The New Republic editor Peter Beinart continues to protest that he’s not an idiot in “Lesson Plan” this week, responding to criticism of his call for a non-totalitarian liberalism (apparently he thinks those of us who were opposed to the Iraq War are totalitarian liberals).
Beinart has two points regarding his (and TNR‘s) credibility. First, he asks: “…there is a second critique, which focuses less on my argument than on my credibility–and the credibility of other liberals who supported the Iraq war. What authority do we have to propose a national security direction for our fellow liberals when we urged them to follow the Bush administration into Iraq?”
He follows this up by saying that “liberal hawks” like himself were “blinded” by the “widespread conventional wisdom” (is there ever CW that’s not widespread?). They sucked up the administration line like it was a Stephen Glass-like story, only more dangerous.
His second admission is that he made a mistake in thinking “the Bush administration would take postwar nation-building seriously”.
What world were “liberal hawks” living in? Bush and his cronies were obviously bat-shit drunk with power after they managed to scuzz their way into office in 2001. And their ramp-up for all-out conservative jihad after 9/11 wasn’t exactly a secret (see: PATRIOT Act, plans for extraordinary rendition, evasion of Geneva Accords). It was all being reported on during the eighteen-month interval between the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 and the invasion of Iraq in early 2003. Did Beinart and his buddies think someone new was going to be running the show?
It’s the “Yeah, I wanted Fast Freddy dead, see, so I gave the gat to Rocco the Retard. How was I gonna know he was gonna shoot all those people with it?” defense. Beinart’s got no credibility.
Thanks to a late-night diary on Beinart’s new piece by Descrates for riling me up.