Fast-forward to 1:28 for a preview of what the Healing will look like in policy terms. On tap for Iraq? A massive security vacuum. For Afghanistan? A security build-up, sure to be popular with the leftist base. It’s a quirk of Iraqi and Afghan cultures, I guess, that the latter, like Bosnia, does best within a traditional occupation model while the former tends to flourish from being returned very suddenly to a quasi-Hobbesian state of nature.
Or maybe it’s not a question of culture or strategy at all but a simple function of each war’s respective popularity, with an abject abandonment of Iraq dressed up as some virtuous form of “benign neglect.” Too cynical to believe about a guy who has a “treasured covenant” with Ted Kennedy? Maybe. But I’ve got a funny feeling that if the Afghan “quagmire” drags on until 2010 or 2011, we may yet find out that getting the hell out of dodge ASAP is the surest way to reconcile Karzai and the Taliban, too.