War is always a risky enterprise for the political party orideological faction that undertakes it

War is always a risky enterprise for the political party orideological faction that undertakes it. Like the Vietnam War, theIraq War has broken the grip on national power of a dominant partythat had been confidently reshaping American politics. Democracieswant speedy victories, especially if they were promised one; agovernment that fails in war throws into doubt its whole view ofthe world. Even a party that leads a nation to victory in a warwith overwhelming support may be punished at the polls afterward.Think of the defeat of Winston Churchill’s Conservatives in 1945and the reverses suffered by the Democrats after both world wars.

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