Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Iraq: Not as bad as Occupied France

The bar gets ever lower for judging the success of Dubya's project in Iraq. One rightwing hack approvingly quotes another right-wing hack [one of the non-wrestling Goldbergs] saying:

Churchill didn't conduct World War II perfectly every time either. Dunkirk wasn't the sort of thing that happens when the war goes swimmingly.

Two things to note. First, the tendency of American conservative opinion writers to aim for a writing style that in their mind is matched to Gin and Tonics at the Club with the rest of the colonial expats.

And second, the predictably dubious command of history underlying this amazingly low benchmark: Churchill was Prime Minister for at best one month when Dunkirk happened, so it's preposterous to see it as reflective as a strategic mistake on his behalf. He had no time to plan, unlike with Dubya's war of choice. And anyway, in the ability to evacuate so many troops who could be used against the Nazis later, Dunkirk was not the debacle that amateur historians and professional neocon spinners make it out to be.

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg's Dunkirk analogy is so flawed that even Andrew Sullivan, busy sucking up to his VRC buddies, had to repudiate it.

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