Thursday, September 13, 2007

Just because I haven't posted...

...doesn't mean I don't have something to say. But I have other priorities, some of which you'll see on my other blog.

I was reminded not long ago, though, that there are some folks who are actually interested in what I have to say on this blog. I do have in my head, though not yet written down, a piece on the state of the Illinois Republican Party. Back in June I was invited to a special preview of the Party's We Are Illinois web site and campaign to reform Illinois politics. It's slick, all right. The question is whether or not, in focussing on the corruption of the current Democratic governor (who easily won re-election last year) there is any credible spokesman for reform for reforming Illinois politics in the state Party's leadership. The prior link might give you a hint on my answer to that question. More later.

The big political news remains Iraq and what the US needs to do next. While I've not written about it (yet), some of the consistently best and most thoughtful writing can be found over at The View from Chaos Manor, both the "view" sections by Jerry Pournelle and the "mail" section by his correspondents with (sometimes) his responses. Dr. Pournelle and I start from the same perspective -- the United States had no business invading Iraq in the first place. I'll try to say more about that later, but I remember the campaign for invasion during the late summer and autumn of 2002, during the mid-term congressional election, both conservative and liberal politicians and pundits were whole-heartedly for it. I remember practically screaming at NPR while driving through Missouri to a conference that fall, for even this "progressive" public radio was one-sidedly promoting an invasion of Iraq ala William Randolph Hearst and Cuba in the 1890s) as a strike against terrorism even though our invaders were elsewhere. We ought not let the Democrats and the press get away with encouraging amnesia about the opposition to invasion waiting until after the election and the President was already mobilizing the troops against the Ba'athist regime. But the congressional and presidential Republicans have seemed too busy trying to escape responsibility for betraying genuine American conservative (as opposed to neo-conservative) principles to challenge the media's amnesia.

But, we're there now, and Pournelle has been asking the right question: Having made that mess and incurred a moral obligation, what is the cost of withdrawal? That is the more difficult question, and what we see/hear/read of the political debate is so shallow that it can easily drive a responsible American citizen to despair, for our political and pundit classes don't seem to be even thinking about that one. Meanwhile, over the last couple of days as General Petraeus has been repeatedly questioned, "How long?" I kept thinking of all the troops we've had in Korea for the last 55-plus years, or those we still have in Germany after WW2. Indeed, "How long?" This mis-spent (thus far) Iraqi occupation isn't really all that much put in that perspective.

Anyway, if you come by here looking for some new Whiggish comments and don't find them here, click those links I have in the right-hand column.

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