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Thursday, May 13, 2004

Liberal hawk watch.

Very few of the liberals who supported the idea of removing Saddam Hussein from power think George W. Bush has done an even remotely adequate job of securing the peace in Iraq. One of the most prominent liberal hawks, the New York Times's Thomas L. Friedman, throws in the towel today:

I thought the administration would have to do the right things in Iraq — from prewar planning and putting in enough troops to dismissing the secretary of defense for incompetence — because surely this was the most important thing for the president and the country. But I was wrong. There is something even more important to the Bush crowd than getting Iraq right, and that's getting re-elected and staying loyal to the conservative base to do so. It has always been more important for the Bush folks to defeat liberals at home than Baathists abroad. That's why they spent more time studying U.S. polls than Iraqi history. That is why, I'll bet, Karl Rove has had more sway over this war than Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Bill Burns. Mr. Burns knew only what would play in the Middle East. Mr. Rove knew what would play in the Middle West.

I admit, I'm a little slow. Because I tried to think about something as deadly serious as Iraq, and the post-9/11 world, in a nonpartisan fashion — as Joe Biden, John McCain and Dick Lugar did — I assumed the Bush officials were doing the same. I was wrong. They were always so slow to change course because confronting their mistakes didn't just involve confronting reality, but their own politics.

("Dancing alone," Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times 5.13.04, reg req'd)

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 13 May 2004 at 5:42 PM

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