Man Without Qualities

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

By God, we should build one!

The frustration with President Bush on the American left has its desperately if unintentionally funny side. For example, one can just feel the annoyance and a certain sense of November panic growing in Al Hunt, the Wall Street Journal’s resident editorial liberal, when he shrieks:

“The situation in Afghanistan also is troubling. In a victory for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell's hope to send a sizable international peacekeeping force into Afghanistan has been rejected. The likely result: Iran will control western Afghanistan, radical Muslims will control much of the East, heroin and terrorism will flourish and the courageous new Afghan leader, Hamid Karzai, will be restricted to a small enclave around Kabul. The president seems oblivious to the recent warning of former United States Ambassador Richard Holbrooke that "if Afghanistan is important enough to wage war over--and it is--it's equally important to stabilize and rebuild" that country, even if that's ‘long and costly.’”

When the United States invaded Afghanistan, the defeatist left – including Mr. Hunt - disgorged a full measure of Vietnam analogies and warnings about “inevitable expensive quagmires.”

Now people like Messrs. Hunt and Holbrooke seem to feel they are entitled to a good quagmire. And since there was no quagmire there when we arrived, then by God, we should build one!

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