Alex Massie

Heads I win, tails you lose

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Karl Rove is a remarkable man. On his last day in the White House, National Review Online publishes a piece in which Rove claims that history will judge Bush favourably if Iraq proves a success:

History’s concern is with final outcomes, not the missteps or advances of the moment. History will render a favorable verdict if the outcome in the Middle East is similar to what America saw after World War II.

OK. You'd expect that. It must, then, be Rove's brilliance that allows him to perceive that Bush will also be vindicated even if history judges the Iraq War to have been a disaster with appropriately disastrous consequences:

If the outcome there is like what happened in Vietnam after America abandoned our allies and the region descended into chaos, violence, and danger, history’s judgment will be harsh. History will see President Bush as right, and the opponents of his policy as mistaken — as George McGovern was in his time.

Well, fancy that! It's worth observing, however, that, by Rove's own definition, a 50 year stand-off between the United States and, I suppose, (nuclear?) "Islamism" or some other such formulation, would demonstrate the great victory Bush has led us to.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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