Reality Check

Glass Half full: Reynolds links to Frank Warner’s post on the increasingly popular Iraq War. Surely this uptick partially reflects Bush’s series of speeches (surely a no-brainer). The news, however, hasn’t been particularly positive – Abizaid on Lehrer last night while strongly stay-the-course & long-term optimistic, is not too sunny about the near future. (Lehrer’s questions demonstrate the thesis of another Warner post.)

I suspect two factors may have entered our calculations: a) a sense that comes from the bad news that this is a fight that can be lost and b) a sense from the reaction to the Pope’s speech that losing would be a very, very bad thing. Attacks on churches & the murder of a nun whose life has clearly been given to the service of others provide reality checks. (And yes, random murders by various other obsessives occur in all societies – the attitude of those in authority is everything.)

By the way, this was my introduction to Free Frank Warner’s blog; I like his slogan: A liberal for liberation: Dreams can’t come true if you never wake up.

9 thoughts on “Reality Check”

  1. I think the “popularity” of the war has a lot do with the fact that we are putting more and more of the fighting in the hands of Iraqis, where it belongs. As the Iraqis do most of the fighting and suffer most of the casualties, it becomes easier for US voters to support it.

  2. In the face of bad news it is sometimes tempting to confuse friction for force.

    Tom Barnett: “China: don’t confuse the friction (attempts to censor) with the force (overwhelming tide of personal connectivity). The former is just a function (and good sign) of the latter.”

    He’s been arguing lately that connectivity and globalization will swamp the region even if the board has been playing us in the wake of the big bang. We may lose in the short term, but we’ll win in the end as demography and economic changes swamp the islamists.

  3. A point of good news for Iraq. A second province was just handed over to the Iraqis. That’s 2 down, 16 to go. I think that at about the 5th province, the mainstream media will start to cover it and then the whole “Iraq is going to hell” narrative will unravel.

  4. 2nd one is handed over, due to the bravery of the Italians. A hardy thank you to Italy from a dad of a Marine.

    Republican Dad

  5. “I think the “popularity” of the war has a lot do with the fact that we are putting more and more of the fighting in the hands of Iraqis.”

    I sincerely hope you’re right, Lex. A lot of the pundits on the right and left are saying that Bush’s political marketing package about the need to torture, without calling it that, and the “links” between Al Qaeda and pre-invasion Iraq are reminding voters why they supported the invasion in the first place.

    It would be a real shame if even a significant minority of Americans are still that darn gullible.

  6. Liar, I think the biggest political story of the last few years, one which will have future generations scratching their heads in confusion, is the Democrats inability to formulate a coherent set of policies to deal with the war we are in. My wife, a Democrat, put it well, they just want it to be the Clinton era again, for the issues to be things like bike paths. Kerry’s failure to articulate anything except criticism against Bush — but no affirmative program of his own — cost him the election. Kerry should have been able to walk away with that election, as I argued at the time . They are now doing the same thing. Their failure to develop a group of people with expertise on security affairs and military affairs over the years is costing them now. The leadership sees this current situation through the lens of Vietnam. That is a sever intellectual handicap. Unless and until they overcome, the GOP is going to stay ahead by default.

  7. Sulaiman, I agree absolutely. I wish that view of things were dissolving a lot faster. I have a friend who is a liberal democrat, but who has common sense about all this. As he says, he is a “Scoop Jackson Democrat”, and we need a lot more of them. If we had a coherent set of policy alternatives in both parties, the country would be well-served by the ensuing sensible debate. Right now, we have Bush and the GOP, who represent one approach, and the Donks, who merely carp about how bad Bush is. This situation has gone on far too long.

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