The case for war must rest in part on the kind of vision the United States has for Iraq. The dread of "nation-building" must be cast aside. It is too late in the annals of nations for outright foreign rule. But there will have to be a sustained American presence if the new order is to hold and take root.
And why is it "staggering sad" if we can't pull off a Marshall Plan (as opposed to just regrettible)?
Because it suggests to me that the US, as a society, has regressed rather than grown since 1947.
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