Optimistic (and pessimistic) scenario

Russell Turpin deafbox@hotmail.com
Tue, 18 Mar 2003 13:11:53 +0000


Gordon Mohr:
>>There will be a postwar feeling of euphoria; Iraqis who've been taught for 
>>decades to insincerely kiss up to a brutal government will 
>>enthusiastically kiss up to the more liberal occupation regime, at least 
>>for a while.

Jeff Bone:
>I think this is a bit overly optimistic. I think it's hard to overestimate 
>the depth and intensity of the anti-American sentiment and animus we're 
>building.

The results of the conflict are more relevant
to sentiment afterwards than is sentiment
beforehand. That's true at home, among our
allies abroad, and among our enemies abroad,
though obviously, each will have a different
sentiment born from the aftermath. Military
victory is almost certain. The long-term
results are fuzzier, harder to predict, and
-- unfortunately -- more dependent on
precisely the kind of wisdom and planning
that hasn't taken us this far.

I think -- and hope! -- the short-term results
will be closer to Gojomo's prediction than to
yours. Bush's critics may be blowing their
wad by focusing so much on the war. There was
less criticism of Gulf War I, because it had
clearer cause for it. Because support for it
was broadbased, it had no impact as a political
issue in the subsequent elections, and the first
Bush's critics succeeded in focusing the
electorate on the economy. It helped that the
first Bush seemed only half-hearted in his
campaigning.

This Bush is doing worse with the economy, but
his domestic critics will have a more difficult
time. Precisely because there has been so much
opposition to the war, it WILL be a political
issue in the 2004 elections, with Bush's critics
painted into the corner of having been on the
wrong side. In short, they've blown their wad on
the wrong issue. This Bush will campgaign
forcefully, and likely will carry the day on the
back of a military victory. I think this war
will screw us domestically. Not only will it be
much more expensive than the first Gulf War, but
we will get another Bush term, the religious
right social agenda will be pushed another four
years, and Bush will appoint at least two Supreme
Court justices.


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