THE SPINE JANUARY 20, 2008
This is the title of a very smart article by Michael Gordon in today's Times "Week in Review." Of course, the real war hardly ever meets the campaign on the hustings where the candidates utter their slick bromides -- and pretend that their "solution" would be neat and easy, effective and popular.Gordon observes that John McCain has given the most detailed and comprehensive analysis of where we stand in Iraq. Maybe that's because he's a military man and is able to face the tough choices as if he himself were in battle. To be sure, the contrast between him and his Republican competitors is a stark one. "Victory" was Rudolph Guiliani's answer to what should be done in Iraq. And now one believes what Romney says anyway.The analyses by the Democrats are also irrelevant. That's because they are tailored not to the actual situation in Iraq and how it affects and will affect both the Iraqi population and American power over the long-run but to the politics of their mini-constituencies. Anyway, the Democrats try not to talk about the war anymore. And that's because what they said would happen has not...and what they said would not happen has.Anyway, Gordon's piece is illuminating and truth-telling.