Negative Interest

Can we stop using the term “endless war”?

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Spencer Ackerman concedes that he was wrong on Libya:

Several Danger Room pieces under my byline ran this year predicting that Libya was an open-ended mission, lacked a clear plan for victory, and could lead to NATO peacekeepers battling post-Gadhafi insurgents. While reasonable people can disagree about whether the war was in the U.S. interest (or even legal), or whether President Obama portrayed it honestly, the fact is that the war successfully ended after eight months, contrary to consistent predictions on display here.

We owe it to you to acknowledge forthrightly that we were wrong, and probably too blinded with fears of Iraq 2.0.

I think this is as good a time as any for me to call for a total moratorium on the phrase “endless war.” Announcing withdrawal dates hasn’t seemed to dissuade anyone from tossing it around at every opportunity, but it’s not a phrase that sounds particularly good and it’s an easy way to eventually prove your self wrong. The “endless” Vietnam War did, in fact, end. Wars may not always have a logical point of conclusion, but at some point they end. If I could place a $100,000 bet that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will not be endless wars, I would be in the position to collect a lot of money in the upcoming years. I get the rhetorical point being made, but it’s sloppy and lazy writing.

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Written by negativeinterest

November 2, 2011 at 1:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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