I believe the U.S. goal in Iraq should be more narrowly restricted to protecting American interests. I hope the Iraqi population benefits from the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and can make a fresh start, while I reject the rehabilitation of Iraq as the standard by which to judge the American venture there.
The American military machine is not an instrument for social work, nor for remaking the world. It is, rather, the primary means by which Americans protect themselves from external violent threats. The U.S. goal cannot be a free Iraq, but an Iraq that does not endanger Americans.
Let's see, we have established that Pipes doesn't care about the human rights record of a strongman or for the ideals of democracy in nation building, and that he considers the only reasonable standard for success being Iraq NOT posing a threat to our interests. In other words, Pipes now argues we should never have invaded Iraq, just bought off Saddam.
Can we accuse him of giving aid and comfort to the enemy? The warbloggers who took such great umbrage at Ted Kennedy's comparison to Vietnam on those grounds have a credibility deficit until they do.