August 31, 2009

Flame War!

I was on Politico reading how George Will is about to call for a pull-out from Afghanistan -- not that surprising given Will's somewhat conservative* views -- when I was distracted by this flame war between Glenn Greenwald and Joe Klein. Readers of this blog will be amused to read this vicious take-down of Klein on Greenwald's blog from late May 2007, when Klein had the audacity to conclude al-Qaeda was on the run in Anbar Province. This is amusing, of course, because al-Qaeda actually was being rolled up in Anbar Province at the time, but many on the left were too heavily invested in their opinions on the Iraq War -- formed between 2002 and 2005 -- to notice. There's a lesson there somewhere. On Afghanistan, meanwhile, we're starting to see similar faultlines develop in the Democratic Party, and develop with a speed that has surprised both this blogger and the White House. Time will tell who is on the right side in that debate, but if the Iraq War is anything to go by, we should all -- this blogger included -- be prepared to revisit our assumptions at any time lest they cloud our judgment à la Greenwald in 2007.

*Note the lack of "neo" in front of that adjective. Will is skeptical, like any good conservative, of nation-building and the power of government to transform society.