Astonishing stupidity. No matter how hard you try to think like an Atlantic-Council zombie, it’s impossible to see any scenario where this works well for the US.
You kill the man after he’s won his great victory, after his strategies are in place, part of the institution, just in time to make him a mobilizing figure and gild his image forever–and while he’s a guest of what little is left of what was supposed to be your puppet government.
It’s an uncanny feeling, seeing your own country lose its mind.
This man was a great general, in an era with few top-level commanders worth remembering. He was brilliant from the beginning, and perhaps the best in the world at what’s emerging as the key military skill of the era: managing local allies who would usually prefer to attack each other rather than the common enemy.
He will be remembered when the fatuous lobbyists-in-uniform who ordered his killing are a dim and unwholesome memory. I’m sorry if this isn’t ‘balanced,’ but it gets tiresome balancing between those who do brilliantly with next to nothing and those who piss away vast strength in campaigns they know themselves to be not just evil but completely futile–except as money-making enterprises. Honor to the fallen victor of Iraq.
And now, with a sigh, the required limiting clause: I have no love for the IRI, which seems to reserve a special hatred for elite female intellectuals in a culture that has produced more than its share of them. But a great general is a great general, and this man was one of the few our era will see.