Max Hastings, writing in the Canberra Times, compared the attitude of the American people towards the war in Iraq as akin to having “a chronic ailment. It is nasty. They wish it would go away. But it does not inflict the sort of agonizing pain that causes democracies to force urgent action upon their government.” The rest of the world has simply grown tired of the same old words from Bush and his cohorts, hopeful expectations from US military commanders and suicide bombers killing without restraint.
Hastings expresses the view “it seems futile to waste words rehearsing the folly of the invasion launched under false pretenses on the basis of weapons of mass destruction that some of us, including me, were foolish enough to swallow. Likewise the blunders of the early occupation are common ground. All that matters now are the preent and the future.”
According to Hastings, “The Iraq experience has laid bare the limits of raw mllitary power. It would be naive to suggest that an abrupt US departure would prromise the country a happy future. But, there seems no purpose in a continual US military presence except in the context of new policies vastly different from those at present.”