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The Morning After

I've just been talking with my family which has been in Cleveland canvassing for Obama.  They are exhilarated by the response, more in black districts than in white, to be sure, but also in the ethnic enclaves where, if there is not support, there seems to be diffidence rather than antagonism.  In the meantime, sitting home in Cambridge, where everybody is voting for Obama, I reminded myself that everybody here was also for McGovern.

Of course, it's different, very different. And I hesitate to say it but here goes: Obama will win by a landslide. God has blessed America.  Well, no, not exactly. But most Americans see the urgency of a riftless people, and our candidate has been building the bridges, if you'll pardon the cliche, and awaking the ties that bind. This is a blessing.

Still, the world is not peaceful, and it is not America that has made it thus, although our soldiers are on the frontlines against monstrous ideologies and monstrous ways of killing innocent people. Has anybody noticed, by the way, that the men and women and children we are defending are almost all Muslims?

Which brings me to Iraq. Iraq will be on Barack Obama's plate as soon as he wakes up on Wednesday morning. The matter is inescapable. That is, there is no escaping Iraq. What another president has done is done. That's where we start.

And Robert D. Kaplan, with whom I've disagreed more often than I've agreed, has written a calm. smart and deliberate memo—or virtual memo—for Obama. It appeared in the Los Angeles Times this weekend.

But there are many folk who would recommend nothing of Kaplan's to read.  So, if this interests you, as well, you can look up Tom Bissell, "Euphorias of Perrier: The Case Against Robert D. Kaplan," Virginia Quarterly Review, Summer 2006. The title is mean.  So is the article.