Rethinking the Strategy

In order to deal effectively with America's predicament in Iraq, it is essential to understand that we had begun to walk down the road to Baghdad long before September 11, indeed, quite before the Bush Administration came to power.

Issue: Summer 2004

In order to deal effectively with America's predicament in Iraq, it is essential to understand that we had begun to walk down the road to Baghdad long before September 11, indeed, quite before the Bush Administration came to power. After the Cold War, a new triumphalist mindset, shared by influential groups in both the Republican and Democratic parties, began to develop an unstoppable momentum. It was Madeleine Albright who started bragging about the United States being an indispensable nation. It was a number of senior officials in the Clinton Administration--and eventually President Clinton himself--who, frequently taking a casual attitude to the facts, brought the United States into the Balkans in a desire to transform the former Yugoslavia--even if it required a military action without UN blessing and in violation of international law, as in the case of Kosovo.

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