Thursday, August 25, 2005

Those constitutions 

It reminds me of the current controversy about the Iraqi constitution. Publius Pundit has commented about the similarities between the Afghan and the proposed Iraqi constitution, and Alenda Lux has looked at the different reactions the two documents have engendered at "The New York Times" - enthusiastic approval in one case, and almost hysterical condemnation in the other. I'll let you guess which one was which.

The Afghan war has traditionally been a "good war", in a sense that it enjoyed general support and it had been difficult to find decent arguments against retaliating against those directly responsible for September 11 attacks. Not that the far left nevertheless hasn't tried, but the media has generally behaved sensibly. Iraq, by contrast, has always been "the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time" to use John Kerry's formulation. And the wronger the conflict in Iraq, the better the one in Afghanistan. The reporting from both theaters is generally negative, but whereas in case of Iraq it is used to argue that we shouldn't be there in the first place, in case of Afghanistan it is used to argue that we are not doing enough.

Now the cry call of "Iranian-style Shia theocracy", ringing everywhere from Kos to "The New York Times", has almost managed to overshadow all the other favorites like Vietnam, quagmire, or civil war. After two and a half years of cliches, my advice is, hold your horses on the latest one.


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