The Rollback Fantasy

Courtesy Reuters


Four decades ago a Third World dictator threatened American interests in a crucial region. Unwilling to pay the costs of an invasion or settle for containment, U.S. policymakers convinced themselves that a cheap and easy third option existed: support for some of the dictator's domestic opponents, whose efforts would supposedly spark a popular uprising and topple the regime. The resulting invasion attempt by Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs turned into one of the worst fiascoes in the history of American foreign policy.

Incredibly, a similar concept -- using the Iraqi opposition to overthrow Saddam Hussein -- is one of the hottest foreign policy ideas in Washington today. From congressional leaders to a galaxy of former government officials, from The Weekly Standard, National Review, and Commentary to The New Republic and columnists at The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Nation,

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