Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Iraq War: Five Years On

The war is going well enough: as well as can be reasonably tolerated, expected and predicted: middling well.

Here's why. We have Iraq on a trajectory that one may reasonably hope to end in a decent society. We have Iran much closer to being surrounded by our allies. We have al Qaeda quite hurt by the course of the War on Terror without our having to fight in the U.S. Also, War on Terror casualties are low compared to other U.S. wars. The possibility of Iraq using its WMD programs to terrible ends has been eliminated. The criminal Oil for Food starvation racket is gone and Iraq won't experience thirty more years of Hussein oppression.

In Iraq the American military is having one of its finest hours.

Strategic mistakes were, as the saying goes, made. Some were excusable, some not. All were normal to war.

Bottom line: five years on the Iraq War was the right decision. As I said at the time, there is no doubt that it was morally permissible. At this juncture it also seems to have been prudent for the reasons listed above. Liberate them or they will destroy us. The War on Terror will be a long one. I think my sons, now small, will likely fight in it.

If this evaluation sounds polyannish to you, as if I've overlooked the horror of the war, then perhaps you share John Stewart's assumption that The Authorities have a duty to remind you that war is a nasty business. In that case it is you who have overlooked the horror, not I.