Friday, September 16, 2005

# Posted 3:18 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

MATT YGLESIAS HAS A VERY SHARP POST UP about the profoundly unpopular but surprisingly numerous ranks of Democratic pols and pundits who argue that the Bush administration is courting disaster in Iraq, but that there is still time to turn things around. As Matt observes, congressional Democrats
Warn that we're on the brink of failure, but it's too soon to give up. But they've been saying that for over a year now, and that can't be right. We can't perpetually be on the brink of failure. Calls to take one last stab at changing the course would have more credibility if I felt the callers would ever concede that, if the course isn't changed, it's time to start cutting our losses.
Naturally, OxBlog is inclined to speculate that if such prophecies of doom have failed to come true, perhaps things in Iraq aren't going as badly as the withdrawal advocates suggest. After all, long after Joe Biden pronounced us to be on the brink of failure in mid-2004, there have been purple-fingered elections, followed by the formation of a coaltion government, followed by the writing of a constitution.

On the contrary, Matt suggests that that Biden & Co.'s misguided prophecies of doom indicate that the manifest failure of the occupation was obvious long ago, but that the Dems just can't admit it. Why not? In an earlier post, Matt rejects John Judis' argument that the GOP has intimidated the Dems into cowardly incoherence. Instead, he argues that because so many of the Dems initially supported the invasion, they are loath to support a withdrawal that will make their initial support for the war look foolish.

I disagree. I think it would be very easy for most Democratic pols and pundits to say the invasion was right, but now we know there's no WMD, so it's time to go home. After all, that's what the liberal grassroots wants to hear.

I think the difference between the pols and the grassroots is that the latter has no visible concern about what will happen in Iraq if we pull out. A full scale civil war? Another failed state serving as a base for Al Qaeda? I think the pols and pundits are much more attuned to the fact that they will have to take the blame for whatever happens in Iraq if they begin a successful push to force an American withdrawal.

In the final analysis, I regret that Democrats such as Biden have pursued a line of argumentation that Matt has so ably eviscerated. But I disagree with Matt's contention that the absurdity of such Dems' rhetoric indicates that their resistance to a withdrawal is also absurd. Biden & Co. have simply overplayed their sky-is-falling card because they have a partisan incentive to do so.
(0) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments: Post a Comment