Department of Analogies

Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) was just saying that it's unrealistic to expect Iraq to move swiftly to militia disarmament. After all, look at Northern Ireland where the IRA has just only very recently agreed to lay down arms.

This all seems reasonable to be, except that Smith seems to think this is a data point in favor of his side. It proves, you see, that the GAO scorecard is silly. And maybe so. But peering just a half an inch beneath the analogy is the idea that civil war in Iraq might continue for thirty or forty years before it would be reasonable to expect our policy to start showing results.