Monday, October 23, 2006
Hindsight and Foresight
Victor Davis Hanson at National Review Online assesses the many reassessments coming in from all quarters on the wisdom, rightness or chance for success of our efforts in
As his starting point, Hanson dismisses the great majority of negative commentary about
He rightly characterizes many of these ruminations as not “second thoughts,” but third ones, as the practitioners of this form of politically opportunistic hindsight surely want to minimize any previous support. In reassessing, they dissemble and revision their history. They attempt to stir things up amid the current complexities of
As we head for the November elections, most politicians have renounced their paternity of the now-orphaned American effort in
Hanson correctly observes that the current strategy will be played out, more or less, faster or slower, as an inevitability that turns Iraqi security more and more over to the Iraqis. If the Democrats gain sufficient political control in midterm elections to influence policy in Iraq, they will more than likely be compelled and motivated to allow US military planners and leadership carry on, and continue to adapt as events and outcomes dictate. Any alternative – that will pull out precipitously (that ol’ cut and run) – would almost certainly suggest a far higher political price for their change in direction, than they have shown inclination to pay:
For all the Democrats loud criticism, if they do regain Congress, they would probably rely on the present expertise of a Khalizad, Abizaid, or Petraeus, and not the often quoted wisdom of three years past of a Gen. Shinseki or Zinni. I doubt they will bring back Gen. Wesley Clark to fix the “mess.” They will either have to cut off funds, ensure a pull out before the end of the year, and then watch real blood sport as reformers are butchered; or they will have to trust that our present military and civilian leadership has learned the hard lessons of three years in Iraq, and can find a way to stabilize the nascent democracy.
Hanson, from the solid rock of history, military affairs, and rational logic, sees much good where others see woe and chaos:
The odd thing is that, for all the gloom and furor, and real blunders, nevertheless, by the historical standards of most wars, we have done well enough to win in
And on the verge of substantial accomplishment, if not outright victory, there are those who would try to win the Media War, by convincing us we’ve already lost.
(Via Real Clear Politics)
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