Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Why Lefties Insist Hawks Admit Initial Error On Iraq

Lately some of the punditry I follow have noted with dismay the tendency of lefty bloggers to insist that supporters of the war in Iraq prior to the invasion now admit the error of their ways. Those currently bemoaning this attitude by the netroots seem to feel that we are being vindictive and mean spirited... being small minded and insisting on needless mea culpa's when the issue is broached. Peggy Noonan refers to the grim mindless triumphalism of those who opposed the war from the beginning. Of course, the pundits expressing this opinion could not be more incorrect... which really is the point here. They get it wrong all the time!

Anyone who wants their opinion to be taken seriously should be able to base their logic upon basic facts and figures. It's one thing to base an opinion upon a mistake. Especially in the case of the lead up to the war in Iraq. The obfuscation and lies were being laid on thick in those days. Misinterpreting the facts at the time is entirely understandable.

Yet, in hindsight it is clear that those assumptions were not true. Once the facts became clear in this regard, how anyone could continue to assert that the initial invasion was well founded is simply beyond me. It is proven that the reasons we invaded are not valid, ergo the invasion was a mistaken enterprise by definition. How someone who supported the war could look at the facts proven after the fact and reach the conclusion that the invasion was well founded is a reflection on the poor judgement of that person. It seems to me that one prerequisite for being taken seriously as an opinion maker is that you admit error when you have obviously erred.

If a political leader or opinion maker wishes to be taken seriously with their ideas, they should show the basic ability to make a clear eyed judgement about events that are already proven. How can anyone be trusted if they refuse to acknowledge basic truth?

In fact some of these neocon leaders and pundits purport to be defiantly proud of the war. They act like knowing exactly what they do now, given the circumstances faced in 2003 they would proceed with the invasion of Iraq again. Given the divisive nature of this war to our nation, and the harm it has caused us internationally, I honestly believe those who proclaim they would do it all over are simply blustering for the cameras, and would actually take a different approach. At least I hope and pray those who bluster about doing it over again are not being entirely candid, because they are making remarkably similar arguments now regarding Iran as they made then regarding Iraq.

The truly maddening part of this from the lefty point of view is that the leaders of this war were not just wrong in the lead up to the invasion. They have proven manifestly wrong headed in every policy since (with the notable exception of the actual invasion itself). And the same class of pundits who rah rah'd the nation to war have largely kept up the cheering as the leadership they enable continue making these disastrous mistakes. Thousands of needless deaths and dollars by the hundreds of billions have been frittered away as the chattering class who cheered us into the mess cheer us deeper into the quagmire. Now it has gotten to the point that pundits who supported the initial invasion, but nit picked the troop levels as being to low, are somehow presented to the public as administration critics!

So why should I as a lefty take these pundits seriously... especially when they can not be brought to admit the obvious errors they made in the past and continue making from the inception of the war to this very day? Not only should they not be taken seriously... they should be working in the freaking cubicle I'm sitting in right now trying to formulate workable sentences (hah!) in between the calls, and the people who lead the net roots should be filling the time slots of the talking heads shows and casting votes to deal with the problem.

Here is actually a great example. Jon Stolz of Vote Vets is very busy lately going from show to show taking on the right wingers these shows prop up next to him. Stolz appeared on Hannity and Colmes today. Given the history of the Bush administration, and Hannity's oft proven nonsensical take on American policy, why isn't it Hannnity who is going from show to show filling 5 minute debates, and Stolz who has his own Radio and Television program?

In fact Stolz broke down the frustration of the left on this entire issue perfectly when he said to the administration spokestoady he was debating: "you’ve spun me once, you’ve spun me twice, you’re not going to spin me a third time, I’m sorry" In other words, to paraphrase the President, spin me once, shame on... shame on you, spin me... you won't get spun again.

There is a reason Keith Olbermann runs the fastest growing news program on cable television these days. Americans are sick of the spin from the wingnut filled all spin zone. Brother Olbermann is the ONLY show on cable not being run by a right wing zealot. Chances are that few if any of those right wingers would ever admit that the war was a mistaken endeavor... and we won't get spun again.

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