May 14th, 2011


Victory Through The Eyes of the NYT

Our goal for the new Iraqi government was to give the people freedom--not that a Jeffersonian utopia was achievable, but giving more than than they'd had, enough that they'd have better things to do with their lives than strap on suicide belts. Well, they've got more freedom. Freedom to make their own choices. And one of the things people do with freedom is make choices other people don't like. Such as painting their buildings funny colors. Yes, that's what the article is about. The reporter has lots of quotes from former Baath party clients lamenting the bad fashion sense of the newly elected officials.

Pardon me while I cackle with glee.

Iraq's not at the end of the journey yet. But they've gotten to where corruption is a much bigger problem than terrorism. The example they're setting of voting for their leaders is a good example for the other countries launching Arab Spring rebellions. That's how a culture changes.

Oh, meanwhile bin Laden got killed, and good riddance. Probably the toughest call Obama had to make in his presidency so far. I figure at some point he asked "What's the worst case scenario?" and a CIA analyst replied "It could be disinformation from a pro-AQ faction of the ISI. They'd want to ambush an American attack to spark an Islamist uprising against the current government. So we'd have several dozen dead SEALs and a civil war raging in Pakistan, possibly with nuclear weapons on both sides. But we evaluate that as less than a 15% probability." That'll give a man a tight belly until the helicopters are back at base.
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