Won't have much time for blogging today, so, courtesy of Barcepundit, here are two very interesting articles, and two excellent magazines to bookmark.
In the left-leaning British monthly Prospect, the wonderfully named Bartle Bull argues that the US is rapidly approaching the point where it will be able to declare 'mission accomplished' for a second time – and that this time it won't simply be a soundbite. The thrust of the piece is captured in this extract:
The great question in deciding whether to keep fighting in Iraq is not about the morality and self-interest of supporting a struggling democracy that is also one of the most important countries in the world. The question is whether the war is winnable and whether we can help the winning of it. The answer is made much easier by the fact that three and a half years after the start of the insurgency, most of the big questions in Iraq have been resolved. Moreover, they have been resolved in ways that are mostly towards the positive end of the range of outcomes imagined at the start of the project.
I also want to highlight this bit, which echoes what a lot of supporters of victory in Iraq have been saying for a long time:
By the second half of 2004, the insurgency had had six months to show what it was capable of, and it became clear that its goal could not be the military defeat of the Americans. The Sunnis were now fighting not for a military victory but a political one, to win in the US congress and the newsrooms of CNN and the New York Times the war they could not win in the alleys and date palm groves of Mesopotamia.
Bartle might have added that while the Sunnis have largely given up their campaign, CNN, the Times and others are continuing to fight it on their behalf.
The second article is from World Politics Review, a magazine I haven't come across before, but will be keeping an eye on in the future. With verdicts due shortly on 28 people accused of involvement in the 2004 Madrid train bombings, Robert Latona reviews the court case and the investigation, and the political fall-out from the attacks; namely that the Socialists were able to capitalise on the tragedy, and blunders by the ruling Popular Party, to triumph in an election they'd previously had no hope of winning. The article is also noteworthy for introducing the reader to Spain's very own Cindy Sheehan.