The Corner

Re: The Panic of The Hawks

I think you’re right, Rich. I don’t quite understand why this panic has broken out, either. Abu Ghraib and the Fallujah deal were disheartening to supporters of the occupation. But the Fallujah deal has not been as disastrous as critics (including me) expected: We haven’t had a clear-cut victory, but neither have they. How much the impact of Abu Ghraib hurts the mission in Iraq, and elsewhere in the region, remains to be seen, but there are some reasons for thinking that we may be overestimating that impact. The chief source of justified alarm that I can see is the panic itself: the possibility that it will lead to dumb moves in Washington. I understood the Weekly Standard’s editorial this week to be expressing just this kind of justified alarm, and thus would not put them in the panicked-hawk category.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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