Sunday, August 20, 2006

Chutzpah Award

In a long, rambling hodge-podge of an essay in the Washington Post, Dan Byman and Ken Pollack state the obvious: Iraq is in a civil war. Then they remind us of something less obvious: Civil wars create refugees, who flee to other countries and might destabilize them. They recommend that the US set up protected catchments for refugees inside Iraq. If this sounds like domino theory thinking, it is -- but a bit in reverse. Ken Pollack was an ardent tub thumper for invading Iraq. Like Tom Friedman and the neo-conservatives, he predicted taking out Saddam would slam-dunk lead to a democratic Iraq and a democratic Iraq would lead to democratization in other Arab countries. But nevermind that, he says in the closing paragraph of the essay:
How Iraq got to this point is now an issue for historians (and perhaps for voters in 2008); what matters today is how to move forward and prepare for the tremendous risks an Iraqi civil war poses for this critical region.
Like much of what he says, Pollack even gets this exculpation wrong. Iraq is already an issue for American voters in 2006.


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