That seems to be the popular question for the less creative among the hawks this week, and I can see why adherents of the Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics might harbor doubts on this front. Let me put it this way. I would really like to be a seven-foot-tall black point guard for the Pacers. But I’ve come to accept that this is not really a live option for me, however furiously I stamp my feet, however hard I clap, and however loudly I shout that I do believe in fairies. I’m sufficiently resigned to this, in fact, that my reaction, were you to start coming around with coupons for the local tanning salon and NBA training videos, would probably be indistinguishable from that of someone who didn’t want to be a tall black Pacers point guard at all. You might even conclude that I must be a closet Maverick’s fan. But this would be wrong.
Still, this is an admittedly abstract sense of “want to”—”wish” would probably be more apt. So maybe a more direct answer would be: Do I want us to “win” in Iraq? No, because I don’t waste time wanting things that can’t happen, least of all when pretending otherwise guarantees we’ll bleed vainly until we wise up.