Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 10, 2007 / 22 Iyar, 5767

YOUR WAR, NOT MINE!

By Victor Davis Hanson


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "This war is lost," Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid recently proclaimed.


That pessimism about Iraq is now widely shared by his Democratic colleagues. But many of these converted doves aren't being quite honest about why they've radically changed their views of the war.


Most of the serious Democratic presidential candidates — Sens. Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Christopher Dodd, and former Sen. Jonathan Edwards — once voted, along with Reid, to authorize the war. Sen. Barack Obama didn't. But, then, he wasn't in the Senate at the time.


Now these former supporters of Iraq find themselves under assault by a Democratic base that demands apologies. Only Edwards has said he is sorry for his vote of support.


But if the Democratic Party is now almost uniformly anti-war, it is also understandable why it can't field a single major presidential candidate who was in Congress when it counted and tried to stop the invasion.


After all, responsible Democrats in national office had been convinced by Bill Clinton for eight years and then George W. Bush for two that Saddam's Iraq was both a conventional and terrorist threat to the United States and its regional allies.


Most in Congress accepted that Saddam was a genocidal mass murderer. They knew he used his petrodollars to acquire dangerous weapons. And they felt his savagery was intolerable in a post-9/11 world. There was no debate that Saddam gave money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers or offered sanctuary to terrorists like Abu Abbas and Abu Nidal. And few Democrats questioned whether the al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist group Ansar al-Islam was in Kurdistan.


In other words, Democrats, like most others, wanted Saddam taken out for a variety of reasons beyond fears of WMD. Moreover, it was the Clinton-appointed CIA director George Tenet who supplied both Democrats and Republicans in Congress with much of the intelligence they would later cite in deciding to attack Saddam.


When both congressional Democrats and Republicans cast their votes to go along with President Bush, they even crafted 23 formal causes for war. So far only the writ concerning the fear of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction has in hindsight proven false.


But we no longer hear much about these various reasons why the Democrats understandably supported the removal of Saddam Hussein. Instead, they now most often plead they were hoodwinked by sneaky warmongering neocons or sexed-up partisan intelligence reports.


There is nothing wrong with changing your mind, especially in matters as serious as war — but the public at least deserves a sincere explanation for this radical about-face.


So why not come clean about their changes of heart?


Many Democrats apparently think that claiming they were victimized by Bush and the neocons is more palatable than confessing to their own demoralization with the news from the front.


Others may fear that admitting publicly that a disheartened America should not or cannot finish a conflict would send a dangerous message to our enemies. So while these Democrats accuse President Bush of being hardheaded and unwavering on Iraq, they are still afraid that their own mea culpas would send an equally dangerous message of inconsistency abroad.


Democrats need to admit the truth: that removing a dangerous Saddam Hussein and promoting democracy in his place seemed a good idea to them in 2003-4 when the cost appeared tolerable. Now, in 2007, with over 3,000 American lives lost in Iraq, they feel differently.


In other words, Democrats could argue that somewhere along the line — whether it was after Fallujah or the start of sectarian Sunni-Shiite violence — they either lost confidence in the United States' very ability to stabilize Iraq, or felt that even if we could, it was no longer worth the tab in American blood and treasure.


That confession could, of course, be nuanced with exculpatory arguments about the mistakes made by those in the Bush administration, such as: "Our necessary war that I voted for to remove Saddam worked; your optional one to stay on to promote democracy didn't."


Such an explanation of turnabout would be transparent and invite a public discussion. And it would certainly be more legitimate that the current protestations of "the neo-cons made me do it."


With America still engaged in a tough war, that kind of excuse-making just doesn't cut it.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


Archives

© 2007, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles