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Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Orcinus has another pov that I usually agree with on a variety of topics. If you read some of the same things I do, you may have seen a bit of a battle this week between TAPPED, Kevin Drum, and Atrios, among others, following this article in The New Republic. I was pretty much coming down on the side of Atrios, but then again, I'm no hawk. Orcinus pins it down for me.
Of course, if the Democrats have any grassroots strength now, it is associated with the MoveOn and Howard Dean factions (and mentioning Michael Moore is just silly, since he is a nonentity organizationally speaking). How exactly does he intend to transform the party at its grassroots by excising the people who are its grassroots? If we jettison these folks, as he's suggesting, who do we replace them with? This sounds like a classic formula for self-evisceration. More to the point, why exactly should we drive out the faction that proved, in fact, to be right about the Iraq war? Perhaps so people like Beinart won't have to be constantly reminded reminded just how wrong they were? MoveOn.org has never indicated anything but support for combating terrorism, and particularly for hunting down bin Laden. What the grassroots antiwar factions objected to was a willy-nilly invasion of another country without adequate assessment in the case of Afghanistan, and in the case of Iraq, the unwarranted invasion of another country, one only marginally associated with terrorism and unconnected to 9/11, under false pretenses and without a well-planned exit strategy. And you know what? They were right in most cases. Very few mainstream progressives opposed the Afghanistan invasion on principle; many questioned its necessity and its planning and execution, questions that remain legitimate in light of the outcome there, with bin Laden and Al Qaeda still at large and the Taliban still a political force. But generally speaking, liberal opposition was very muted and generally limited to the factions that oppose war in any form. Iraq, however, was a wholly different matter. Many mainstream liberals immediately questioned the rationale for invading Iraq (as well as some mainstream conservatives who made similar cases) -- and were pooh-poohed by the New Republic crew as a bunch of peaceniks. Then as now, the essence of their attacks on the antiwar factions boiled down to image over substance.
12/08/2004 09:47:00 AM :: ::
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