Having spent the weekend entirely lacking internet access--lacking, in most instances, a computer even--I am pleased to report to all y'all that nothing has occurred. Alberto Gonzales gone is the same as Alberto Gonzales present: either mute or foolish, but in no instance useful. The wars still drag on, and for the first time in the history of the internet, I agree almost entirely with something that Kevin Drum has written:
Consider two other big counterinsurgency wars that were going badly after a few years: Vietnam in 1964 and Afghanistan in 1984. In both cases, the entangled superpower had the option of either pulling out and taking its lumps or extending the conflict, and in both cases it made the choice to extend the conflict. And both times that was the wrong decision. Staying in Vietnam did immense long-term damage to the national security of both Southeast Asia and the United States, and staying in Afghanistan was a leading cause of the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. For both countries, staying involved in a long and deadly counterinsurgency almost certainly did far more harm than pulling out would have.It's notable that our government speaks of and our press covers Iraq as if it's a restive overseas colony, although they eschew the word occupation.
How did we become such an eager empire while convincing ourselves so thoroughly of our own reluctance?