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Anti-war: A malevolent righteousness which repels most Americans
Posted by: McQ on Friday, January 18, 2008

I have to admit that if a liberal were to write an article which called for other liberals to acknowledge the surge was working, I wouldn't have expected it to be Tom Teepen.

Teepen used to write for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and I became very familiar with his, shall we say, slant? So seeing his name attached to this came as a bit of a shock. I say that all to point out that if Teepen gets it, why aren't other liberals "getting it"?
Democrats in particular and liberals in general - and, no, the overlap isn't perfect, as rightist blather would have you believe - will make a mistake if they don't acknowledge that the increase in U.S. troop strength in Iraq has made a difference for the better.

There is a streak of opinion within the larger ranks of opponents of the Iraq war that, going far beyond the critique asserted by most, seems actually to covet U.S. failure in Iraq as somehow serving America right for the blunder of having gone there in the first place.

That is a malevolent righteousness that properly repels most Americans.
Teepen has to throw a bone to those out there on the left who are now undergoing defibrillation by assuring them that polls say that a majority of Americans have become permanently disillusioned with the war.

Eh. There's nothing like success to change the permanency of the disillusionment, and despite Teepen's contention, the polls I've seen see support slowly rebuilding with the success of the surge.

But that said, I think one of the other reasons support is slowly building is that last line of his in bold. Such refusal to acknowledge success speaks to a "malevolent righteousness" which does indeed seem to "covet US failure". We see it right here in our comment section every time progress in Iraq is highlighted. And it has become both dishonest and, frankly, unseemly.

Teepen then moves on to the Democratic presidential candidates and notes what I have said in the past - they seem out of touch and disconnected from reality with their pat answers to questions which are no longer valid:
The two leading Democratic contenders for the presidency, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, continue to emphasize troop withdrawal but also say that withdrawal has to be consistent with the goals of leaving a stable polity capable of sustaining itself.

Those goals per se rule out precipitous or complete withdrawal. (John Edwards has made himself hopeless on this by insisting we remove even the U.S. troops who are training the Iraqi military.)
Here I disagree with Teepen's characterization of the Clinton and Obama positions. Their rhetoric doesn't at all seem consistent with a goal of leaving a stable polity capable of sustaining itself. But as Teepen points out, their's is at least better than that of Edwards (who may have John Murtha as a secret advisor).

The fact remains, as I pointed out in today's Iraq update, there have been dramatic changes for the better in Iraq.

Dramatic.

There's no longer any question, nor is it a matter of opinion. The facts speak for themselves. And yes, it could all go bad again. But at the moment it isn't.

So why aren't certain Americans celebrating the fact that although the US may have badly fumbled the early parts of the war, up to and including the first half of last year, we've made a remarkable turnaround and we may actually succeed?

Seems to me, unless what Teepen is suggesting is true about certain people, that all Americans would be celebrating that turnaround. And that includes the Democratic candidates for president:
We need to begin hearing from Democratic candidates how they would use the resulting opportunities to best serve U.S. interests and, especially, the interests of the Iraqi population, which our invasion has put at our mercy.
And don't start those plans with, "I'll pull the troops out of Iraq the day I take the oath of office". The previously stated reason for doing that is no longer valid.
 
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You just do not understand us, McQ. We must stress how much Iraq is a failure, for many, many good reasons.

First, there is our own mental health. Do you realize how wrenching it would be to have to admit we were wrong? Some of us have invested hundreds of thousands of words in proving beyond the shadow of a Derrida that Iraq was a failure from the start and can never be anything else. We have already had to swallow the shame of our predictions of tens of thousands of casualties during the invasion and how Afghanistan was going to be the graveyard of empires, and how the insurgents were the Minutemen who were going to increase in numbers until they won. What more do you expect of us?

Then, there are the long term effects. Do you realize how bad it would be if those brown people in the Middle East actually began to believe that Americans were good and moral people? They might start believing that Americans are not oppressors, and all the work we brave leftists have done in the last few decades to convince everyone that the US is aggressive and immoral would be completely undone. They must not be misled in such a fashion. It would be a disaster of historical proportions. Yes, I know our troops are making them believe we are their friends, but we anti-war political scientists can see right through that facade. Our troops are raving murderers, as the New York Times just showed us.

Can you not see the costs and risks of interventionism? It is just so, so risky. Risk, risk, risk. And non-intervention is good and soft and cuddly, and it always, always works. Jimmy Carter told me so.

Besides, I have proof that Iraq is a failure. Because of the strawberries. That is where I nailed you beyond the shadow of a doubt. The strawberries prove I am right.
 
