Monday, March 06, 2006

Andrew Sullivan: What I Got Wrong About the War

Three mistakes, clearly stated and understood, are worth reading. Another former supporter of the war looks back and wishes things might have been different. He has my respect for speaking out. And I agree that even out of the smoke there is reason to hope.

What we do know is that for all our mistakes, free elections have been held in a largely Arab Muslim country. We know that the Kurds in the north enjoy freedoms and a nascent civil society that is a huge improvement on the past. We know that the culture of the marsh Arabs in the south is beginning to revive. We know that we have given Iraqis a chance to decide their own destiny through politics rather than murder and that civil war is still avoidable...

But the certainty of some today that we have failed is as dubious as the callow triumphalism of yesterday. War is always, in the end, a matter of flexibility and will. And sometimes the darkest days are inevitable--even necessary--before the sky ultimately clears.

Time Magazine link.

The magnitude of the tragedy is measured by a heavy toll of suffering and loss, both there and at home. Those of us who were against the war are glad in retrospect that an evil system was destroyed, but one wonders if it was worth the price. The weed has been pulled, but the seeds are still in the ground.

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