Thursday, March 16, 2006

Steyn on the proposed Iraq Study Group

Hugh Hewitt and Mark Steyn brought us their weekly take on the world and the proposed Iraq War study commission came up. Steyn summarizes it as well as anyone:

HH: .... Let's turn to international affairs, but beginning in the domestic side. Yesterday, there came word, Mark Steyn, that the Iraq Study Group had been formed. Now I cannot find the statute that authorized this, and I suspect it's a John Warner/Frank Wolfe gambit. But it's got James Baker and Lee Hamilton, and a bunch of the usual suspects to study the war. I can't believe we're going to do the 9/11 Commission again. What's your reaction to the formation of this group?

MS: Well, the 9/11 Commission is the...I mean, you know me. I'm a foreigner, but I'm pro-American. And yet I must say, the 9/11 Commission is everything I loathe about the United States, in that its legalistic, retrospective, showboating blowhards, pompous people going on TV round the clock. And in effect, it becomes something in and of itself. It's not just commenting on something like a play by play guy is, but it actually changes the course of the something its commenting on. And that's what's bad about this. You know, Iraq isn't a Broadway play in previews. The show has opened, and it's on now. So it's too late to have arguments about this little weak spot in the first act, and we should get it re-written. The show has opened, and the responsibility of these people involved in this, James Baker, Lee Hamilton, Rudy Giuliani, all these people, is that they should now be saying let's win it, and then have the arguments.

It is perplexing that we're a nation that thinks a study group will suddenly bring clarity to every issue. We're at war. It's a messy business. Once in the middle of one, it's hard to see a need to debate whether we're right or wrong to be mixed up in it. Let's win it first and then we can debate all we want to. The key is to win it.


Blogger Roch101 said...

" Once in the middle of one, it's hard to see a need to debate whether we're right or wrong to be mixed up in it. Let's win it first and then we can debate all we want to. The key is to win it."

So if we are wrong to be in a war, we shold continue to fight it anyway?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Giuliani will say, however, is that it should be legal to shoot Iraqis for reaching for their wallets and that it is 100% okay for them to be raped with plungers in prison.

Anonymous Glenn said...

Roch, a war fought just for the sake of fighting a war would be wrong. However, any government or society that embarked on such a venture would be unlikely to tolerate any debate period. I don't think the Iraq War fits this category. I realize a large number of people do not support this war and think it's wrong, but I don't see how it benefits the US to pull out of Iraq without helping a new government secure its position and continuing to strengthen the new Iraqi army.

Anon, I guess you're declaring Rudy has no moral authority to hold a seat on the study group. It doesn't matter to me who takes a seat on it because I don't see it as necessary.

Blogger Roch101 said...

Glenn, you have your opinion. The gist of your original post, however, was that we shouldn't even be talking bout it. You see the war one way, others see it another way and the point you made was predicated on the belief that your opinion is correct and others should shut up and not examine whether we are on the right track or not.

Sorry. That's highly irresonponsible and rather selfish of you to condemn other people's children to death and maiming just because you don't want policy re-evaluated. In fact, I think it's just absurdly immoral to say that we shouldn't shouldn't consider whether we are right or wrong to be in a war just because it is already underway.

Anonymous glenn said...

Roch, I appreciate the comments.

The gist of my post is that we don't need a high flying study group discussing policy because, as Steyn said, I believe it would become the story itself, not the issue it is considering.

Because children have been maimed and killed, it would be selfish and irresponsible not to conclude the war successfully. US policy in Iraq is not to maim and kill children. If it were, there would be no debate about the war being right or wrong.

It would be immoral not to reconsider continuing a war to a successful conclusion if the war itself were immoral. I don't believe that to be the case in Iraq.

If an Iraq study commission can come up with a better policy to win, then I'll be more than willing to listen. I just don't have much faith in that happening.

Blogger Roch101 said...

The other people's children I was referring to are the American sons and daughters.


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