by Max Brantley
Joe Klein (I know) writing on Time blog, assesses the Republican candidates on Iraq. For once, an analyst who thinks candidates should be striving for more than soundbites and one-liners on enormous policy questions. Re Huck:
The mini-debate between Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee was entertaining, but insubstantial. Paul is right on the merits, of course. (His answer on Iran, by the way, was eminently sane--the fact that Iran may someday build a nuclear device is a problem, but not an existential threat to the U.S., or Israel, for that matter. Any Iranian nuclear attack on Israel would also kill tens of thousands of Muslims and make the third most holy Islamic site--the Al Aksa mosque--uninhabitable.)
Huckabee's summoning of the Colin Powell Pottery Barn rule--you break it, you own it--was apt. We do owe the Iraqis something. Huckabee seemed to have no idea what we owed them, though...and he seemed far more concerned about America's honor than about the devastation in Iraq. He offered no way forward and has yet to show even the slightest bit of evidence that he understands the situation on the ground.