Asking the hard questions
New York Post editorial writer Tom Elliott criticizes the media for admitting "not asking the hard questions" after certain events in Iraq (particularly, not finding the WMDs that are most likely in Syria) didn't come out as expected, then continuing to not ask the hard questions.
For example, here are some hard questions:
» Is a timetable for withdrawal intended to hasten victory — or defeat?
» If victory, how will withdrawal help?
» If defeat, how will that help national interests?
» How will abandoning Iraq’s burgeoning government affect America’s reputation in the region?
» A Taliban spokesman recently stated Osama bin Laden is coordinating insurgent attacks in Iraq. If true, how is it possible to simultaneously fight the war on terrorism but not insurgents in Iraq?
» What are some possible worst-case scenarios of withdrawing from Iraq?
» Should such a scenario manifest, what are Democrats’ contingency plans?
» The bill mandates the last of Iraq-stationed U.S. troops to leave by September 2008. What’s significant about this date other than being two months prior to the next presidential election?
As he says, there's a simple reason for that:
These questions never came because the answers are obvious: Abandoning Iraq will hasten an American defeat; leaving the country halfway broken will leave a permanent scar on America’s regional reputation; it’s impossible to fight the war on terrorism but not Iraq’s insurgents; leaving Iraq could beget a full-fledged regional war; Democrats have no plan should such a contingency arise; the final pullout date is arbitrary aside from its intent of removing Iraq from the next election’s political equation.
I have to agree with Elliott's arguments. At times, people make decisions that are so jaw-droppingly stupid that they defy explanation. Crystal Pepsi might be a fine beverage, but "Crystal" and "Pepsi" are such opposing terms that failure was pretty much assured. Leaving Iraq when that's been made entirely clear that it will be spun as victory by Islamists, and abandonment by Iraqis working with us, is similarly unthinkable.