Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lawrence Korb outed.

Finally, I no longer feel alone. I am just a wee voice out there, but now a major player, nay a Higher Being, is now on to the FOD'd mind of Lawrence Korb. PowerLine is the hunt.
I've commented several times on the sophistry of Lawrence Korb, who seems willing to argue anything if he thinks it will advance his anti-war (and anti-Bush) agenda. Here’s another example. Last year, during National Review’s “conservative summit,” Korb debated Bill Kristol on whether “the surge of troops into Iraq is a mistake.” Korb, of course, argued that it was. His thesis, plausible at the time but since disproved, was that the surge would not succeed militarily. One of his arguments was that we had “surged” twice before without success. He thus willfully ignored not only the far more substantial scope of what the Bush administration had decided to do, but also the administration's changes in tactics.

A year later, the surge plainly has succeeded from a military standpoint. So now Korb argues in a recent debate with Ralph Peters that we’ve had that success only because we’ve made a deal with the Sunnis without insisting that they pledge their loyalty to the government. Korb adds that we could have had that deal two years ago if we wanted it. But I thought the surge was destined to fail because it was simply a repeat of what we had tried unsuccessfully in the past.

In the same debate, Korb claims that, as a result of the surge, we increased our troop levels in Iraq by 50,000 troops to 180,000. The prior efforts that Korb alluded to at the NRO summit do not involve anything of comparable scale. So again, his argument that the surge had already been tried was bogus.

Finally, still in the same debate, Korb argued that the surge has failed because “more American soldiers died in 2007 than in any previous year; more Iraqi civilians died than in any previous year.” But of course, the surge didn’t take hold until around the middle of 2007. Thus, the relevant figures regarding fatalities are those for that period forward, not for 2007 as a whole. As Ralph Peters reminded Korb (and as Korb well knows), “the casualties in the second half of the year were way down.”

The Iraq war is an issue about which people of good faith continue to disagree. Lawrence Korb isn’t one of them.

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