It is one of life’s great pleasures to say “I told you so”, which is why there’s such a happy anticipation of being able to feel contempt. There’s a mild buzz from the everyday occurrence of having your worldview confirmed, which happens to everyone regardless of what their view happens to be, but these are larger things. Hope needs to be invested in order to be dashed (or the reverse, but I’m not sure how that should be described). I’m experiencing something to that effect with this Foreign Affairs article on Libya by Alan Kuperman. I suppose the downside is that I’ve ensconced myself into enough of a bubble that I wasn’t really engaged with anyone who supported the intervention. The Republican party has been cartoonishly hawkish and the American people stubbornly foolish in their inevitably dashed expectations*, but even they didn’t support it. I must admit that even I didn’t expect it to result in the fall of the Mali government or that something on the scale of ISIS would emerge to take advantage of the fragility of regional states (I should also acknowledge I was against invading Iraq on general isolationist principle rather than because I thought it would make the situation that much worse). Since Eric Posner frequently annoys me I was hoping I’d find an article from him supporting it, but unfortunately he distinguishes between his view of what’s “legal” (anything the executive does, because Congress won’t act forcefully enough to stop it) and what’s prudent. And since my home city just had an election, let’s pour out a 40 for a political opposition that declined to make hay out of Obama ruining one of the few foreign policy successes of the Bush administration, and instead shouted “Benghazi” a lot.
*I was hoping to find that blog post on all wars declining in popularity over time, which should not be the case for ideal Bayesians, but I can’t. (more…)