has an excellent post, in part supportive of Wes Clark's recent Op-Ed
in the Washington Post, which he correctly surmises is a 'policy' paper on Iraq.
His main point is that despite all our hand wringing about what to do in Iraq, our positioning should be primarily political. As such, Digby claims that Wes Clark's denunciation of Bush's reckless handling of the Iraqi situation, coupled with a few ideas about 'eventual exit strategies' has done a great job--not because the 'exit strategy' is so brilliant (as Drum and others have noted there could well be problems with this), but because it doesn't matter what strategy the Democrats put forward--they'll never in a million years be implemented by Bush.
As Armando has posted earlier, Wes Clark's final paragraph sums up the point we need to hammer again and again:
If the administration won't adopt a winning strategy, then the American people will be justified in demanding that it bring our troops home.
This is not a policy point; this is a political point. Digby goes just a bit beyond this, explaining the obvious: given its historical incompetence, why should we ever expect this Administration and their Republican allies to adopt a 'winning' strategy? Why should we expect this Administration to do anything but lose? That burning question in particular he poses to the liberal hawks who should have known better in the build up to the war:
Why are people so unwilling to admit what they are seeing before their eyes, even today? The Republican party is corrupt, incompetent and drunk with power. And no matter what their intentions, they are incapable of setting things right. We have seen this over and over again.
Yet still I see a flurry of earnest discussion about how we should deal with Iraq and what plans should be implemented --- as if they have real world implications. They do not. As I wrote earlier, I think there is political value in doing this as it pertains to positioning for the next election. But I have no illusions, and never have, that anyone in the Bush administration gives a damn what we think or will follow any policy advice from liberals, hawks or otherwise. They do not operate that way.
Finally, Digby makes a point that I can't emphasize strongly enough. For those 'liberal hawks' who defended the idea of going into Iraq, before you defend this administration any longer and certainly before you attack the smarter anti-war crowd (we were right from the start) you should put your own house in order, first.
I don't believe in purges or demands for disavowels; they have a faint whiff of Stalinism that rubs me the wrong way. Nobody has to apologise to me for what they believed about the war. But, considering that their credibility is more than a little bit tattered, it would probably be a good idea if the liberal intellectuals who backed the war finally recognized that everything they say and do is being used for political fodder and adjust their thinking and writing accordingly. They are not going to affect Bush administration policy. There is still a chance they could affect politics, however, if they will just stop pretending that the Republicans are operating on a logical basis in which they can find some common ground.
Just as an aside, Digby may not care about an apology, but I personally would love an apology from any hawk--liberal or conservative-- who was intellectually lazy enough to adovcate this war. I bet Cindy Sheehan wouldn't mind an apology, either.
If, after all you've seen these last five years you still believe that the Bush administration can be given the benefit of the doubt, that they will do the right thing, change course, follow sage advice, reevaluate their strategy, bow to the facts on the ground --- then you have the same disease the Bush administration has. As Ben Franklin said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Liberal hawks, if you must 'defend' this war (and your foolish support of it), please face up to the fact that no one, no one
in this Administration is going to be able to get this right. They never have, they never will. Shout it from your pundit mountain tops: Republicans have proven that they can't do this competently: not stay the course, not cut and run, not gracefully leave, not any of it. No matter what the next moves are in Iraq, we need competent adults (read Democrats) to over see them.