Must-read column by historian Victor Hanson on Iraq and the last decade and a half of conflict there:
"..we have compressed four separate wars of two decades into some vague continuum...In sum, after 15 years we are nearing a showdown with Iraq, since we finally chose to confront the real problem of a fascist autocracy — the result of Soviet-style Baathism imposed on a tribal society...We have finally learned our lesson: Victory or defeat and a change of circumstances — not breathing spells with dictators, U.N. resolutions, realpolitik truces, no-fly zones, or cruise missiles — finally end most wars....If we are victorious in War IV, Iraq will be analogous to a Germany, Japan, or Panama and pose no further problem. If we fail, it will be similar to Vietnam or Lebanon...If War IV is now the costliest for the U.S. and the most controversial of the series, it is because it is for all the marbles and offers a lasting and humane solution — and every enemy of the United States in the Middle East seems to grasp that far better than we do."The best top-to-bottom summation of the Iraq situation I've seen anywhere, including the best criticisms of U.S. policy. As they say, read the whole thing.
And when I read posts like this from Iraqi bloggers
The whole Middle East should get the same changes happened in the EastEurope in late 1980s to 1990s. Democracy and freedom is the key for success.Evil always hide itself under the gowns of the dictators.I feel great hope Iraq's postwar future will indeed resemble Germany and Japan, despite the ongoing violence of those who oppose Iraq's transition to freedom and democratic rule.