Sunday, 21 September 2008

Giving credit for the surge

George Packer on the surge, and doing the right thing after having exhausted every other alternative: Credit where it’s due, not where it isn’t.
To give him credit feels like praising a man for calling 911 well after his carelessness started a fire that had killed half his neighbors by the time he picked up the phone. And yet, for making an improbable decision against the advice of most of his Administration and in the face of all the political winds blowing through the country, Bush deserves credit.
[...]
I was in Baghdad when Bush announced the surge. An Iraqi friend expressed a forlorn hope that the new security plan would work, and though I told him that I shared the sentiment, inwardly I felt embarrassed that he still had any faith left in the U.S. government, which no longer deserved it. I had already lost mine and doubted that the surge - which I supported in the absence of anything other than the ongoing apocalypse - could succeed. My friend had no choice; he was Iraqi.

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