Two and a half years late, Congress starts to “debate” Iraq

For over two years following the invasion of Iraq and the start of the terrorist insurgency, I obsessed at this site over the fact that the U.S. was not only not heading toward a victory in Iraq, but had no plausible strategy in place to achieve victory, and therefore that President Bush and his supporters with their ever-renewed triumphalist cries about our ever-impending “success” in Iraq were living in a fantasy world. (See selection of my statements on this subject.) I kept saying we needed a much larger national discussion not only on what we needed to do in Iraq but on what our whole strategy toward Islam ought to be, and I advanced a set of ideas toward that end. My views found no echo in the mainstream “debate.” In fact, there was no mainstream debate, there was only the mindless, endless exchange between “Stay the course! Democracy is the answer! ” and “He lied.”

But this morning the Washington Post writes:

After largely avoiding the subject since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, lawmakers are suddenly confronting the issue of President Bush’s handling of the war.

“Largely avoiding the subject since 2003”! That’s exactly right. That exactly describes my experience of wanting and hoping to see a debate during these last two or three years, and not seeing one. Unfortunately, the alternatives being offered in today’s new debate are still mindless. For the U.S. simply to withdraw from Iraq, as Rep. John Murtha is urging, without this withdrawal being placed in the context of an overall strategy to confront and contain our Islamic enemies, would be a complete defeat. The withdrawal needs to be a strategic withdrawal. But in order for it to be a strategic withdrawal, there must first be a strategy. And that is what has been lacking, and is still lacking.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 20, 2005 11:09 AM | Send

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