New Rule, in two parts: A) You can't call yourself a think tank if all your ideas are stupid. And B), if you're someone from one of the think tanks that dreamed up the Iraq War, and who predicted that we'd be greeted as liberators, and that we wouldn't need a lot of troops, and that Iraqi oil would pay for the war, that the WMD's would be found, that the looting wasn't problematic, and the mission was accomplished, that the insurgency was in its last throes, that things would get better after the people voted, after the government was formed, after we got Saddam, after we got his kids, after we got Zarqawi, and that the whole bloody mess wouldn't turn into a civil war...you have to stop making predictions!
You know, there's a name for people who are always wrong about everything all the time: husbands.
You know, it's a shame what happened to think tanks. They used to produce valuable, apolitical analysis. But partisanship crept into many of them. And the Bush Administration doesn't just come up with something as stupid as "If we leave now, they'll follow us home." No, they have someone from a think tank say it first. It's a way to lend respectability. The same reason a titty bar has food. . .I hear.
The think tanks that incubated the Iraq war have lofty names like the Heritage Foundation and the Project for a New American Century.
They've been wrong so often, I'm surprised they're not my broker. Richard Perle thought we could win Iraq with 40,000 troops. Paul Wolfowitz predicted, in 2003, that within a year, the grateful people of Baghdad would name some grand square in their fine city after President Bush. And he was right when he said they'd be waving American flags. They were on fire.
William Kristol pooh-poohed the fears that Sunnis and Shiites would be at each others' throats, as "the stuff of pop psychology." Right. And having your head chopped off is just a quick way to drop 11 pounds. Kristol, of course, is revered by much of the right because he was Dan Quayle's chief of staff, and was known as "Quayle's Brain." You know that. Which sounded impressive until I remembered Dan Quayle didn't have a brain.
And now, Mr. Kristol proposes immediate military action against Iran, predicting the Iranians will thank us for it. Hey, you know what, Nostradamus? Why don't you sit this one out?
We'll get by using the Magic Eight Ball for a while. Because you guys have been so wrong about so much for so long, people are actually turning to the Democrats.
So, we can say Iraq was a noble experiment, if that helps you. Our intention was good: to penetrate Iraq and bring it to a glorious, euphoric climax. But it's clear now that's just not going to happen. And yet we're still pounding away. . .causing the whole area to become painfully inflamed. And in that situation, the kindest thing you can do is. . . just pull out.