Read this review of a new book about George W. Bush. The reviewer, an Ivy League historian, refers to “the disastrous war in Iraq.” What makes the war in Iraq disastrous? Fewer lives have been lost in Iraq than in other wars in this country’s history. Were they, too, disastrous? Was World War II disastrous? Is it possible for a war not to be disastrous? If some wars are disastrous and some are not, what is the criterion? What if Iraq becomes a democracy? What if the Middle East becomes stabilized? What if the invasion of Iraq deters other tyrants from abusing their people? Is the war still disastrous? How do we know whether the war has been a success until we know how things turn out? It’s been less than five years since the invasion. Many more years must pass before we are in a position to make an all-things-considered¬†judgment. But maybe these questions don’t matter to progressives. It’s an article of faith to them that the war in Iraq is disastrous. There is no need to define the term “disastrous” or to state a criterion by which to distinguish those wars that are¬†from those that are not disastrous. I have come to expect such sloppy thinking from progressives; it’s disheartening to get it from an Ivy League historian.