Something for everyone here. The right gets a high-profile piece of anecdotal evidence about progress in Iraq to compensate for the media’s polite neglect and the left gets to sneer about wingnuts looking to glamorpuss actresses for good news on the war even as they themselves ignore qualified opinion. It’s the same fissure you saw the other day with McCain vs. Obama: “What do we do now?” versus “Bush created this mess!”, the latter casting an abandonment strategy as some sort of serves-you-right punishment. Jolie, to her credit, isn’t going for it:
My visit left me even more deeply convinced that we not only have a moral obligation to help displaced Iraqi families, but also a serious, long-term, national security interest in ending this crisis.
Today’s humanitarian crisis in Iraq — and the potential consequences for our national security — are great. Can the United States afford to gamble that 4 million or more poor and displaced people, in the heart of Middle East, won’t explode in violent desperation, sending the whole region into further disorder?
What we cannot afford, in my view, is to squander the progress that has been made. In fact, we should step up our financial and material assistance…
As for the question of whether the surge is working, I can only state what I witnessed: U.N. staff and those of non-governmental organizations seem to feel they have the right set of circumstances to attempt to scale up their programs. And when I asked the troops if they wanted to go home as soon as possible, they said that they miss home but feel invested in Iraq. They have lost many friends and want to be a part of the humanitarian progress they now feel is possible.
She’s on the same wavelength here as Pam Hess was. Watch that clip if you missed it last year.