Monday, July 21, 2008

Iraq and the Candidates

An analogy from Peter Wehner:
Assume that your child was ill and had a fever. You took him to the doctor and the primary physician recommended medication. Another doctor, not the primary physician, said medication wasn't needed and, in fact, it would be counterproductive. The fever continued; in response, the child's physician increased the dosage of medication (over the objections of the second doctor). The child's condition continued to worsen, to the point that you took your child to the hospital. Medication was then combined with other interventions, over the strong objections of the second doctor. In fact, the second doctor not only recommended against medication, he felt at this stage the child was a lost cause and it would be a waste to devote much more effort on the child's behalf.

Slowly, however, the child, because of the increased medication and other interventions, began to improve. In a few days, in fact, he was released from the hospital, with the fever going down. Finally the child got to the point where he was healthy enough that the primary physician said he now envisioned that the child would soon be able to come off the medication, provided we continued to see conditions-based progress. Now imagine if the second doctor declared that because the child would one day be off medication, he had been right all along. Such a claim would be absurd; the child would have gotten worse, and probably would have died, if the secondary doctor's recommendation had been followed. The child's recovery demonstrated why the secondary doctor's judgment was deeply and dangerous flawed rather than right.
To see how this applies to Obama and McCain and the Iraq war, read the whole thing.