The Corner

Forgive Me…

…for responding to Andrew Sullivan–everyone must be sick of all the back-and-forth in The Corner with him. But he bizarrely misreads my column today as arguing that no one should criticize the Bush administration’s handling of Iraq. But the point of it is instead that we should have patience with this mistake-prone occupation (I call it “ever shifting, contradictory, beset by bureaucratic squabbles and undone by events on the ground”) because occupations tend to be mistake prone. To buttress this point, I draw on the work of that notorious Bush-hack Niall Ferguson. Andrew writes, “I don’t think it helps the war effort never to critize it.” Who possibly could disagree with that? What’s so bizarre about Andrew’s line of attack is that two months ago he wrote a piece attacking NR for being TOO criticial of the Bush-led occuptation in Iraq (we said, among other things, that “the Bush administration has shown a dismaying capacity to believe its own public relations”). Andrew’s piece was titled “Quitters,” and warned–I kid you not–that NR was “flirting with” a “kind of skepticism and realism.” Strange, very strange…

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