(Still) Recovering From Listening to W's Address on 'The State of the Union'
My colleague Robb Westbrook called my attention to this recent Op-Ed from The Washington Post by historian Andrew Bacevich who is himself a West Point graduate. The essay provides a nice clarification of W's fantasy (the one welcomed with great applause the other evening by the Congressional Republicans). Bacevich remarks that the outcome of the BushCo surge in Iraq "compares unfavorably with the U.S. response to Hurricane Katrina." That, though, seems a mis-statement. For as Bacevich subsequently points out, the surge actually has been an amazing success:
In only one respect has the surge achieved undeniable success: It has ensured that U.S. troops won't be coming home anytime soon. This was one of the main points of the exercise in the first place. [ . . .] The "victory" gained in recent months all but guarantees that the United States will remain caught in the jaws of Iraq for the foreseeable future.The surge strategy is on this view analogous to the Reagan-ite effort to generate enormous budget deficits, thereby crippling any future effort to implement government policies in nearly any domain. The surge has been aimed at tying the hands of future administrations. In that sense it won't really matter if (as seems very likely) the primary campaigns generate a pro-war presidential candidate from each party; even if an anti-war candidate were elected, whomever inherits W's fiasco won't be able to extricate us from the mess he has created.