Iraq, quicklink, US Politics

High Risk Strategy.

Thinking of problematic arguments, I remembered this interview with Stanford Prof. Steven Weber (and former colleague of Condi Rice) that he gave the Stanford Alumni newsletter last Autumn. Memorable quotes:

“I think the Washington elite underestimates the intelligence and maturity of the American public. I feel very strongly about this. President Bush refers to Osama bin Laden as ‘the evil one,’ and talks about something as apocalyptic as an ‘axis of evil.’ There is a tendency to put things in black and white, and I think the reason people in Washington do this is because they believe it’s an effective political strategy. But I think it’s infantilizing the American public.”

– and –

“I would guess that the mainstream of American international relations scholars, basing this on my e-mail traffic, is almost entirely opposed to an invasion of Iraq. I’d say 95 percent opposed. … It’s because it’s easier for people who are not in decision-making positions to be against high-risk strategies than to be in favor of them. It’s very easy to point out the five things that could go wrong.”