Learning Nothing

For a man who advocated extremely stridently on behalf of a policy which he now admits was a mistake and which has led, directly and indirectly, to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people Jonah Goldberg's managed to maintain a remarkably churlish attitude toward people who disagreed with him about Iraq. Which is another way of saying that some conservatives now seem to be edging toward the annoying position of many former liberal hawks -- after years of insisting this pile of shit was a tasty stew, they're prepared to admit that it's actually a pile of shit but don't want to draw any conclusions from that fact.

Iraq is a mistake, but all the attitudes and ideas about the world and America's role in it that led to the mistake somehow remain perfectly intact. The proposal, meanwhile, to hold a referendum in Iraq on whether our troops should stay is cute, but it founders on a lot of ambiguities about exactly how to word the question. Whoever was in charge of the referendum could rig it to have the desired outcome one way or the other. Doing that may be a smart idea, but you'd still need to decide in advance what the desired outcome is.