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Matt, all those reasons to not continue north to Baghdad were sound at the time, and even seem so now to a large degree. The really reprehensible and mistaken decision was when we allowed Saddam to brutally put down the uprising afterward, because we suffered a loss of will. Absent that, it would have been a lot easier to get support from the dissidents leading up to the current campaign, who must retain some residual mistrust. Of course, had we let them, even helped them win the last time, we wouldn't be in this position now.

Posted by: Rand Simberg at March 20, 2003 07:23 AM

Agreed, Rand. Even after hearing those reasons explained in various documentaries on the topic, I still struggle with the urge to judge the past. But I don't have to because I then remember what I was shouting to (and annoying) my friends back in '91: That we would eventually have to go back in, probably by the end of the decade.

Well, my prediction was a little early but still correct.

However, in reading Baker the thing I struggle with the most is my dismay at our naivete and stunned patriotic pride. Why?

What other people in history has or would stop fighting a war because it was TOO EASY? Only Americans.

And still we get no benefit of the doubt. Tonight I watched news from around the world, of the protests and Anti-American venom this event has apparently generated.

I don't buy it. The absolute vehemence expressed by these protesters belies both a closet full of past percieved slights and the insipent fear of the only remaining superpower.

Why didn't we see this type of outrage at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan 1979? Too long ago? How about Rwanda? I didn't see these peace protesters so up in arms about 800,000 bodies floating down the african rivers. Forget about the hipocrisy of the UN, check out the so-called Left. Perhaps the total lack of imagination and dynamism in the movement since R. kennedy died has finally boiled to the surface in blind rage.

I don't know. Perhaps someone out there can give me reasonable explanations that will satisfy my curiosity.

Posted by: [505] SPC P at March 20, 2003 06:25 PM
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