Sunday, March 09, 2003

Here's the professor's review, just in case you have a hard time finding it on Amazon.[See previous post.] If Amazon or John Ratliff object to my posting it, I'll remove it; otherwise, since I make no money off this site and the ads you may see fund blogger and not Hugo, I cite fair use. (I don't agree with Ratliff about the French, but this is a minor quibble.)

"Excellent case for invasion, but maybe not this one, February 19, 2003

Reviewer: John Ratliff (see more about me) from Santa Clara, CA United States
I just finished reading The Threatening Storm, and Mr. Pollack makes a powerful and richly documented case for regime
change in Iraq at the earliest feasible date. As he says, invasion does seem like the best of a set of bad choices, if it is done with
the proper preparation. And there's the rub: in Pollack's terms, several essential elements are missing at the present moment to
proceed with invasion:

1) He sees it as essential that there is a sense that the war against Al Queda is well in hand. He specifically says that we should
be beyond periodic alerts for terrorist attack in the U.S. Thank God I have plenty of duct tape.

2) Also essential from his perspective is at least a ceasefire in the Iraeli-Palestinian conflict with real positive momentum towards
a settlement. We have never been further from this, with no daylight showing between Bush and Sharon.

3) The U.S. electorate must be prepared for the burden of nation building in Iraq. According to Pollack, this would involve an
occupation of over five years, with at least 200,000 troops initially, tapering down to about 100,000 after five years, and with a
semi-permanent presence of at least a division. He says the model must be Bosnia, not Afghanistan.

These are, from his perspective, essential criteria for a successful outcome for an invasion of Iraq. I'll let you be the judge as to
whether these have been met.

(BTW, I think he would have advised focusing on these issues, rather than seeking Security Council support. His view of the
fecklessness of the French is very prescient.)"