One of the most relentlessly dire news articles I’ve ever read. What will the UK look like in ten years? In twenty?
I stopped by Melanie Phillips’s site to see if she’d written about it yet. Nope — but she did have something to say about the midterms.
The widespread popular disaffection with the war in Iraq, which was clearly a significant (although by no means the only) factor behind the loss of Republican control, is not the same as the anti-war feeling in Britain. That is founded upon the view that the war was illegitimate from the start, that Saddam was never a threat and all the rest of it. The American public, by contrast, does not by and large seem to think the war was illegitimate. President Bush’s crime was simply not to have won it. The Americans never expected a fight in Iraq; now they’ve got one, and it’s messy and bloody and mistakes have been made and there seems to be no end to it, they want to cut their losses and get out.
Such an attitude shows an absence of either maturity or historical awareness. Insurgencies take a long time to defeat. As I have previously written, the British took four years to work out what they were doing wrong in trying to defeat the insurgency in Malaya, and when they finally arrived at the right strategy took a further eight years actually to wrestle the insurgency to the ground. The US has been in Iraq for only three years. It is in the nature of such things that they take a long time, and that there are inevitably many mistakes and wrong turnings along the way. To vote in a bunch of people who have no stomach at all for fighting for the country’s defence, simply through impatience that the country hasn’t fought for it effectively enough, betrays serious confusion and lack of resolve. And it is precisely that which will now give such heart to our enemies.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus is meeting next week with George McGovern.