Who Wants to Buy a Used War?
Said the Very Serious Dean earlier this week:
Whatever the final impact of the Iraq Study Group report being issued today, for the 10 commission members this was an exhilarating experience, a demonstration of genuine bipartisanship that they hope will serve as an example to the broader political world.
But it doesn't appear the wingnuts are going along with all this feel-good bipartisan rhetoric. Diane West of the Washington Times just called it the "Iraq Surrender Group" on CNN and said "We look like Lichtenstein" (without a trace of irony). Writing in the WaPo, Glenn Kessler and Michael Abramowitz note that this abject minority are giving Bush cover to ignore the Baker group and do what he damn well pleases:
Notably fueling the skepticism has been Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has raised pointed questions about the Baker-Hamilton panel's unwillingness to prescribe more troops, as McCain has urged, and its embrace of a regional conference with Syria and Iran.
"It's sort of hard to suddenly say everyone agrees Baker is the way to go when the leading Republican candidate for '08 is saying no," said William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard.
I'm sorry the wingnuts feel like they got shafted by the ISG, but despite the Dean's collegial harumphs about bipartisanship, there is something missing on the ISG that, like your average Ken Doll, I just can't put my finger on. Let's ask Russ Feingold:
"This commission was composed apparently entirely of people who did not have the judgment to oppose this Iraq war in the first place, and who did not have the judgment to realize it was not a wise move in the fight against terrorism.
"So that‘s who‘s doing this report. And then I looked at the list of who testified before them. There‘s virtually no one who opposed the war in the first place, virtually no one who‘s been really calling for a different strategy that goes for a global approach to the war on terrorism."
I'm probably a bit closer in perspective to Paul Waldman, who writes at Media Matters:
It remains the case that the primary prerequisite for being considered "serious" on matters of foreign policy and national security is that you were wrong on the most momentous foreign policy and national security decision of the last few decades. If your judgment was faulty, your understanding lacking, your foresight non-existent, your ideology blinding, then you are someone whose opinions should be listened to. If you supported what may be the single biggest foreign policy debacle in our nation's history, you are "serious." That disastrous error in judgment, which has so far resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 U.S. troops, also makes you "strong on defense," not to mention "pro-military" and someone who "supports the troops."
And I know it's a bit of a digression, but where does this leave the 2008 "support our troops" pro-war hopefuls? Terry Welsch says:
I've been thinking for a while that someone who has continued to support the Iraq War is now in a tough position. The war in Iraq is inarguably not working out, so you either have to suddenly drop your support for the war or suggest, per McCain, that those who have been prosecuting the war (with you support) haven't been aggressive enough and should send more troops. The former idea makes you look like you're flip-flopping for political reasons and the latter gets support from roughly 15 percent of the American public.
Me, I always like the "we were right to be wrong" argument. I hope they trot that one out again. Ah that's a chestnut.