June 24, 2006

Political Morality

Filed under: India — Chris @ 10:37 am

Matthew Yglesias takes on Andrew Sullivan’s latest on Iraq. Sullivan is against “any timetable for withdrawal” from “a war conducted by an administration whose key players are manifestly incompetent and reckless.” He is for… prayer. Yglesias:

This gets us toward what is, I think, a fairly fundamental point of political morality — it’s wrong, seriously wrong and seriously irresponsible, to support military action that has no likely prospects of success. It’s one thing to ask young men and women to kill and die for a good cause. It’s another thing entirely to ask them to kill and die as a token of your support for a good cause.

Clearly, my first-choice scenario for the world would be one in which the nominal goals of American Iraq policy — killing terrorists, preventing a civil war, building a stable liberal democracy — are achieved. But I can’t support the war — can’t say it was a good idea to launch it, and can’t say I think it’s a good idea to continue it — precisely because I don’t think the war is accomplishing its goals, don’t think it stands a good chance of accomplishing them, and don’t think it ever did stand a good chance of accomplishing them.


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