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Atrios says it all.
If there were few less liberal hawks running around imagining they were "more serious" than the anti-war folks, providing the mushy middle with reason to jump on the war train, it just might have been.  The fact that a lot of center-left types, or what qualifies as center-left in our media anyway, took the pro-war position provided the pro-war media an easy excuse to completely marginalize all anti-war opinion.

Even now many of these same people still cling to the conceit that because they were previously for the war they now have a greater degree of credibility on this issue. Well, sorry, you were wrong. There were people who were right. Let them talk for a change.

Nothing currently happening in Iraq is a surprise. It was all very obvious. It might not have been inevitable, but it was likely. Shit, all it took was a cursory glance at the history of Iraq and a dash of good ol' fashioned (and apparently out of fashion) common sense to see the various ways things could go wrong.

And as we have subsequently found out, this administration lied to get us in, and then had no plan for any eventuality beyond protecting our troops from the torrent of flower petals that would be showered on their heads.

But the real idiocy isn't with the administration. They knew what they were doing, and used whatever tools they had at their disposal to get Bush's war on. They were a lot of things, but stupid wasn't one of them. The real idiots were the media and pundits (including those in the blogosphere) who helped enable Bush's charade.

Even at the height of war fever, Bush's lies were being exposed almost immediately after uttered (nothing that has subsequently "emerged" should be a surprise to anyone paying attention). But there was ONE particular fact that fully exposed Bush's lies for what they were -- not a single Iraq neighbor signed up for the fight. Not a single Iraq neighbor considered Saddam a threat. That should've told us everything we needed to know.

But to the pro-war side, the lust for battle was too hard to resist. Especially as they witnessed it, PlayStation-style, in front of a television. Explosions are cool.

So long as we don't have to see body bags or dead civilians. That would force us to be outraged, and that's not pleasant.

Unlike most people around these parts, I actually support a military draft (with the option of alternate service for conscientious objectors). I think the burdens of our Democracy should be shared by all. And as a side benefit, the more people serve, the more stake everyone will have in potential military conflicts. It's a lot easier to advocate for war if you don't know anyone who might suffer consequences. It's a lot harder to remain aloof if war may impact your friends, children, or grandchildren.

Instead, we have a professional army isolated, culturally and literally, from the vast majority of the American public. We have war supporters who argue that 100 dead this month is no big deal because more people died during WWII. They callously claim that 700 US dead for this war is a "small price", as though each life wasn't precious. They argue that we can't give Iraqis their country back because (and where have we heard this before?) that would invalidate the sacrifice of the hundreds who have already perished.

As though adding hundreds or thousands of names to that KIA list will somehow justify the assholes that dragged us into this godforsaken war or facilitated those efforts.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 12:04 PM PDT.

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