Iraq, Anglican schism


In our exchange of views on the war (“No Exit from Iraq?” October 12), Andrew Bacevich writes that “persevering in a misguided war almost always makes things worse,” but he makes the same mistake I criticize, assuming that the United States is fighting the same “misguided war” it was fighting in 2003. There is nothing illogical about believing that toppling Iraq’s previous government may have made life worse for Iraqis, while also believing that preserving the country’s new government against insurgents could now make life better.

Bacevich also writes that “the United States has no obligation to fight on ground that suits its adversaries,” and that “we should fight on our own terms.” If Al Qaeda seeks to establish terrorist bases in Iraq, where else are we going to fight them? Shall we send them an invitation to a place more to our liking?

Bacevich downplays the democratization that is taking place in Iraq, claiming that General David Petraeus does not see this as part of his mission. But Petraeus is the U.S. military commander in Iraq; political support for the Iraqi government is the responsibility of the State Department. Because of American efforts, Iraq now has hundreds of local councils, a multiparty parliament, and a binding constitution, none of which existed five years ago. Rather than being “sleight of hand,” this is the most liberal government that has ever...

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