Sunday, March 09, 2003

In his March 5th Slate article Does the "invade Iraq" book say what you think it does? Chris Suellentrop says that Kenneth Pollack's The Threatening Storm is not so much an endorsement of Bush's brand of warmongering but of a different sort of Invasion of Iraq, the key points being,

1. "that Bush should focus on al-Qaida before Saddam,"
2."that Bush should make a more serious effort to reduce the violence between Israelis and Palestinians before invading Iraq"
3. "that Bush's linkage of al-Qaida and Saddam is facile and unconvincing"
4."that Bush's inattention to the rebuilding of Afghanistan bodes poorly for the reconstruction of Iraq..."

those quotes are from Suellentrop, from March 5th. But if you go to's entry on The Threatening Storm, you will find an amateur review by John Ratliff, dated Febrary 19th, that says,

1.[Pollack] "sees it as essential that there is a sense that the war against Al Queda is well in hand.[before we attack Iraq] He specifically says that we should be beyond periodic alerts for terrorist attack in the U.S."

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."

and if that isn't enough, compare Suellentrop's last sentence with Ratliff's title:

Suellentrop: "But The Case for Invading Iraq isn't the case for Bush's invasion."

Ratliff: " Excellent case for invasion, but maybe not this one"

Ratliff, incidentally, isn't just some yahoo with a blog ( like for example, me), but a sociology professor at Santa Clara University in California, although he is too modest to list this in his Amazon "about you page." See Ratliff's review and Suellentrop's article, and see what you think.