Sunday, July 30, 2006

He Told Us So; Others Didn't

Aren't you impressed when some analyst turns out to have been spot-on reliable, and for the right reasons? Take this example from 2002, a year before the invasion of Iraq:
In sum, there seems to be little question that a war against Iraq will consume political energy, decision-making bandwidth, and military and economic resources that might otherwise be devoted to the war against Al Qaeda and to the strengthening of homeland defense. Indeed, one can see this happening even in the current run up to war. Further, friction with other parties and the substantial isolation of the United States on many issues related to the war raises a serious possibility that it will under-mine the international cooperation thought essential to effectively combat terrorism. And if in the course of using force to remove Saddam from power, the United States enrages significant elements of the population in the Arab and Muslim worlds, the long-term terrorism problem may actually be made worse by the proposed war. It is because of these considerations that many American critics of the Bush policy are animated especially by fear that the war against Al Qaeda will be hampered by an attack against Iraq.
-- Steven E. Miller, "Gambling on War" in
War With Iraq: Costs, Consequences,
and Alternatives
(2002) published by
Committee on International Security Studies,
American Academy of Arts & Sciences
at 28 ([pdf version] [txt version]

But what about those who didn't get it right? Glenn Greenwald nails them after four years, 2,700 U.S. dead, 19,000 wounded, between 40,000 and 100,000 civilians killed, and $300 billion (and counting):
[T]he proponents of the destruction of Iraq have single-handedly done more damage to American national security than all other groups combined. And having insisted for years that the fate of the free world and American security hangs in the balance in Iraq, they now just want to forget about the whole thing, pretend it never happened, and shut their eyes to the disaster they created and which they so plainly cannot control.

* * *
They used their militaristic posture in Iraq -- and the "appeasing weakness" of opponents of the invasion -- to win two consecutive national elections. And now that the extent of the damage they created is too glaring to be denied, they want to walk away from it all, insist that it's unfair to hold them accountable for it, and hope that the media moves on to more interesting and exciting adventures than the plodding, depressing collapse of Iraq.
There's more, much more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In my business, if someone I hired screwed up as bad as Bush he would be fired on the spot and sued for the damage he caused. My mother was a teacher. She would have flunked any student this dumb. My dad was a major and served in Korea. He would have court martialled any soldier who messed up as bad as Bush. WHERE IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY?