July 17, 2009

ONE OF ANDREW SULLIVAN’S GUESTBLOGGERS is, ironically, enough, slagging people for being too pro-war in 2003. Yeah, not like Andrew was back then. At any rate, according to a comment in the linked post, I was off by 39 for the casualty toll of the invasion through “mission accomplished.” I’m willing to admit the error. That’s better than Ted Kennedy, who predicted we’d lose “battalions a day.”

And I didn’t take a post-invasion “mission accomplished” vacation, either.

Meanwhile, The Mudville Gazette is hosting a contest.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Notice how there was no “antiwar” movement during the ‘90’s, even though we were at war the entire time in Iraq, Haiti, Kosovo, a dab here and there in Afghanistan and Sudan. Then, after 9/11, it was the “Next Vietnam” with a passionate “antiwar” movement with the NYT’s full treasonous participation, just like the good old days. And now, even though the daily death count has matched the highest daily rate we ever saw in Iraq, there is no “antiwar” movement or daily casualty count in all the newspapers. It’s like the “antiwar” movement can be turned off and on like a switch, depending on which party is in the White House.

What’s the “exit strategy” for Afghanistan? Having been there, I must ask: what’s the strategy for Afghanistan, period?

Yes, it’s as if all that fierce moral urgency was more about the urgency of regaining political power than anything else. As for Afghanistan, I don’t see solving that problem without dealing with Pakistan, and I don’t see anything particularly encouraging on that front. But perhaps I’m missing something. More here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Steven Den Beste emails:

As I recall, when I answered that question I was thinking in terms of the number of casualties during the primary invasion. And based on
what some commenters on that blog say, I got it right. My prediction was “50-150” and they say the real number was 139.

I never thought, or said, that the occupation would be bloodless. I expected it to go on for years and to involve a steady low rate of
casualties by our soldiers.

But I also thought, and said, that in the long run we’d win. I thought we’d be successful in training a new, effective Iraqi army which would
eventually take over security in Iraq, and I thought we’d be successful in setting up a representative democracy there. And I was right about those things.

How many of the people commenting on that blog predicted (and hoped) that we’d fail?

More than will admit it now. And yes, these Den Beste worries from 2003 were in some ways prescient (“After we win, and during the post-war occupation, I’m concerned about a campaign of terrorism developing (90%)”), though in others, happily, not as much.

Meanwhile, on the antiwar left, reader Douglas Mortimer emails, “Well, there’s still Ted Rall.” Good point.

MORE: Reader John Hendricks writes:

Oh, Glenn, that is too rich. I’ve been around the blogosphere long enough to personally remember where Andrew just wasn’t just in favor removing Saddam militarily but he and a few other obscure members of the blogosphere became known as the “Four Horsemen of the Ablogalypse.”

Question: how can a man go from being responsible enough to know that Saddam had made his removal by force necessary to becoming so frivolously irrational as to end up the world leading expert on Palin’s birth-canal? That is a mystery to me.

What I now know it that when the next war comes, Andrew Sullivan is one of the last people I want on championing it just so he can double-cross the people who take his advice when the going gets tough.

Heh. I’d forgotten that “Four Horsemen” thing. I used to have a printout on my office door. It’s not for nothing that Andrew was “War.”

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