The building complex was run by a despicable landlord who killed some of the tenants back in 1980s. he came to power with the help of the U.S. government and the CIA. In a world of despicable people – five countries are described as totalitarian and another 10 as extremely authoritarian by the CIA and Human Rights Watch. We spend over 4000 lives to get rid of the landlord, certain mentalities within the decides to kill – estimates range from 40,000 to 1 million of the tenants, sending U.S. kills 25% of the tenants and force 2 million of the most educated professionals into becoming refugees to other countries. Seven years later the building in still in tatters despite the best efforts of invasion forces to rebuild. The forces are not evil – they try to get food, water and infrastructure working, but the tenants now free of their landlord are splintered into factions that still kill each other and the forces trying to keep peace and rebuild. Sounds like a good theme for a Stanley Kubrick film. A dark and violent saga of malice mixed with the good intentions and tough agenda set for the actual boots on the ground. Contractors: paranoid, violent and mostly there to make a buck off the misery of others added to the chaos and general malevolence toward the troops. After seven years, the building, standing, but in pieces with broken plumbing, jerry rigged electricity, cracked foundation, many of the remaining tenants more miserable than under the old sociopath that ran the place – many family members have been killed, wounded or maimed. The National Review see a shining example of modern rebuilding. So wonderful that the sight and thoughts of its ethereal glow should make those that ponder it a bit misty eyed with pride at the accomplishment.
3. With the passage of time, President Bush’s decision to champion a new counterinsurgency strategy, including sending 30,000 additional troops to Iraq when most Americans were bone-weary of the war, will be seen as one of the most impressive and important acts of political courage in our lifetime. And those who fiercely opposed the so-called surge were not only wrong in their judgment; in some instances their actions were shameful. (I have in mind those who insisted the surge was failing long after it was clear it was succeeding. For a recapitulation of the words and actions of the critics of the surge, including Barack Obama and Joe Biden, go here and here).
Mr. Wehner having hooked up with his psychedelics connection seems to be enjoying a good head trip. As much as I hate to spoil someone’s high, the logic does not work and his facts are patently wrong. We’ve dealt with the logic and the facts. Let’s look at the “Surge” in particular. “The Surge ” worked is just as much a myth as Argus the giant with a hundred eyes. Just Because National Review and Mr. Wehner believe the myths and legends does not make them true. A tip to his debt to myth is the failure to document the surge and the circumstances surrounding it. Ethnic cleansing that went on for years and the subsequent population shifts between Sunni and Shia were largely responsible for lowering the level of violence. A bit of coincidence and ironic good luck that apologists for Bush and Iraq continue to take credit for, to their shame. Also in Wehner’s opinion,
5. What has unfolded in Iraq is not an accident or based on luck. It was the result of one of the most astonishing military turnarounds in American history. The story of how that happened, and the men who made it happen, will be studied for generations. And Gen. David Petraeus — whose views pre-2007 were not widely shared and were often resisted within the military chain of command — has already secured his place among the greatest wartime generals in American history.
Maybe its just another legend, but I’ve heard that Wehner and some other contributors to NR such as Jonah Goldberg, Andrew McCarthy and Victor David Hanson decided to fix up a 1976 AMC Pacer. After seven years and 3 trillion dollars and counting, the Pacer rumbles, lurches and sputters to the end of the block leaving clouds of black smoke in its quake and neighbors diving under furniture for safety. They have all patted each other on the back for their great work – desk jockey warriors, noted with razor-sharp intelligence the cost benefits of their project and declared it a great success because before they spent those trillions, hey it didn’t run much better and some day, by gummit, they’ll be able to drive round the block.
Voltaire wrote a book called Candide in which one of the main characters, Pangloss, a manic optimist teaches that we live in the best of all possible worlds. At first Candide thinks there might be something to this philosophy, but after a few incidents of bad luck and observations of reality, including encountering a badly abused slave laid out on a road declares, “I’m through, I must give up (Pangloss) optimism after all… It is a mania for saying things are well when one is in hell.” Do apologists for the invasion of Iraq suffer from the same mania. Judging by their continued Panglossian logic and their allergies to the facts, the evidence does suggest the distinct possibility.