Blogs > Liberty and Power > Lights Out at the End of the Tunnel

May 19, 2005 3:30 pm


Lights Out at the End of the Tunnel



The New York Times reports the following:
In interviews and briefings this week, some of the generals pulled back from recent suggestions, some by the same officers, that positive trends in Iraq could allow a major drawdown in the 138,000 American troops late this year or early in 2006. One officer suggested Wednesday that American military involvement could last “many years.”

Hat Tip Arthur Silber

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Gus diZerega - 5/20/2005

So far what has happened in Iraq seems to pretty well reflect Hayekian style reservations about the war. Setting moral issues aside for the moment - and they are very important - societies are complex orders, as are economies. They are virtually impossible to reform in predictable ways on a grand scale. The American right has taken on a task of social engineering that would have impressed Plato (though he might have choisen different goals).

Of all the countries in the Middle east, Iraq was probably the least likely to be able to make a democratic transition. Not impossible in a logical sense - but requiring a reordering of the identites of millions of people. So far they do not seem to be reordering those identities quite the way the imperialist right expected.

The so-called "conservatives" and imperialist right are as much social engineers as any democratic socialist.

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