Hold your punches and let the other guy have a chance!

It’s the topic of the latest Propaganda Machine’s ‘gotcha’ issue and Professor Hanson brings in a bit of real history in addressing Were We Right to Take Out Saddam? – “Public opinion veers with every change in current conditions in Iraq.”

Iraq was by turns a brilliant victory, a debacle, a solvable problem, a great achievement, and an ISIS-infested mess — again depending on the extent of American losses, the trajectory of the Iraqi government, and the particular election cycle in the United States.

Had the U.S. Congress not cut off all aid to South Vietnam in 1974–75, and had the Saigon government survived and followed the evolutionary path of South Korea, with a Saigon now much like Seoul, our assessments of the Vietnam War might be closer to those of the Korean War, for better or worse. The Allied decision in April 1945 not to go into eastern Germany and take Berlin was seen by 1946 as a foolish missed opportunity that had ceded much of Eastern Europe to the Soviet gulag state: A war to liberate Europe that we had entered in 1941 had by 1945 ensured the subjugation of Eastern Europe. Yet in 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, Ike’s decision to keep to the Allied plan and stay out of Berlin seemed less controversial, as the Soviet monstrosity fell by its own weight.

We should expect lots of false information and political reinvention about Iraq during the campaigns this year and next — as candidates readjust their positions to fit public opinion, itself predicated on impressions of present-day Iraq and revisionist analyses of the invasion, surge, and occupation.

There are deep roots to the U.S. reluctance to commit effectively in completing the task bought and paid for in lives and treasure. Is this effort to give the other guy a chance really the wise one?

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