Written By: Ott Scerb
URL: http://cluelessprof.maine.edu
A malevolent righteousness which repels most Americans
’scuse me, Bruce. I thought you were talking about a group of people were we having a chat with earlier.

My mistake.

((smirk))

There are a lotta similarities, though, huh? Each figures they know more than the rest of us and feel themselves motivated by some sort of moral imperative, and attack their issues with similar religious-like fervor.

Now that I’ve created a situation which will doubtless add up to another 300 comment post, where’s the side door at?





 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Bithead, no fair chumming the water!
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
I’m a liberal.

For me, the "liberal" opposition to Operation Iraqi Freedom holds much cognitive dissonance.

To me, our mission in Iraq, tactically, strategically, and politically, is definitively liberal. I can understand when "realist" conservatives oppose OIF, but not when progressive liberals undermine it. Our failure in Iraq would be a tremendous blow to a liberal world order, perhaps a mortal blow, while our success in Iraq would be a great boon to liberal advancement. It’s so frustrating to me that the very people who should be the fiercest supporters for OIF have seemingly abandoned their liberal principles and the progressive struggle for a better world, and instead, become stake-holders in the mission’s failure.

I hold out that hope that if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton becomes President, they wake up to the obvious once they’re forced to make serious decisions, rediscover what it means to be liberal, and choose to champion this mission as the liberal cause it is, rather than continue to pander to the anti-war mob. Our "liberal" political leaders can’t have really become so lost from themselves, can they?

 
Written By: Eric Chen
URL: http://
Mr Chen

If, by whatever stoke of bad luck, any of the Democrats manage to attain office, they decidedly will wake up at least briefly, long enough to take what’s left of the Iraq conflict seriously. (Except for the real dingbats like Kucinich) It will not be because they have woken up, any more than during the election process, or they are any more genuine than they were during the election process. They will suddenly start taking the whole thing seriously, because ultimately it is their responsibility at that point. They can take credit for doing the job right.... something they’ve been trying to deny Bush all this time.

They’ve known all along that what George Bush has been doing has been the right thing to do. But because it was part of the party opposite, and its agenda, they had to oppose it. This is particularly true given how much they have to pander to the far left, who cannot get past it’s irrational hate of GWB.

As a matter of fact, I’m going to suggest to you that we will see the antiwar, anti-Bush rhetoric toned down immediately after Denver.
Our "liberal" political leaders can’t have really become so lost from themselves, can they?
that you can ask such a question suggests to me any common sense. That is lacking in all too many of the left today. It does so, because it suggests to me that you are in the know the answer before you ask it.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
"To me, our mission in Iraq, tactically, strategically, and politically, is definitively liberal."

It’s like soccer and football.

No, seriously. It’s the same game but we use a different word over here.

Talk politics with someone in another country and you quickly have to adjust the word "liberal" because what is liberal in the United States doesn’t resemble liberal anywhere else.

It’s why a lot of people are starting to use the term "classical liberal" to specify that they’re talking about human dignity and the individual. It’s why "neo-liberal" in South America refers to a capitalist, market based economy.

 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
"Democrats in particular and liberals in general - and, no, the overlap isn’t perfect, as rightist blather would have you believe - will make a mistake if they don’t acknowledge that the increase in U.S. troop strength in Iraq has made a difference for the better."

Yes, Iraq now says it will be able to defend its own borders by 2018! Man, things is lookin’ so good over there!
 
Written By: Nick Danger
URL: http://gene-callahan.org/blog/
"They’ve known all along that what George Bush has been doing has been the right thing to do."

Killin’ lots and lots a furners is ALWAYS the right thing to do!
 
Written By: Nick Danger
URL: http://gene-callahan.org/blog/
Synova:

Sparkle doesn’t read this blog yet.

Arch
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
Eric Chin:

I would have thought that deposing a brutal dictator who fed his political opponents into wood chippers, encouraged his two sons to rape all the junior high school girls they wanted, beat their wives, stole their national treasure and used nerve gas on their neighbors and countrymen, would have some support with liberals.

Time out. Senator Schumer said the dems will pick up seats.

This is not a war over Iraq, oil, nuclear weapons or repressive despots. It’s about democrat party politics. They send our sons to die tragically for a noble cause and the democrats deliberately betray them for a slim majority in Congress.
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
I would have thought that deposing a brutal dictator who fed his political opponents into wood chippers, encouraged his two sons to rape all the junior high school girls they wanted, beat their wives, stole their national treasure and used nerve gas on their neighbors and countrymen, would have some support with liberals.
Even within this comments section, if I read the responses correctly.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us

 
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