Friday, August 24, 2007

He Was Against The War Before He Was For It

It amazes me the contortions some politicians will attempt in order to be one of the popular kids--or at least to be on the winning team.

The invasion of Iraq may be one of the worst foreign-policy mistakes in the history of our nation. As tragic and costly as that mistake has been, a precipitous or premature withdrawal of our forces now has the potential to turn the initial errors into an even greater problem just as success looks possible.

Yes, yes, state your liberal bona fides. Give yourself a fig leaf in the first sentence to cover yourself for what comes afterward.

As a Democrat who voted against the war from the outset and who has been frankly critical of the administration and the post-invasion strategy, I am convinced by the evidence that the situation has at long last begun to change substantially for the better. I believe Iraq could have a positive future. Our diplomatic and military leaders in Iraq, their current strategy, and most importantly, our troops and the Iraqi people themselves, deserve our continued support and more time to succeed.

It was a mistake to invade, apparently, but we can still win! How uncomfortable it must be to straddle that fence. Perhaps he has long legs.

Knowing all this, how can someone who opposed the war now call for continuing the new directions that have been taken in Iraq? The answer is that the people, strategies and facts on the ground have changed for the better and those changes justify changing our position on what should be done.

It was wrong then, but it's right now!!!

Progress is being made and there is real reason for hope. It would be a tragic waste and lasting strategic blunder to let the hard-fought and important gains slip away, leaving chaos behind to haunt us and our allies for many years to come.

As I said in this post, I'll welcome people who, absent ulterior motives, do the right thing. This man gets no cheer from me. He's too busy holding his finger to the wind.


Tony said...

Are you referring to the ulterior motive of getting elected? If so, could not politicians at both ends of the spectrum be criticized for playing to their base demographics?

I have never understood this flip-flopper label that's been bandied about by conservatives recently. Let's put aside criticisms of political fence-riding for a second, because I'll admit it goes on a lot. Politics aside, what's wrong with reassessing a situation as new facts come to light? Isn't that what good decision making is about?

Darren said...

If you're changing your mind based on new information, that's great. If you're looking for a way to have it both ways, or to cover your bases, I don't buy it.