Revisionist History in Iraq
It's always a great feeling to have put all of your support behind the winning team, and to enjoy--and gloat--in being right in the end. And there are few things more humbling than to have supported the team that came up short. And as often as there are "loyal" boosters, regardless of the outcome, there exist a class of turncoats. And there are few folks less welcome than the fair weather friends--both those who join your cheering section late after railing against you in the beginning, and those who turn aside when the going gets tough. And this is particularly true with the fair weather punditry on Iraq.
My brother in law tipped me off to this article by Robert Kagan, contributing writer to the Weekly Standard.
But their reaction is pretty easily understandable given the convoluted concept of nation defense that they have. Liberal columnists supported the war when it seemed inevitable, and when they thought that it would be an easy sack. I think they expected a microwave popcorn instant war that ended five minutes after it began with surrenders from all Iraqis and all terrorists in country. That's a war they can support. But wars like that never happen, and I can only recall one such bloodless revolution, known as the Anschluss. If you don't recall it, it involved a lot of swastikas replacing Austrian flags. But war is a very nasty business because bad guys don't give up easily. And the Vietnam mentality, that hard slogs aren't worth it, still pervades these still clueless baby boomers.
It heartens me that Bill Clinton didn't try to battle out Iraq. The result in Somalia shows us that he runs from adversity. And I don' think that he would have had the guts to stand up to this present conflict which, despite media reports to the contrary, is being won.
And it is tiresome and embarrassing to hear those same Clinton Administration officials down the intelligence upon which they stood to prepare the country for war in the late 1990s. But their criticism of the Bush Administration's reliance on the same data makes one wonder what the heck they were doing bothering with Saddam during their misspent eight years if they didn't believe their own intelligence. It is pure partisan poppycock with no goal other than for personal political advancement and revision of the history of an Administration that thought it could talk sense into bad guys.
But I wonder what their reaction will be when our troops leave a democratic and stable Iraq? Will we see a column by Richard Cohen saying that he was with us all along? Spare us the support. It doesn't help anyone but the image of the turncoat. And it fools nobody but him.