I know that recriminations and fingerpointing are very wrong and bad, but couldn’t we at least get an acknowledgement that this time around it was the naive, unrealistic, lost-in-the-Sixties ideologues who called it right, and the sharp, realistic, tough-minded wonks who got suckered? Some of us left-wing Dems have been at the receiving end of TNR’s snarky disdain for more than two decades now, and it really should be our turn now.
“It’s not false just because George Bush says it”. That was one of the liberal hawks’ main arguments, and it turned out to be a very poor one. From 9/11 onward it’s been clear that Bush was going to capitalize on the crisis for all kinds of unrelated political purposes, and there always were plenty of reasons to believe that his Iraq war plan itself was riddled with fraud.
Even if Iraq War II had been a great triumph, I don’t think that the liberal hawks would have gained much from their stand. They probably would have improved their position within the weakened Democratic Party, but Bush wouldn’t have needed them anymore for anything, and they would have found themselves discarded like used Kleenex.