April 8, 2004

WINDS OF CHANGE has a lengthy and interesting post on what’s going on in Iraq, and what the United States’ response should be:

Ultimately, the success or failure of the Iranian strategy with regard to the US in Iraq will depend on whether or not the United States and its allies retain the collective national will to defeat the insurgents. The question of whether or not Iraq will become a second Vietnam (i.e. a US defeat) is probably best answered, “No, and it won’t be as long as we don’t let it.”

Andrew Sullivan has thoughts, too:

But the response to this cannot be withdrawal. Military power still matters; and the coalition has the overwhelming advantage. In some ways, perhaps, the war has now entered the most critical phase – more critical than Afghanistan or the war against Saddam. This war is for the future against the past, for representative government against a vicious theocratic dictatorship from the Leninist vanguards of the Sadrists. The president needs to tell the people this. His failure to communicate what is actually going on, why we’re there, what we’re doing, and what the stakes are is the prime current fault of the administration.

Indeed. There’s a useful roundup at Oxblog, too, where we learn that Senator Robert Byrd — no doubt encouraged by Chris Dodd’s fulsome praise — has jumped on the Kennedy / Vietnam bandwagon.

This is electoral poison for the Democrats.

UPDATE: Steven Den Beste has a lengthy analysis of the situation, and thinks that, despite the problems at the moment, this is actually a strategic opportunity if handled properly: “In other words, it will be just like it was last year in March and April, before and during the invasion. And it will make just about the same difference, i.e. “not a lot” in the long run.”

When the action is at this stage, of course, all that we here at home can do is hope that it will be handled properly.

UPDATE: More thoughts here.

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