THE PRICE OF WAR….Robin Wright takes a look at the immediate consequences of the Iraq war today:

When the war began 15 months ago, the president’s Iraq policy rested on four broad principles: The United States should act preemptively to prevent strikes on U.S. targets. Washington should be willing to act unilaterally, alone or with a select coalition, when the United Nations or allies balk. Iraq was the next cornerstone in the global war on terrorism. And Baghdad’s transformation into a new democracy would spark regionwide change.

….”Of the four principles, three have failed, and the fourth ? democracy promotion ? is hanging by a sliver,” said Geoffrey Kemp, a National Security Council staff member in the Reagan administration and now director of regional strategic programs at the Nixon Center.

The president has “walked away from unilateralism. We’re not going to do another preemptive strike anytime soon, certainly not in Iran or North Korea. And it looks like terrorism is getting worse, not better, especially in critical countries like Saudi Arabia,” Kemp said.

In a nutshell, this is the great irony of the Bush Doctrine and the Iraq war. Conceived as a means of finally putting to rest “Vietnam Syndrome,” it now looks as though it’s going to cement it in place for another few decades.

Liberals everywhere should hail the handiwork of Bush and the neocons. For a relatively small cost, we’ve gotten rid of a truly odious fascist dictator and assured that the American public is less inclined than ever toward military adventurism. What more could we ask for?

Conservatives, on the other hand, should be somewhat less enthralled with Bush and the neocons….

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