BAGHDAD AND TEHRAN….Anne Applebaum writes today that optimism over Iraq is entirely unwarranted:

Not because things aren’t improving in Iraq — it seems they are, at least for the moment — but because the collateral damage inflicted by the war on America’s relationships with the rest of the world is a lot deeper and broader than most Americans have realized. It isn’t just that the Iraq war invigorated the anti-Americanism that has always been latent pretty much everywhere. What’s worse is the fact that — however it all comes out in the end, however successful Iraqi democracy is a decade from now — our conduct of the war has disillusioned our natural friends and supporters and thrown a lasting shadow over our military and political competence. However it all comes out, the price we’ve paid is too high.

That actually sounded surprisingly….reasonable. That is, until I finished the column and found out just why Applebaum is so agitated about our diminished credibility: because it makes it less likely that anyone will support U.S. military action against Iran. That’s the great tragedy of Iraq.

I need a drink.

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