Thursday, October 26, 2006

Extreme Denial

Jonah Goldberg thinks Iraq was a worthy mistake (NRO via ALD), but we ought to stay anyway. I am tempted to quote and comment on this short op-ed piece in detail. I am sure many have already beaten me to the exercise. Instead, I recommend you read it and try to find all the false assertions contained in it. Here is a first clue:
Those who say that it’s not the central front in the war on terror are in a worse state of denial than they think Bush is in. Of course it’s the central front in the war on terror. That it has become so is a valid criticism of Bush, but it’s also strong reason for seeing our Iraqi intervention through. If we pull out precipitously, jihadism will open a franchise in Iraq and gain steam around the world, and the U.S. will be weakened.

However, Jonah has a plan: a third way.
According to the conventional script, if I’m not saying “bug out” of Iraq, I’m supposed to say “stay the course.” But there’s a third option, and, funnily enough, I found it in an old column of mine (journalistic taboos be damned!). I think we should ask the Iraqis to vote on whether U.S. troops should stay.

Polling suggests that they want us to go. But polling absent consequences is a form of protest. With accountability, minds may change and appreciation for the U.S. presence might grow.

OK, let’s wait until he completes that referendum. I hope he does not expect the troops to help him. Things are tough enough for them as it is. I hope he plans on spending his own money too.


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