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June 19, 2005

Gird Your Loins

A few days ago, Kevin Drum was worried that pushing aggressively for a pullout from Iraq would get Democrats tarred as the party that lost the war. Kevin isn't arguing against pullout -- he spends much of the post attacking delusional people who think we can beseech the Troops Fairy for another 100,000 soldiers, and then acknowledges that withdrawing is all we can do. Only then does he go into Gloomy Kevin mode, bemoaning the evils that might befall us after the troops leave.

Fear not, O moderate Democrat, and hearken to the whirlwind that rides the Downing Street Memos. As the realization that we're in a quagmire develops outside the Democratic Party, we reach the moment when criticisms of the Bush Administration's non-planning for reconstruction will have maximum impact. (Thanks for the link, Shakespeare's Sister.) Now is the time to press -- the more intensely people are aware that Bush's lack a postwar plan saddled us with this dismal set of choices, the less likely it is that we'll meet criticism for taking the least bad option.

--Neil the Ethical Werewolf

June 19, 2005 in Iraq | Permalink

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Comments

Neil

How about a plan to remove troops from Kosova or Korea or Germany even?

And can you please try and think up a more original (and accurate) word than quagmire.

Posted by: Boethius | Jun 19, 2005 3:12:10 PM

Neil

In other words I disagree with your idea.

I believe it's easier to fight Islamofascism over there with the military rather than over here with the police and certainly better than the Clinton policy of doing nothing and hopeing it would go away while each attack got bigger than the last.

Mistakes have been and will be made and there have been and will be set backs however I think events are going our way - witness Libya, Palestine, Lebanon.

As to your excitement over various memos can I point out it was the St Bill that made it official policy to remove Saddam from power and so GWB actually only put a Clinton policy into effect (he at least had the guts to do so).

As to lack of a postwar plan I agree that you have a point there. Although much of the blame has to go to the State Dept.

Posted by: Boethius | Jun 19, 2005 3:22:12 PM

This is exactly right. At the end of the day, the politics of Vietnam are not the same as the politics of Iraq, and the more we pretend they are, the more we're setting ourselves up for the dolschtoss.

In Vietnam, one party got us into the mess and the other party escalated it. Here, it's all little George's mess! Let's work with that!

I'm hearing Democrats put forth an argument that goes like: "In order to be more credible on Iraq than Republicans are, Democrats have to present some shiny new ideas on how to fix it. The American people will then see the Democrats as a credible alternative, and if we win in Iraq using these ideas, the Democrats will get the credit."

WHAT??? Let's be realistic, here. Democrats aren't going to come up with any super phenomenally good ideas than Republicans will--it's a quagmire! There are no good options. Let's stop pretending that this debate will somehow end with the Democrats coming up with a brand new good option that will magically fix the problem! And as for the hopeless naivete in thinking we'd actually get credit if we somehow came up with such an option and it worked...HA!

Why should we as a party give up our legitimate advantage--that as the party that did not: a) foolishly think this war would be a "cakewalk" b) utterly fail to plan for any postwar scenario other than "cakewalk," in spite of the warnings of fringe groups like, oh, our own state department c) lie to the nation and the world about the causus belli d) lie to the nation about how well the war is going--that we would be preferable to execute ANY plan than the idiots who did do all these things?

Newsflash: Republicans do not win on national security because they have better ideas than their opponents. They win elections because they have so demonized Democrats that people are terrified about what would happen if we entrusted a Democrat with our national security. They are so strong on this issue that they can run a draft-dodger against a decorated war hero who has actually killed people, and have the draft dodger look like the tough guy.

We're not going to win by convincing people we're better. We're going to win by pointing out to people that they're worse. And since they actually are, I suggest we pick up the fucking ball and start running with it!

Posted by: theorajones | Jun 19, 2005 3:32:24 PM

I believe it's easier to fight Islamofascism over there with the military rather than over here

Please note that all references as the one above need to include an alliterative statement regarding how it is better we fight them in an iraqi city than an american city with a name beginning with the same letter as the iraqi city. Example-- "It is better to be fighting them in Basra than in Baltimore." Feel free to use the Iraqi and American cities of your choice.

Thank you.

Posted by: Constantine | Jun 20, 2005 12:27:50 AM

Libya got the deal they'd been hoping for for some time, but which Clinton was unwilling to give them. Palestine advanced because Arafat died. Lebanon did, indeed, move forward. But then there's Iran, whose conservative mullahs have been the biggest winners of the past 4 years -- their reformist opposition weakened, and they're going to be exerting their influence in Iraq for a good while to come.

I'm all for removing Saddam from power, just like I'm all for owning a BMW. Clinton was right to have that as a goal. But he didn't invade, because he knew the price was too high. I don't think there's a single American liberal who wants Saddam in power -- we just didn't want to spend hundreds of billions of dollars, throw much of the country into insurgent-ridden chaos, cost thousands of US lives and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives, lose international goodwill, and build the terrorists a new training ground.

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