Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Max Speak

Max joins the discussion.

Everyone would prefer the U.S. to engage world problems through international institutions and use military force unilaterally as the very last resort. That is not controversial. What is controversial is the actual experience, one which cautions that a very high bar ought to be placed on the use of force. To call attention to this record, not least to the spectacular debacles of Vietnam and now, Iraq, and maybe in the near future, Iran, is a patriotic public service. To disparage this body of criticism as irresponsible, ill-considered, or anti-American is a calumny.

In the next presidential election, both parties' candidates will have huge problems. On the Democratic side, the electorate will be bitterly divided over staying and leaving Iraq. If things there continue to stagnate, not least for reasons that Peter discusses, the dissenters' number will increase. Peter's apparent strategy entails attacking that faction of voters that is growing. I'm no political genius -- it seems that we only learn who they are after the fact -- but I can count. I do not think this book unravels the political knot facing the Democrats. (The Rs have their own problems.)