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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:06 PM
Original message
The Rage of Former War Hawks
There has been too much time wasted on the Left blaming Democrats for the Iraq War. Bush and his band of fools need to be blamed above everyone else for leading this country into disaster. And if pundits come forward and say they were wrong, then I am willing to listen and be gracious in the face of their humility.

This post from Andrew Sullivan I felt was particularly poignant. He really supported the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. At first he only criticized the conduct of the war. Now he goes further:

I was chatting with some friends after the Maher show. They'd been against the war from the beginning. They were African-American and said it was obvious to them that the WMD argument was what they called "game." They weren't surprised. I was. I believed George W. Bush. And I trusted him. And as the evidence has poured in that my faith and trust were betrayed, my surprise has turned to rage. I'm not a generally angry person. But if I have placed my trust in someone on a matter of this gravity and I find out they lied, bungled and betrayed me and others who trusted them, then all I can say is: they picked the wrong guy to bamboozle.

You don't send 19 year-old kids to risk their lives and die to protect your own political power or advance your own partisan purposes. You don't abandon thousands of innocent Iraqis who also trusted you to marauding gangs of terrorists and murderers, and stand by and tell critics to "back off". You don't ask people of good faith to support you in a critical war and then secretly breach the Geneva Conventions and torture people and blame only a few grunts on the ground for your war-crimes.

The anger of the left, I realize, was always there. But the anger of the betrayed and decent right and center is deeper. Some readers think my anger has gotten the best of me. Maybe on occasions it has. But I'd rather be too angry than too afraid to call these people what they are.

There were Iraqis who also supported the war, and have personally suffered as a result of that war. Here's Zeyad:

Monday, October 16, 2006
Another close friend of mine has been killed in Baghdad. We had lunch together in Baghdad just days before I left.

I can't concentrate on anything any more. I should not be here in New York running around a stupid neighbourhood, asking people about their 'issues'.

I now officially regret supporting this war back in 2003. The guilt is too much for me to handle.

George Packer in the recent New Yorker is only a few steps away from entirely endorsing Kerry's plan (not that he'll give credit where credit is due). Andrew links to John Cole who calls the Republican Party the "Say Anything Party" so that they can stay in power. He's a conservative, too. George Will and Bill Buckley jumped ship long ago. What does this mean? It means there is hope that this country is finally waking up from their slumber. It starts with the talking heads and hopefully will end with the people voting Bush's enablers in Congress out.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. I have problems with all these Republicans running to criticize the war:
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 03:18 PM by Mass
1/ They refuse to criticize the premise of the war - Most of them are just arguing how the war was poorly managed.

2/ Many of them are directly responsible of starting this war and defining what needed to be done (see Gingritch, Larry Diamond, ...). They get a free ride on their responsibility and say that the war was poorly managed.

So, if a Republican is ready to come and say "The premise for this war was wrong. I was wrong and Bush was wrong", he should be congratulated for that. But right now, most of what I see are people criticizing "The Pentagon", "Rumsfeld", ... and refusing to take any blame and to criticize Bush and I am getting really tired of that.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I have read Andrew for 2 years, and I think he's further out
than a lot of the others. Look, maybe you won't agree, but I do think there were people who sincerely thought toppling Saddam and bringing democracy to Iraq was a good idea. But Bush didn't sell it that way -- he said Iraq had WMD and links to al Qaeda. That was clearly a fabrication. I like the way Kerry said it: talk of the conduct of the war isn't enough, you have to say the war itself was wrong. He isn't saying you don't talk about the conduct of the war which really is one of the biggest scandals in American history unto itself (in Hubris, apparently Bush barely asked about what they'd do once Saddam was toppled which for me is truly "stunning". I mean, if you're going to be an Empire, you might want to have a plan). For Kerry you need to do both. And for the sake of this election, I'd like to concentrate on what unites the outraged -- and we can all agree that Bush fucked this war up about as badly as one possibly could. And he isn't willing to do ANYTHING to change. I want Independents and Republicans to vote for Dems (my district is red; we NEED Republican votes in order to win), and their outrage over the conduct of the war is good enough for me right now.

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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. It all depends who you are talking about: pundits and civilian Pentagon people
who are now backtracking as quickly as they can IN ORDER TO GET THESE VOTES FOR THE REPUBLICANS and to put the blame on the military,

or the ordinary voter, who happens to be conservative (and not necessarily neocons).

What I am bothered by now is that many of these people who have come out to criticize the conduct of the war are Republican candidates (Steele yesterday on NBC is the most recent example) who are seeing that as a way to be elected. When they will be elected, they will continue to vote for Bush policies (just as Hagel or Snowe did). Allen is too stupid to do that, fortunately, but many, many Republicans candidates are doing that right now, and we can imagine why.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Andrew has encouraged everyone to vote Dem or abstain
Agree with you that GOPers who are trying to hold onto power have suddenly started criticizing Bush and the conduct of the war. But we all know from the past that when it matters, the Republicans always cave to the WH. Hopefully, people will get this and vote them out anyway.
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fedupinBushcountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I watched him on Maher Friday
He was angry, for the life of me I do not see why he is still a Republican.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. He isn't a Republican; he's a "conservative"
I put "conservative" in quotes, because I'm frankly baffled as to what that word really means anymore. Smaller government, I suppose, but that certainly doesn't represent Bush and the Congress. I glanced at his book today, and he actually endorsed Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Kerry. So he's all over the place -- I guess I would call him an Independent.
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ginnyinWI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. The Dems are now more conservative than the Repubs.
That's why so many moderate Repubs have come over--the Bushies have trashed their party. I wonder how long it will be before that stain is erased, cause I don't really think the whole impact has even been fully realized yet. Wait until they see what's happened to the environment, global warming, and last but not least, the national debt that we'll be repaying for generations.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. That's an important conversation
I was doing Moveon calling and ended up talking for a half hour to a guy in New York. Oddly, on every issue I brought up, he's solidly Dem. Yet he sees himself as Independent, says he's voting out every incumbent. I hear this kind of party confusion all the time, especially from men. I don't know what exactly they think Dems are going to do to them.
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