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Here's a question: if Bush was running for reelection without having invaded Iraq, but just based on his record fighting terrorism in Afghanistan, etc., would he be better or worse off?

I suppose it seems obvious that he'd be better off, but maybe I'm wrong. He did make mistakes regarding Osama, but I don't want to just debate Tora Bora.

After all, he was right to invade Afghanistan; they have held elections; many major al Qaeda figures in Pakistan have been captured; a lot of al Qaeda have been killed.

I think he has some weaknesses here too, not the least of which is that Osama bin Laden is still alive, making videos mocking the president, which is disgusting. But on the whole, his record in Afghanistan isn't that obviously bad, particularly compared to Iraq.

Some will say that the fact Iraq is a drag on his re-election proves Bush went into Iraq out of principle, not politics. And I don't mean to trivialize Iraq by just talking about its political ramifications.

But I think Bush had politics in mind, at least a little, when he went in, and I think he saw it as a gamble, assuming that if everything went as he expected then he would be unbeatable in 2004. But so far he's lost the gamble.

Does anyone think he's better off, politically, having invaded Iraq?
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