Friday, June 24, 2005

Mistakes revisited...

Chap at Chapomatic plays beer pong quite well, thank you (it'll be interesting to see how many racquet metaphors we're going to go thru in this protracted discussion). He's done me the honor of responding to my rant on mistakes and culpability below. He's a fine apologist -- I'm swayed on some points. Go read his response here.

But there's one key "mistake" that I didn't itemize, yet Chap has brought it up inadvertently at least twice:

"If the President says “X is a mistake” then two things happen–first, he gets piled on with other claims expecting the same or better, and second, it now becomes a tool to be used by AQ. They’re a thinking enemy and use the advantages we give them–and our weakest center of gravity is the political will. It’s not a
good thing for any of this instant critique to be even publicly acknowledged by the guys still running the war for that reason."

Strategically speaking, I'm almost willing to concede the point. But before doing that, I want to hand down another indictment, and in a few days, I'll making the opening statement to the jury. The charge: the Bush Administration's prosecution of the war and tomfoolery at home is the primary reason that the so-called collective "political will" is the "weakest center of gravity." I don't think that particular vulnerability was inevitable going in nor was that die cast until about 6 months ago. We'll see what kind of a case I can make.

And another thing, I made the prognostication below that a tipping point has been reached in the crucial arena of public opinion, a prediction Chap characterized as merely another "news cycle" as opposed to something "seismic."

I don't see how one can see polls showing the majority, close to 60% of the country saying that the "war wasn't worth it", while holding (correctly, I believe) that public opinion is the point of greatest vulnerablity AND then not see current public opinion as anything other than seismic.

Tune in Monday evening for more beer pong.