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On Iraq, Plenty of Scores to Settle Even If the Dust Hasn't

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kurth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-20-06 01:49 PM
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On Iraq, Plenty of Scores to Settle Even If the Dust Hasn't
On Iraq, Plenty of Scores to Settle Even If the Dust Hasn't
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 20, 2006; C01

For some liberal pundits, it's payback time. For some conservative commentators, it's time for uncomfortable explanations... Andrew Sullivan, the author and blogger, wrote in Time that he and his fellow neoconservatives made "three huge errors" in underestimating the difficulty of invading Iraq three years ago this week. "We have learned a tough lesson," Sullivan wrote, "and it has been a lot tougher for those tens of thousands of dead, innocent Iraqis and several thousand killed and injured American soldiers than for a few humiliated pundits."

This drew a blast from Paul Krugman, the liberal New York Times columnist, who wrote: "Mr. Sullivan used to specialize in denouncing the patriotism and character of anyone who dared to criticize President Bush, whom he lionized. Now he himself has become a critic, not just of Mr. Bush's policies, but of his personal qualities, too... If you're a former worshipful admirer of George W. Bush who now says, as Mr. Sullivan did at Cato, that 'the people in this administration have no principles,' you're taking a courageous stand. If you said the same thing back when Mr. Bush had an 80 percent approval rating, you were blinded by Bush-hatred. If you're a former hawk who now concedes that the administration exaggerated the threat from Iraq, you're to be applauded for your open-mindedness. But if you warned three years ago that the administration was hyping the case for war, you were a conspiracy theorist."...

National Review founder William F. Buckley, the intellectual godfather of modern conservatism, wrote that Bush must face reality: "One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed... And the administration has, now, to cope with failure." As Bush continues to flounder in the polls, more on the right are breaking ranks. Bruce Bartlett, who was dropped by a free-market think tank over his new book "Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy," recently called the administration "unconscionable," "vindictive" and "inept." Peggy Noonan writes that she would not have voted for Bush had she known he was going to turn into a big-spending Lyndon Johnson. Jonah Goldberg writes that "most conservatives never really understood what compassionate conservatism was, beyond a convenient marketing slogan," and the "reality" is "that there was nothing behind the curtain." ...
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