Archive Logo.jpg

May 13, 2004

Some more perspective on Iraq.

I'm as guilty as anyone. It's hard to find the good news about Iraq when it's mostly on blogs. Blogs are *not* an efficient way to get your news... if a lot more fun. And all the talking heads, even on Fox, just annoy me. I can't stand 'sound-bite' news. So I have to wade through the print media (electronically) and that takes time I have little of - as I must fulfill my obligation to my lefty redistributionist friends to make much money so they can take it from me and give it to people more deserving of it than I.

Y'know, you redistributionists - between taxes and my own charitable giving, I've got less than half of my money to pay bills with and do other stuff. Mebbe it's time for a paypal button to finance expansion of the arsenal's holdings... I've been putting off that Brown Bess and Hotchkiss mg for years now.

Oh. Perspective. Sorry. Got distracted there.

But nothing going on in Iraq is quite as alarming as the panic of our political class about it. We have been there a year, really no time at all. Local elections have been held, a free and vigorous press has been established, and the infrastructure has been greatly improved. This is not nothing. There are still encouraging signs on the ground. Protests against Moqtada al-Sadr in the south have been growing, demonstrating that most Shiites reject his radicalism and oppose Iranian influence in the country. Two issues ago, NR argued that we needed to lower expectations in Iraq — to accept that a truly liberal democracy is not in the offing, at least not anytime soon. But since then expectations have plummeted beyond all reason. Even stalwart hawks such as Andrew Sullivan are in a panic. The emerging conventional wisdom is that Iraq is an unrecoverable disaster. Make no mistake: Iraq still may become that, but we need to muster all our resources and shrewdness to try to avoid it.

Like I said, I'm as guilty as anyone in the first sentence.

Whole thing is here.