National Review Online asked a number of conservative thinkers to comment on the meaning of the op-ed by Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack yesterday in the New York Times. There are some interesting thoughts on it.
Frank Gaffney: This assessment is remarkable, of course, not only for the fact that its authors are breaking ranks with nearly all of the rest of the Democrats’ foreign-policy establishment. It is also noteworthy for being the latest and, arguably, most objective indicator that the situation on the ground in Iraq is, indeed, changing for the better…..
Victor Davis Hanson: What is interesting about the essay is that both scholars were early supporters of the war to remove Saddam Hussein, then constant critics of the acknowledged mistakes of the occupation, and now somewhat confident that Gen. Petraeus can still salvage a victory. In two regards, they reflect somewhat the vast majority of the American people who approved the war, slowly soured on the peace — but now have yet to be won over again by the surge to renew their erstwhile support.
We are witnessing two phenomena. First, after four years of misery the Iraqis themselves are tiring of war, have grasped what al Qaeda et al. do when in local control, realize the U.S. wants to leave only after establishing a constitutional state, not steal its oil, sense that the United States may well win — and are slowly making adjustments to hedge their bets…….
Clifford May: Yes, Virginia, there are some rational, reasoning liberals. Michael O’Hanlon and Ken Pollack have long been among them. They are serious students of national security. They are Democrats but not hyper-partisans. They are not so willfully self-deluded as to believe that America’s defeat in Iraq would be a problem only for President Bush and those pesky neocons. They understand that America’s defeat in Iraq — at the hands of al Qaeda and Iranian-backed militias — would be hugely consequential for America……
There is much, much more over there. I'd point out that the shrieking rage that erupted from the left yesterday when this op-ed came out was not matched by equal howling today when several Democrats in Congress appeared to openly break ranks with the far left opinions. That's interesting, I think. These are a couple of items the left would like to see disappear, I suspect. Go over and read some of the opinions NRO gathered. There is a lot of interesting stuff.