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A better quagmire

Bush has spent the world's goodwill on reform in the Arab world. It was the most dangerous path, except for all the others

By Jonathan Rauch   June 2003

Quagmire? sure, the war in Iraq was a quagmire. It was just a short quagmire. On the spectrum of quagmires, it was the shortest since the six day war. In fairness, the war’s critics feared a quagmire not so much during the fight as after, and they had a point. One reason the first Bush administration didn’t drive to Baghdad in 1991 was to avoid an American occupation of a major Arab country. And now there we are.

Still, George W Bush can probably do a better job in Iraq than Saddam Hussein did. The new quagmire is unlikely to…

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