It’s hard to have a conversation about the foolishness of ever having started the war in Iraq without running into people who accuse you of not wanting to win. I suppose they (probably purposely) confuse you’re believing you’re right about an unwinnable war with your wishing reality would conform to your beliefs. You–the opposer of the Iraq war–think rather that your belief corresponds in some philosophically uninteresting way with reality–not t’other way round. Such a basic confusion is the only explanation behind Liz Cheney’s guest op-ed in the Washington Post.
More reprehensible than Cheney’s junior high rhetoric is Tom Friedman’s failure to come to grips with the reality of his poor judgment. The people who opposed the Iraq war as a disastrous experiment in nation-building or nation-obliterating had good reasons for their opposition. And they were right. The latter counting most of all. About their view this is what Friedman says in a recent NPR interview:
>FRIEDMAN: Look, I understand people who opposed the war. Some opposed it for military reasons, because they’re against war, some opposed it because they hate George Bush, some opposed it because they didn’t believe Arabs are capable of democracy. I wasn’t in that group. I really believed that finding a different kind of politics in collaboration with people in that region was a really important project.
>ASHBROOK: And do you really believe –
>FRIEDMAN: I’m really sorry. Next time — Next time Ishwar [caller], I promise, I really promise, I’ll be a better liberal. I’ll not in any way support any effort to bring democracy to a country ruled by an oil-backed tyranny. I promise I will never do that again. I promise I’ll be a better liberal. I will view the prospect of Arabs forging a democracy as utterly impossible. They’re incapable of democracy. I agree with you on that now.
>ASHBROOK: You’re going to sarcasm. We can feel you’ve taken your licks on this.
Hasn’t cost him him any of his media credibility however.