April 30, 2007

IN RESPONSE TO HARRY REID, THE WASHINGTON POST ASKED some people if the war in Iraq was lost. The best answer is from Kanan Makiya:

It’s up to you The Iraq war is lost or won if the American people choose to lose or win it. With the way things are going at the moment, I perfectly understand why they might choose to give up on the war. But that is not because the war is inherently unwinnable by a country as great and rich and powerful as the United States.

But read the whole thing, which is pretty much evenly divided. Way back in 2003 Virginia Postrel was noting that there wasn’t a single coherent narrative on Iraq, and there still isn’t. (Via Orin Kerr).

UPDATE: John Tabin asks what’s winning and what’s losing:

Our main “original objective” — taking out Saddam Hussein’s regime — has already been achieved. Perhaps Fick is saying we can’t leave behind a self-sustaining democracy. But I think the Kurds, at least, already have just that. If we keep a relatively small number of troops in Iraq indefinitely to enforce a partition and prevent a bloodbath, is that a loss? That is, more or less, how the Korean War ended (I know, it never “ended” in the technical sense, but you get my point). Did we lose Korea?

I think a lot of people thought so at the time, more or less. But in retrospect, no.