WINNING THE PEACE, PART 2….Glenn Reynolds has a long post today about the need for patience in assessing how we’re doing in postwar Iraq:
I think it’s very important that we work at it, and I think it’s ironic that some of the people who were critics before the war saying “we’ll just put in a friendly dictator and leave” are now pushing arguments and criticisms that imply just such a course of action when the Administration is obviously committed to something more. We want a peaceful, free and prosperous Iraq. Claims that Arabs are somehow incapable of that sort of thing seem a bit dubious to me, especially when they come from people who call themselves “progressive” — and it’s especially unimpressive when those people say “Iraq is ungovernable” with ill-concealed glee at the prospect of what would be, in practice, a far bigger disaster for the Iraqi people than for George Bush. But they don’t care about the collateral damage if they can see Bush hurt.
The funny thing is that although I’m certainly one of those people who wish disaster on George Bush, I agree with this. Getting it right in postwar Iraq is going to be tough, and day-to-day news in the first couple of months ? whether good or bad ? doesn’t really mean that much.
Unfortunately, when Glenn says, “the Administration is obviously committed to something more,” that’s where he loses me. As I mentioned in the post below, I hope he’s right, since as much as I’d like to see Bush replaced in 2004, that’s not how I’d like to see it done. Unfortunately, I haven’t been impressed by Bush’s actions so far, and I suspect that his willingness to stick it out in Iraq is pretty limited.
UPDATE: This, by the way, is one place where I wish left and right could agree: we need to stay in Iraq in large numbers for a long time. Whether you supported or opposed the war, now that it’s over we have an obligation to do everything we possibly can to build a “peaceful, free and prosperous Iraq.”