And although it was a Democratic victory, it may help salvage something for the Bush administration's legacy in the Middle East. And that is the deeper point. No single party in our polity can claim credit for all of this. The course adjustment was a function of different entities fighting one another, reacting to events and facts, and thereby forging a more sensible war policy. What no single entity wanted came eventually to pass. It's shaping up to be a text-book lesson in the virtues of separating powers. Dictatorships cannot do this in wartime, which is why they often lose; neither can unchecked executives in democracies. But it's a good thing.While I may not have a lot of use for Petraeus I don't deny he is an intelligent guy who realized that an attack on Iran would jeopardize his legacy in Iraq; so perhaps Sully is right to give him a piece of the credit. So is this a counter coup? I guess is a sense it could be described as such. Does it mean the system works as Sully claims? I don't think so - we were just lucky. People have been trying to take the bat shit crazy Cheney out of the loop for six years. Gates may have finally been able to do it although he was certainly aided by six years of foreign policy failure.
The key players will only emerge definitively with the judgment of history. But my roster of those who helped get us back toward a rational war-policy would put Bob Gates and David Petraeus at the top of the list.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I suggested here from the get go that Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates was responsible for the release of the Iran NIE. Well Andrew Sullivan seems to agree