I had a conversation with two foreign policy heavyweights, both of whom had opposed the invasion of Iraq, just after the North Korean test. They agreed that, if the U.S. weren’t so completely tied down in Iraq, the Bush Administration might well be moving toward a military confrontation with the North Koreans, which they thought would likely have catastrophic consequences. As it is, the project is almost transparently impossible, and the generals and admirals are undoubtedly more willing to speak up than they were three years ago.
It suddenly struck me that those of us who supported the War in Iraq have finally found our alibi! By keeping the Bush Administration tied down in Iraq, we helped prevent war in Korea. Think of it as the “flypaper strategy.”
Convincing? Maybe not. (After all, if we weren’t tied down in Iraq, the North Koreans might have been deterred from testing their bomb.) But that’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.