VD Hanson writes:
>Given all of this country’s past wars involving intelligence failures, tactical and strategic blunders, congressional fights and popular anger at the president, Iraq and the rising furor over it are hardly unusual.
No kidding. No one disputes that claim. Then he offers a series of uncontroversial examples and concludes:
>The high-stakes war to stabilize the fragile democracy in Iraq is a serious, costly and controversial business. But so have been most conflicts in American history. We need a little more humility and knowledge of our past–and a lot less hysteria, name-calling and obsession with our present selves.
I would argue it’s too serious for arguments like this whose conclusions incoherently diminish the seriousness of the “serious, costly and controversial business” we have bungled ourselves into. The problem, contrary to what Hanson concludes, is a serious one. And it’s seriousness consists in its happening now and into the near or far future. Our having failed in the past even more miserably, in other words, doesn’t diminish our current responsibility not to fail in the future.