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Worthy mistakes and the agony of decision

By Owen Paine on Saturday October 21, 2006 10:12 PM

Thus Matthew Yglesias, reprimanding Jonah Goldberg for a column that characterized the Iraq war as a "worthy mistake":
Iraq is a mistake, but all the attitudes and ideas about the world and America's role in it that led to the mistake somehow remain perfectly intact....
Nice start -- but soft! What wonk through yon polemic breaks:
The proposal... to hold a referendum in Iraq on whether our troops should stay is cute, but it founders on a lot of ambiguities about exactly how to word the question. Whoever was in charge of the referendum could rig it to have the desired outcome one way or the other. Doing that may be a smart idea, but you'd still need to decide in advance what the desired outcome is.
What dribble! As if we need to get into "framing" of this. As if an in-or-out referendum is more than a "lets call the White House's bluff here" -- more than a "let's see if the Iraqi masses want us there" -- more then a "make 'em think" gambit.

Nope, for our Matt here it has to be parsed and re-parsed like it's the latest "pragmatic alternative" to single-payer health care.

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