To revisit the five year-old Charles Krauthammer quote from yesterday about SCIRI, I should say that I don’t think the point is that Krauthammer was “wrong” about SCIRI. He was, of course, wrong but he’s been wronger about many things over the years. Rather, the point of highlighting his changing tune — and the hawks’ general switch on this — is to underscore the vacuous nature of the hawks’ strategic thinking on Iraq.
The fantasy camp theory of the Iraq War in which we were going to install a happy pro-American democracy that led rapidly to a tumbling of Iranian and Syrian (and maybe Saudi!) dominoes was always dumb but it’s at least clear why you might find it appealing. But that collapsed into the ashes years ago, and ever since it did folks have been casting about for rationales. We’ve gotten stuck in an inane debate over whether or not the surge is “working” or whether or not Iraq is “going well” when in reality it’s been years since we’ve had any coherent objectives at all.