From Steve Gilliard, a link to some guy in New Mexico who just seems, well, wishy-washy, repeating all of the canards about how progressives are wimpy and without any will to blow shit up then complaining when they call him names back. This was my comment there:
Of course there’s room for dissent. But if you say something stupid in a public place (i.e. on the Internet), you should at least have the ability to take valid criticism without whining about it.
Keeping troops in Iraq under the current administration means an indefinite period of what’s been going on there for the past two years. The Bush administration has shown that it’s pathologically incapable of telling the public the truth about their rationale for going to war, the current state of affairs, and the conditions upon which we might ever withdraw. That makes their methods suspect. Unless you agree with the way that they’ve executed the Iraq conflict — and I certainly hope you’re smarter than that — why would you trust them from here on out? Because they tell you they’ll do better? Seriously, Condi Rice? Don Rumsfeld? Dick Cheney? George W. Bush? Do you believe them?
Yeah, I support the use of military force where it’s appropriate, but I don’t think ensuring “that our basic values take hold around the world” is something that can come from the barrel of a gun. Certainly not in a nation that our own leaders falsely claimed was a threat to international security (something just about everyone else in the world knew was a sham) just so they could depose Saddam and look good. What basic values does killing 100,000 civilians in a couple of years on false pretenses enforce?
In case you haven’t noticed, Iraq’s in the middle of a civil war already. It’s just that we’re in the middle of it. And despite the fact that the insurgents are killing dozens of people a day, coalition forces are killing twice that many, on the average, with incursions into places like Fallujah. We’ve already turned Iraq into a Leaving Iraq would hardly “create even more instability in the region”. Invading it did that. Leaving it might just give it a chance to settle down.
More importantly, by leaving, we open up the possibility of other countries actually helping with reconstruction. Nobody wants to go in there now because the US is in charge. Nobody else in the world wants to be there under US leadership, because the current US leadership is what created the mess in the first place.
You’ve got a lot of jingoistic views of progressives/liberals for someone who claims to be dissenting “from” them. The real problem in 2004 was that the Democrats did have a foreign policy. It was the same as Bush’s. Most of them went along for the ride into Iraq without looking at the realities of whether Iraq had the capabilities for WMD production (many progressives doubted that was likely, certainly nuclear factories would have shown up on our extensive overflights during the ’90s); whether the claims of drones capable of targeting the US were feasible (even the US hasn’t been able to build drones that can be piloted 10,000 miles); and whether thousands of Iraqis and many Americans would be killed in the urban warfare that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz kept saying would be unnecessary.
That’s not an anti-war position. That’s an anti-stupid-war position. Sure, there are people on the left who are totally against any military intervention, just as there are people on the right who want to drop nukes on everybody and you can make those straw man arguments that the sissy peaceniks are picking on poor Erik, but face reality. Would you trust Bush and his cronies running your country? Oh, yeah, they already are. Well then, how about if he sent 130,000 guys (and gals!) with guns, some independent contractors (with guns, natch), and planes and tanks and very little accountability to run your country? How’s that grab ya?