Alex Massie has some very interesting thoughts on the light Northern Ireland's recent history sheds on the situation in Iraq. The bottom line, to me, is that if achieving a decent outcome in Iraq is possible, the path to that outcome involves what I would consider unacceptable costs for an unacceptably large amount of time. I'd say there's a reason the Iraq War is always sold as something that'll end in just another Friedman Unit or two -- if people had a sense of the duration being contemplated to execute our policies there, they'd have a fit. And rightly so.
In earlier Iraq/Ireland analogy blogging, I'd recommend this (it's at the end) and especially this from Kieran Healy.
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