Thursday, November 09, 2006

Maybe, baby

There's been a lot of debate about Donald Rumsfeld's departure, so much I won't even bother to link to examples. You've seen them; and you can well-known-search-engine for them if you haven't. He has been a divisive figure in some ways. I think that's what being straightforward gets you (yes, you guessed it, I like Rumsfeld though that doesn't mean I think he's right about everything). But I haven't seen this idea suggested yet:

Perhaps the US strategy in Iraq wasn't wrong, as such. Obviously, with hindsight, there are a lot of things to criticise. But Vietnam and Stalingrad haven't happened; we face something new here.

Maybe the problem is that dealing with the unhealed sore that was sanctioned, no-fly-zoned, UN runaround, sectarian, splintered, damaged, adventure-playground-for-terrorists Iraq is difficult. And maybe we're just not up for difficult things.

I say "we" in a vague sort of sense. Some of us are. A lot of that "us" is in the military but not all, and not all the military is in that particular boat. But maybe - just maybe - there's a hard few years ahead right now. Maybe countries like Iraq aren't just going to fall over like dominoes and become havens of boulevard-strolling harmony. Maybe we're going to have to work at it.

And maybe that isn't the point. It's only going to get more difficult, if we leave it.

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