Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dereliction of Duty

I'm not sure it would be good for Democratic electoral politics, but this is an irreverent look at the emotions that drove people to "get action" "on Iraq".

This is the quote that caught my eye, mostly:

And many feared that if the United States did not go to war, it might make some hippie, somewhere, happy.
But this is the one that requires the most attention. How it came to pass, post-Reagan, that so many imagined that a full-scale military engagement could be "handled" or "managed", as regular politics or otherwise.

What all of us had in common is probably a simple recognition: War is a big deal. It isn’t normal. It’s not something to take up casually. Any war you can describe as “a war of choice” is a crime. War feeds on and feeds the negative passions. It is to be shunned where possible and regretted when not. Various hawks occasionally protested that “of course” they didn’t enjoy war, but they were almost always lying. Anyone who saw invading foreign lands and ruling other countries by force as extraordinary was forearmed against the lies and delusions of the time.

Still, towering over these emotions was Bush's dereliction of duty, in sending troops in without a firm exit strategy; and, as we now know, without even a competent 'phase three' plan.

To ask for either of these, in the pre-war period, rather than amounting to the most basic and simple of military knowledge aforethought, was an unworthy, presumptuous, or impossible-to-know request, in some quarters.

Last, for all the bluster about being Libertarian, the obvious candidate to run for President under that banner, Ron Paul, doesn't have the courage to do it. What layer of irony is that?

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