John Edwards, today:
But Americans like President Harry Truman and General George Marshall saw the truth: that it would require not only America’s military might, but our ingenuity, our allies, and our generosity to rebuild Europe and keep it safe from tyrants who would prey on poverty and resentment. Our leaders resisted the imperial temptation to force our will by virtue of our unmatched strength. Instead, they built bonds of trust founded on restraint, the rule of law, and good faith. They were magnanimous out of strength, not weakness.
General Marshall—one of this country’s greatest military leaders—was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership in rebuilding Europe and promoting peace in the world.
Boy, he makes it sound easy. The Marshall plan passed in 1948, about three years after the end of the war. In the interim, there were big setbacks: by then Communists had taken over in Romania and Czechoslovakia, and were making moves on Greece and Turkey.
The equivalent timeline for postwar construction for the Iraq war would be 2006, or last year. By then, a large number of the American people were ready to give up on Iraq because not enough progress had been made.