount of reflection and debate, and that opened anyone who dared question his policies to charges, right before an election, that they were soft on Hussein.

By linking the war on terrorism to a partisan war against Democrats, Bush undercut his capacity to lead the nation in this fight. And by resorting to partisan attacks again last week, Bush only reminded us of the shameful circumstances in which the whole thing started.
I'm waiting for someone to raise a more obvious question:
Regardless of how and why the US got into Iraq...Why. Are. We. Still. There ???

Dan Drezner provides part of the answer in a dense but inciteful post reacting to Mark Lynch. Policy wonks are interested. I find the comments of both men to be smart, important, timely and understandable.

Returning to my question above, we are still in Iraq partly because the academic community, think tanks and policy advisors who make the best decisions do so with a lot more circumspection than the political types who create the problems. See Dionne's essay cited above. Waiting for clear thinking to penetrate the thick skulls we put into office takes time. Lots of time.

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