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June 20, 2006

Comments

Telnar

The problem with that model is that it isn't always clear whether a strategy will work.

I agree with you that credibility isn't advanced by investing in clearly unproductive policies.

There's an in-between case, though, where reasonable people can disagree about whether the policy will work. Since many real situations fall into that category, cutting and running from a policy which might or might not work risks creating the impression among observers that any policy of debatable merit won't be sustained if it's opposed with sufficient vigor.

That risks creating a situation where policies which would almost certainly succeed at little cost if opponents of the US knew that they would be pursued doggedly end up requiring great effort. That's a bad result whether or not we supply the necessary great effort.

I think that Iraq falls into that in-between case, and because the result will be important, it is worth maintaining effort not just while we're sure that we can win, but as long as it's plausible that we might.

Mike Huben

I'm amazed at the myopia that produces a dichotomous choice between staying and going.

The obvious third choice is to find an international solution, such as the UN. But that's ideological anathema to libertarians and other conservatives. They'd rather innumerable Iraqis died.

James

"The obvious third choice is to find an international solution, such as the UN."

What good would that do? If the UN were to get involved, they'd draft some resolution and want U.S. troops to stay around indefinitely enforcing it and there would be a handful of troops from other countries. We have the same thing now, just minus a new resolution.

"But that's ideological anathema to libertarians and other conservatives. They'd rather innumerable Iraqis died."

Bull. No libertarian wants the death of innumerable Iraqis. The people who want Iraquis dead are terrorists operating as footsoldiers for organizations that aspire to be come states.

Mike Huben

Ah, rebuttal by lack of imagination and lack of historical background.

The point is that Miron, Bush, and similar ilk will not bring up this alternative. Not because it is impractical, but because it conflicts with their ideological demands.

Alan Brown

Its ironic to me that Bush and company believe enough in democracy to force it upon others, but not enough to actually participate in an international with others on an equal footing.

Not that the UN is a democratic institution. Most of the real power is concentrated in the hands of very nations, one in particular.

The truth is that Bush and company are for corporate rule, both at home and abroad. Just look at their contributors. Not that the Democrats are that much different.

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