August 14, 2005
-- by John Emerson
Nick Doe at TPM Cafe writes: What? You're saying the war, the cherry picking of intel, and the incompetant mismanagement of the occupation is Joe Biden and Hillary Clintons fault? That's just nuts.....I'm getting pretty tired of a few people insisting on blaming the wrong people for the war.
My response, slightly edited:
That was a tricky way of getting Hillary and Joe off the hook! Obviously Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden were not in an executive position at the beginning of the war, but they did play a role, and they still do.
"Competence" was Dukakis's selling point, and Kerry's too, and it didn't work. And from the vantage of today, I'm not sure that anyone COULD "do the same thing, but do it right". We're in a Humpty Dumpty situation, and someone will have to bite the bullet and tell the American people what happened.
Liberal hawks always are talking about how the foreign / military policy they propose is realistic and sophisticated, but if you make "You can't be too dovish!" your main principle, you diminish your chances of making any contribution at all.
All the Republicans have to do is be more hawkish than the Democratic Party, and then a whole zone of liberal hawks will shelve off and support the Republicans. Even if the Republicans hadn't already wanted to start a war, the political payoff for doing so (splitting and crippling the Democrats) would have required them to do so.
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John, you've made an awfully important point in this blog. We're in one Hell of a mess in Iraq. Why should we expect the Iraqi people to accept a "constitution" we've forced on them and essentially dictated to them? Of course there's going to be blood in the streets over this. We'd do the same here if, say, the Nazis or Soviet Union had done this to us, wouldn't we? And we have the gall to tell them not only what they must do, but how fast they have to do it. What good is a "constitution" that doesn't reflect the will of the people who supposedly "write" it and will have to live under it? All we do is make mistake after mistake.
Instead of throwing up our hands and acting like Republican Light, we have to discuss what might actually remedy the situation in Iraq and then take a stand on that. At this point the problem isn't really a problem between Hawks and Doves. The problem is what we should now do with Humpty Dumpty, which can't be put together again. Ultimately, that really has to be up to the will of the Iraqis, not something shoved down their throats so we look like we're doing something smart. If we can figure out how to bring this about, that's what we should take a stand on. There have to be some possibilities.
I agree with both of you and will take it a step further by saying that all the private military reconstruction comppanies need to leave the country-now.
Iraqis can do the work better than Halliburton and they are motivated and they have too much time on their hands.
Posted by: grannyinsanity at August 14, 2005 9:15 AM
I will agree with those who say we "can't afford to lose" in Iraq. Unfortunately that doesn't change the fact that we can't win. Even the Bush administration is lowering the bar on what it means to win. Maybe an Islamic Republic wouldn't be so bad after all. The various Iraqi factions are going to fight it out if the US is there or not. If the US is there we simply add another target. I don't have much hope for Biden but if Hillary wants to be president it's time for her to break from the Republican Lites and the DLC.
Posted by: Ron In Portland at August 14, 2005 10:49 AM
I believe that you made some very relevant points regarding the voting by Biden and Clinton.
It surprised me that you did not bring the point that Biden is already speaking of running with McCain. So Biden has 2 strikes now!
I am sorry that you were called a troll this morning. Just goes to show you - when people get angry perhaps in their hearts they do not really stand for Peace.
The heroes and the heroines are all around us. If people cannot agree on who the courageous are, that means a battle remains to be won. In war, hero is a princely title awarded by the victors more often than the vanquished, but peace has princes as well. War starts with a clean break. Lasting peace, however, is with more difficulty won. My heroes are those who know peace must be won without victor or vanquished. Peace must be a courageous win for all.
And, get rid of the drudge retort link - it does not compliment your site.
Posted by: PepperLizzy at August 14, 2005 1:45 PM
Hillary IS the DLC. She can't "break with" her definitive essense. Just ain't gonna happen. All we can do is do our best to make sure she isn't nominated, and when she is, that she is not elected.
Cross-posted from TPM Cafe:
George Bush is on the way to becoming the most unpopular President in American history. The Iraq war is the primary reason for his unpopularity. Why are Democratic presidential wannabees adopting a Bush lite position on Bush's war?
Any Democratic candidate who thinks they can win the Democratic primary with a pro war position should keep their day job and forget about moving into the White House. The war is opposed by 60% of the American people. The number has to be at least 70% among Democratic primary voters.
Because they are still listening to the same beltway intellectual elites who were wrong about Iraq in the beginning, the leading Democratic candidates are laying the groundwork for repeating Nixon's mistake, when he turned LBJ's war into Nixon's war. They should start listening to the grassroots and let this war go down in history as Bush's war.
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