Unlike the invasion of Panama (1989), the Gulf war (1991), the Balkans war (1999) or even the Afghanistan conflict (2001-2007), Iraq has taken over 3,000 American lives. Had the reconstruction of Iraq gone as relatively smoothly as the three-week removal of Saddam, most Democratic candidates would now be heralding their past muscular support for democratic change in Iraq.It also seems likely these Democrat politicians know voters to generally be rationally ignorant, and thus, they also expect to get away with being disingenuous.
So instead of self-serving attacks on the present administration, Democratic senators and candidates should simply confess that while most of the earlier reasons to remove Saddam remain valid, the largely unforeseen costs of stabilizing Iraq in their view have proved too high, and now outweigh the dangers of leaving.
But they should remember one final consideration. The next time a Democratic administration makes a case for using America’s overwhelming military force to preempt a Milosevic or a mass murderer in Darfur — and history suggests that one will — the Democrats’ own present disingenuous antiwar rhetoric may come back to haunt them, ensuring that such future humanitarian calls will probably fall on ears as deaf as they are partisan.
Friday, March 09, 2007
I think Victor Davis Hanson sees these issues clearly: