If one claims, as I often do to my leftist friends, that the intentions guiding state action over her citizens cannot be disentangled from the inevitable disfigurement by the political process, then the same argument must also be applied to actions impacting on foreigners.

Specifically, if premature withdrawal and consequent cocking up of foreign wars are politically inevitable in a democracy, then this surely negates any potential benefits. The sausage factory of modern politics produces horrible local policy, but it produces even worse policy abroad.

If we know in advance that both lives and gains will soon be lost, then maybe we should decide not to lose either.

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