One small silver lining to last week’s election result is that it will take away at least some of the election year paralysis over Iraq.
I think there was actually far less disagreement over the course of events in Iraq than election rhetoric would lead one to believe. Democrats grasped on to everything that was going wrong (and it wasn’t hard to find things). And most Republicans did the opposite, since to criticize the conduct of the war, they felt, was to criticize the president on his way to a tight reelection contest.
I don’t necessarily expect the administration’s tune to change in any way. But I’ll be watching congressional Republicans to see if and when they start changing their tunes and begin looking for ways to clean up the mess that’s been created over there.
We’ll probably also start to get a fuller and clearer accounting of various messes in the country that the White House managed to keep hushed up until after the election. Like this story in yesterday’s Times about at least 4,000 shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles from Iraq’s pre-war arsenal that have apparently also gone missing.