STILL BETTER THAN NORTH KOREA!….Ilan Goldenberg reports that at a panel about U.S. policy in the Middle East today, the moderator asked Ken “Cakewalk” Adelman what a reasonable outcome in Iraq would be:

Basically, he explained that when he first supported the war he viewed the establishment of a government similar to that of the Philippines or South Korea to be a positive outcome. They aren’t perfect democracies but they’re pretty good.

By 2004 he decided that an outcome like Jordan was the best we could hope for. By 2005 his standard had become Egypt. And Now? Wait for it… Wait for it…


Last year Adelman told Vanity Fair that the Bush administration “turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the post-war era.” So this isn’t a surprise. Still, it’s nice to see Adelman express his concerns a little more quantitatively. By next year will he be reduced to hoping for a new North Korea?

UPDATE: Daniel Munz wonders how Adelman could have thought Iraq would ever turn out as well as the Philippines in the first place. After all, he and Paul Wolfowitz were both in the Reagan administration when the United States intervened to send Ferdinand Marcos packing, and both understood the dynamics that made that transition turn out pretty well. “They knew why Iraq could never be South Korea or the Philippines,” he says. “They just forgot.”

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