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View Diary: WaPo's Ed Board Editor Practices The New McCarthyism (259 comments)

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  •  The withdraw never position (4.00)
    From Hiatt

    Their focus on 2002 is a way to further undercut President Bush, and Bush's war, without taking the risk of offering an alternative strategy -- to satisfy their withdraw-now constituents without being accountable for a withdraw-now position.

    Hiatt needs to describe why Bush isn't being held accountable for the ``withdraw never'' position.  Or why the troop supports aren't being held accountable for the ``escalate before withdrawing'' position.

    The war has been a disaster and will lead to more disasters.  Until the war supporters explain how escalating the conflict won't just lead to a larger disaster, they are just blaming the messenger.

    This is, of course, part of a deliberate strategy that started with the rebranding of Vietnam in the 80's.  Start an illegal, pointless war and when it goes bad, blame the people who were against it for being insufficiently enthusiastic.

    If you think you're that far ahead, then get the chips in the middle of the table!

    by theran on Sun Nov 13, 2005 at 09:12:21 PM PST

    •  If Hiatt bothered to do (none)
      any research (but hey, he's only an editor), he'd quite possibly come upon alternative strategies offered by a number of Dems such as Clarck, Kerry and Edwards to say the least. Regardless of whether there constituency wants the troops withdrawn now or gradually, both factions realize neither plan will be enacted with this admin. and its "stay the course" practice of insanity. Add to it the lies that got the US into this war in the first place, all of which glow brighter and brighter in radioactivity each day, why shouldn't patriotic Americans call for "rule of law"?

      Can anyone tell me why my American flag was made in China?

      by Skid on Sun Nov 13, 2005 at 09:29:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That would make a great letter, send it in! (none)
      Why shouldn't Hiatt ask for accountablility for the neverending 'stay the course' position?  I'd like to see his reason.  Also, one doesn't automatically jump to the same conclusion as Hiatt does  from  what Lieberman said(that Dems are supposedly in glee because the war is supposed failing over the tussle over misleading intell).  Hiatt just used Lieberman's obtuse statement as an excuse to attack the Dems.
      •  Lieberman's statement is interesting too (none)
        Perception of the war matters a lot.  This is the theory behind ``support the troops,'' ``stabbed in the back,'' and reinterpreting Vietnam.

        Objectively speaking, what happened in 2002 is independent of the right decision now: the war would still be a disaster even if Bush had acted in good faith and been unlucky not to find the WMD.  The moral and correct decision would be to withdraw.  A bizarro good faith version of Bush would still have no good answers today.

        The politics of the war is, however, not objective.  Lieberman---and presumably other war supporters---realize this.  The perceived success and, lacking that, the perceive morality of the war matter more than what actually happens.  The electorate has ``strong and wrong'' bias for a variety of reasons.

        The entire Bush/Rove approach is based around this idea, which explains not admitting mistakes.

        If you think you're that far ahead, then get the chips in the middle of the table!

        by theran on Sun Nov 13, 2005 at 11:52:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I sent this in (none)
        [ If they run it, they can edit it down. ]

        In his column ``The Politics of War'' (11/14), Fred Hiatt accuses Democrats of trying to avoid ``being accountable for a withdraw-now position.''  No evidence is given for this assertion and, Hiatt fails to mention that the Bush administration and Republican lawmakers are trying to avoid being accountable for their disastrous withdraw-never position.

        Hiatt---and other war supporters---argue that defeat in Iraq would be a disaster and that defeat will be cause by insufficient enthusiasm for the war on the part of Democrats.  A more straightforward analysis of the situation says that the war is already a disaster and that the Bush administration lacks even a description of ``victory,'' let alone a plan to achieve it.  Bush's policy of ``staying the course'' has delivered only more casualties, soaring costs, and increased chaos in Iraq.

        Saying that if the situation in Iraq were different that the outcome of the war would be better is simply a tautology.  Trying to pin Bush's failed policy on those who question it is simply dishonest.  Bush's war in Iraq isn't failing because of skeptics at home any more than the Vietnam was was lost because the public realized we were losing.

        Perhaps in the abstract what happened in 2002 isn't relevant to making the correct decision about how to proceed in Iraq.  Even if Bush has acted in good faith and simply been unlucky not to find Saddam's alleged WMD the war would still be an out-of-control quagmire in late 2005.

        However, the manipulation of intelligence in 2002 is part of a larger pattern.  Inattentive planning, wishful thinking, half-truth, and a reliance on shouting down disagreement are do not appear only in the Bush administration's handling of pre-war intelligence.  They are exactly what have led to the deteriorating security situation, the failed reconstruction and numerous torture scandals that have characterized the war so far.

        Democratic lawmakers who are continually asked to allocate more money to prop up Bush's failing war have every reason to investigate whether or not that war was sold to the country in bad faith.

        If you think you're that far ahead, then get the chips in the middle of the table!

        by theran on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 12:33:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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