Thursday, July 16, 2009

VDH's Private Papers::War and Taxes

It is striking how Obama references past mistakes on Afghanistan and emphasizes the now-tired "reset"-button themes — striking because of what is left unsaid.

When Obama says that things got worse in Afghanistan and that he now is trying to renew attention there and right things, fair enough. He deserves our support for his escalation. But at the same time, he is absolutely silent about the radical shift in Iraq, the once-"bad" war that is now far more encouraging than is its "good" counterpart in Afghanistan.

But someone, apparently to be forever unmentioned, did something right for Obama to inherit relative calm in Iraq, a democratic government that still survives and which is exposing the old shibboleth "we only empowered Iran by going into Iraq" to be a short-term truism at best; when, in fact, a multiparty, Shiite-majority democracy in Iraq that replaced Saddam is probably proving far more destablizing to nearby 8th-century clerics in Iran than are their own IEDs and bought terrorists in Iraq.


The only mystery will be how long will the base of Obama's support stay loyal among high-paid stockbrokers, CEOs, lawyers, financiers, academics, and journalists, who have enough money to get hit hard by new taxes, but not quite enough money not to care.

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