The Corner


I almost always agree with Mark Steyn and Victor Davis Hanson, even when they disagree. Both of them know a lot more about on-the-ground politics than I, so when Mark says that the war isn’t, and isn’t likely to be, the big issue in this campaign, I’m sure he’s right. Except that we are at war, and in that war our enemies are doing badly in Iraq and they are going to push for some big victory as soon as they can, and so it will be hard for the voters to be shielded from this reality. Anyway we’ll see. Or not. The cool thing about politics is that the tea leaves get analyzed for years to come…

On the surge, Victor is right, and he’s doubly right. Those calling for more troops a couple of years before it finally happened wanted an occupation force rather than a counterinsurgency force. And it may well be that the most important element in ‘the surge’ (I’ve said this before, indulge me please) is the use to which our troops were put, rather than the absolute numbers. For an incredibly long time an incredible number of American fighters sat on bases, drank designer coffee, and pretended to train iraqis. It didn’t work, and the Marines figured it out, kicked their guys off-base, and made them fight alongside their iraqi counterparts, street by street and house by house. The Anbar Awakening owes a lot to al Qaeda’s barbarisms, and also a lot to the sight of U.S. Marines standing shoulder to shoulder with Iraqis and killing the terrorists. That’s when the Iraqis figured out we weren’t leaving and couldn’t be defeated, and that’s when they threw their support to us.

Michael Ledeen — Michael Ledeen is an American historian, philosopher, foreign-policy analyst, and writer. He is a former consultant to the National Security Council, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense. ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

March Mailbag

1. In response to this post, about the Fed and fiscal stimulus: “So are you saying that deficit spending is a free lunch because the Fed will keep inflation from happening? You say [extra government spending] won’t ‘raise economic output’ but what’s the harm of it if you’re right?” I see at least ... Read More


For your amusement, I hope, I’ve done a Jaywalking episode. It begins with a bit of the overture to Semiramide -- a Rossini opera I reviewed from the Met last week. Then I get into Russia and, after a while, China. The Marriott company fired an employee for “liking” a tweet by a Tibetan independence group. ... Read More

Campaigns for World Down Syndrome Day Go Viral

As World Down Syndrome Day approaches on Wednesday, several campaigns supporting those with the condition have taken over the Internet. Fifty mothers of children with the condition put together a viral video of them and their children singing along in the car. The video helped the children and their mothers ... Read More

Viva l’Italia?

Italy has just had elections, with very interesting results. I wanted to talk with Alberto Mingardi, which I have. He is one of the leading classical liberals in Italy -- the director general of the Bruno Leoni Institute, in Milan. (Mingardi himself is Milanese.) He is also an authority in arts and letters. In ... Read More