The odd thing (to Westerners’ pre-conceived notions) is that so many Iraqis are highly educated people. A source of mine who spent many months there said that their engineers are at least as good as many of the American engineers we’ve sent over. There is reason to believe that a competent civil society can emerge once the terrorists are crushed — which, by the way, I think is in the process of happening.
I’ve been a big Bush critic on spending, and on his insularity, and on Katrina, and on other fronts as well. But I continue to believe that his overall choice for war in Iraq (certainly not every sub-decision and every tactical choice),the main thrust of his policy there, was and is and always will have been right, NO MATTER WHAT THE ULTIMATE OUTCOME. Faced with the situation we were in, with the knowledge (both correct and incorrect) that we had or thought we had, and with the values that we have and the goals (both humanitarian and strategic) that we have in the region, the president made the only morally defensible call. He deserves continued support for it. And I do believe our policies there will be adjudged by historians to have been a success.