We went into Iraq

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We went into Iraq to eliminate Saddam’s stock of weapons of mass destruction, to depose a reckless strongman at the heart of a vital region, and to overawe unfriendly regimes on the country’s borders. Agree or not, those were the prime stated reasons. Now we’ve got a deteriorating security situation and a palpably botched plan for reconstruction. And our effort to recover from our ill-conceived and poorly-executed policy is now the ‘central front’ in the war on terror, which is among other things extremely convenient.

The president has turned 9/11 into a sort of foreign policy perpetual motion machine in which the problems ginned up by policy failures become the rationale for intensifying those policies. The consequences of screw-ups become examples of the power of ‘the terrorists’.

We’re not on the offensive. We’re on the defensive. A bunch of mumbo-jumbo and flim-flam doesn’t change that.

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