The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s lead editorial today reflects many of the themes that TWN has been developing on the blog and at the New America Foundation where I work.
Although I am referenced later in the editorial, this is how the piece opens:
At the onset of the war in Iraq, Americans were anxious but supportive of President Bush sending the U.S. military to the Persian Gulf to topple the dangerous regime of Saddam Hussein. That invasion began three years ago today.
A March 2003 poll from the Program on International Policy Studies showed 66 percent of Americans favored invading Iraq; 32 percent opposed it. No close call there.
In 2006, it is clear that Bush’s war has done one good thing: rid Iraq of Hussein, who terrorized his own people and threatened neighboring nations. The bad man of Baghdad can do little more now than shoot verbal volleys at the judges presiding over his trial.
But Bush cannot claim that this war has so far achieved any other U.S. goal. To the contrary, his administration’s poor judgment and mistake-prone conduct of the occupation have made Americans less safe.
The war has been a boon to jihadi recruitment and the spread of extremist Islamic ideologies.
It also has harmed America’s ability to influence world affairs. The United States has been ineffective on a number of issues recently.
It’s a breath of fresh air to see sober assessments of our situation, even if the circumstances we are in are dismal.
More later. Heading back to DC from Pocantico Hills, NY today.
— Steve Clemons