Beinart’s Bad Analogy

Peter Beinart (whose analysis of issues and knowledge of politics have never been particularly astute) is mentioned in a posting by Kevin Drum, with regard to Beinart’s new book, The Good Fight. Apparently, Beinart acknowledges that he was wrong about supporting the Iraq war because of the lack of WMD, the relative success of a containment strategy, the lack of international support, etc. Basically, he thinks that the war would have been a good idea, but…

Beinart’s been clutching like a rat terrier to the idea that Democrats need to rattle more sabers in international policy to “prove” to Americans that we’re serious about national security, likening the anti-Communist stance the US descended into during the Truman years (co-incident with the rise of Joseph McCarthy, Richard Nixon, and others) with the anti-Islamofascist “good fight” he sees as a campaign slogan for the future.

One of the commenters at Washington Monthly had what I thought was an incredibly perceptive observation:

The salient similarity between Truman/Cold War and Democrats/Islamic Terrorists is that the Republicans have exploited a circumstance, exaggerated beyond all rationality, used it to brand the Democrats as traitors, and convinced Democrats that they must be more rabidly and insanely bellicose in order to win elections. The result of that was the Viet Nam War, an utterly useless and immoral exercise in Cold War precepts.