Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Democratic Predictive Powers
The smartest guys are not those who can tell you some truth about the present or past; the smartest guys can tell you what will happen in the future. I have to conclude that most of the editorial board and columnist of the New York Times are not very smart. Behold:
Surge of Ignorance
The only real question about the planned "surge" in Iraq — which is better described as a Vietnam-style escalation — is whether its proponents are cynical or delusional.
-- Paul Krugman, NYT, 1/8/07
There is nothing ahead but even greater disaster in Iraq.
-- NYT Editorial, 1/11/07
What anyone in Congress with half a brain knows is that the surge was sabotaged before it began.
-- Frank Rich, NYT, 2/11/07
Keeping troops in Iraq has steadily increased the risk of a bloodbath. The best way to reduce that risk is, I think, to announce a timetable for withdrawal and to begin a different kind of surge: of diplomacy.
-- Nicholas Kristof, NYT, 2/13/07
W. could have applied that to Iraq, where he has always done only enough to fail, including with the Surge
-- Maureen Dowd, NYT, 2/17/07
The senator supported a war that didn't need to be fought and is a cheerleader for a surge that won't work.
-- Maureen Dowd, NYT, 2/24/07
Now the ''surge'' that was supposed to show results by summer is creeping inexorably into an open-ended escalation, even as Moktada al-Sadr's militia ominously melts away, just as Iraq's army did after the invasion in 2003, lying in wait to spring a Tet-like surprise.
-- Frank Rich, NYT, 3/11/07
Victory is no longer an option in Iraq, if it ever was. The only rational objective left is to responsibly organize America’s inevitable exit. That is exactly what Mr. Bush is not doing and what the House and Senate bills try to do.
-- NYT Editorial, 3/29/07
There is no possible triumph in Iraq and very little hope left.
-- NYT Editorial, 4/12/07
... the empty hope of the "surge" ...
-- Frank Rich, NYT, 4/22/07
Three months into Mr. Bush’s troop escalation, there is no real security in Baghdad and no measurable progress toward reconciliation, while American public support for this folly has all but run out.
-- NYT Editorial, 5/11/07
Now the Bush administration finds itself at that same hour of shame. It knows the surge is not working.
-- Maureen Down, NYT, 5/27/07
Mr. Bush does have a choice and a clear obligation to re-evaluate strategy when everything, but his own illusions, tells him that it is failing.
-- NYT Editorial, 7/25/07
The smart money, then, knows that the surge has failed, that the war is lost, and that Iraq is going the way of Yugoslavia.
-- Paul Krugman, NYT, 9/14/07
Two days ago, in a magnificent victory nearly completely unheralded on the left, we handed back a pacified al Anbar province (attacks down 90%) to the Iraqi Army. Who, actually, was and is still delusional about the Surge change in tactics?
(h/t Eric Posner at the Volokh Conspiracy)
Oh, the photo is of former President Clinton and former Vice President Gore helping to wire up a school for computer terminals. They couldn't see wi fi coming and multi-millions were wasted in the project. Not the smartest guys either, especially Gore.
Labels: Future; Iraq; Surge Success
I can't help but rise to the bait. The surge was a change in tactics which constituted a cleaning up of a mess that we had made.
Unless Iraq settles in a secure pluralistic democracy after our inevitable w/drawal, then all we did was get rid of bad guy Saddam and his pycho sons and then kill a bunch of not very nice people.
Otherwise I invoke Max Miller quoting an anonymopus American soldier surveying a ruinrd French village in 1944: "We sure liberated the hell out odf this place."
However, if you want to say that it was Bill Clinton and Al Gore who wasted millions of dollars, and didn't see into the future, that's your prerogative.