Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kagan’s Definition of Success in Iraq (Robert Murphy)

Robert Murphy says that Fred Kagan and his Neocon buddies may sound reasonable when presenting their reckless positions, but only because they deliberately conceal the costs involved, especially in human lives:

When it comes to theoretical justifications for the continued occupation of Iraq, the gold standard is the Weekly Standard. Bill Kristol and Fred Kagan must be extremely intelligent and gifted writers, because whenever I read their work or hear them speak, I’m halfway to killing 30 foreigners before suddenly snapping out of it. Kristol and Kagan are quite simply masters at making their reckless positions sound eminently reasonable and "conservative."

The latest case in point is Kagan’s article, "How We’ll Know When We’ve Won: A definition of success in Iraq." (Note that it’s titled when, not if.) As usual, he lays out what at first glance seems to be a perfectly plausible case for allowing the current strategy to play itself out, since we are already well on the way to victory. Yet as we’ll see, Kagan commits the same fallacy that every leftist do-gooder on the home front does: He simply lists the benefits of his proposed plan, rather than explaining why its benefits outweigh its costs.

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