What's going on is obvious. The first duty of proper Washingtonians is to demonstrate that they are smarter than whomever they happen to be talking about. It's quite easy to fulfill this mission when you are talking about the past. It's child's play for a salad-course solon who spent the entire 1990's ignoring foreign affairs to condemn the administration piously for not focusing like a laser beam on Al Qaeda on Aug. 6, 2001.
It's harder to be a smart aleck about the future, especially in regards to Najaf and Falluja, where none of the choices are good ones. Do the Baathists win a victory every day they hold off our siege? Or if we take them out now, do we undermine Sistani? We Klieg Light Kierkegaards will give you the right answer — three years from now, after whatever option the president takes has been judged and found wanting.
Some people in other places may like to look through keyholes to see women in their underwear. We here in the political class like to look through keyholes to see what happens when a bunch of alpha males (and females) with the jobs we wish we held sit around a table and curse about people not in the room. After two years of Iraq obsession, many of us couldn't tell you what the Dawa Islamic Party stood for if our kids' Sidwell admissions depended upon it, but the frisson we feel hearing the nasty words Colin Powell said behind the back of Douglas Feith! C'est délicieux!
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
David Brooks complains that pundits are avoiding talking about what is going on right now in Iraq because they really have no idea what the right course to take is and so would rather criticize decisions that were made a year or more ago because now they have the privilege of hindsight.
Posted by Betsy Newmark at 6:53 AM