THAT IS THE QUESTION: In my post yesterday on Matthew Parris' article, I quote him saying that the question, "well, what would you have done?" (about Iraq) is irrelevant. The only question that matters now, he says, is "would you do it again?"

When he says "you" he means it collectively, as in all of us. But leaders are different from all of us, aren't they? Their problem is doing the right thing at the moment when hard decisions are required. And, nicely put as his arguments are, I don't see how it's wrong to ask to see a coherent alternative presented - one that takes into account what we knew and didn't know prior to the war. That seems so basic in a debate as to be beyond - debate. In school I used to debate competitively. A lot, actually. I would have been delighted if my opponent had stood up and, in support of the resolution, outlined a series of things he proposed not to do. Game, set and match right there.

Andrew Sullivan:
Again, it's time the critics of Bush tell us what they're for. If not war in March, then what? If not sanctions, what? If not nation-building now, then what?

The only comeback to that, it seems to me, is "it's not really my job. It's the leader's job to avoid making mistakes, because nobody else has all the information on which to base a hard decision." To which I might reply that Sullivan is directing that question at people running for President. A difference?

MacMillan's thoughts here.

Steve | 14:10 |