Do Not Forgive Them For They Know Exactly What They've Done
There's an interesting discussion brewing in liberal blogland as to whether we should take it easy on the warhawks regarding their gung-ho support for the war in Iraq. Kevin Drum argues we should "lighten up," while Digby offers a heated rebuttal here and here. Before offering my two shekels, I'd like to point to this fascinating Legal Fiction post that compiles some of Crazy Andy Sullivan's greatest hits circa 2002. A few choice morsels:
9/30 - UNHITCHED FROM THE LEFT: As Hitchens looked around him, even in the days after the atrocity, he found something rather different. He found that a deep and lingering hatred of America over-powered some leftists' objection to mass murder. He found excuses for totalitarian hatred. He saw exactly what Orwell had seen in the leftist intelligentsia of his own time: not simply a passivity in the face of evil, but almost an admiration for it. And he was disgusted. Since those first days of shock, the hard Left has merely redoubled its assault on a free society's right to self-defense. The endless series of rationalizations, the opposition to any war to fight terror, now the sad and pathetic moral abdication of those who see president Bush as more of a threat to world order and peace than Saddam Hussein - all these responses, under-written by a simpering, barely concealed anti-Semitism, would be enough to turn anyone's stomach, let alone a good liberal's. At some point, when you look around and see that this is the quality of one's ideological allies, you have to break ranks, if only for the sake of personal moral hygiene.
9/30 - WHOSE SIDE ARE THEY ON?: Congressman Jim McDermott has just accused president Bush of wilfully lying to the American people about national security threats from Saddam or Al Qaeda. He said this not on the floor of the House or in his district - but in Baghdad, the capital city of a despot who is on the brink of war with the United States. At a time when the U.S. government is attempting some high-level diplomatic maneuvers in the U.N., when Saddam is desperate for any propaganda ploy he can muster, these useful idiots play his game. I think what we're seeing now is the hard-core base of the Democratic Party showing its true colors, and those colors, having flirted with irrelevance and then insouciance are now perilously close to treason.
10/17 - THE ANTI-WAR LEFT'S CONTRADICTION - . . . [T]hese people [on the Left] hate Bush more than they care about the fate of the oppressed people they pretend to care about. Or because they have deeper suspicions about the U.S. than about Saddam's Iraq. Yep, they're that depraved and out of it.
As Publius notes (and I wholeheartedly concur):
People tend to forget - now that Iraq is merely a democracy-building humanitarian mission - how much bile was shot our way during the fall of 2002. What's incredible is that Sullivan was probably in the middle of pro-war spectrum. Face it - as the history books will show - these people lapsed into an intoxicated MacBethian frenzy for war. We were ridiculed and called traitors. We were told we didn't understand 9/11 and didn't care about national security. And as Andrew said, there would be "little pity" for us after the invasion. As I've said before, these people would be bashing us over the head with Iraq had it gone well. But it has not. And while I won't engage in the Sullivan-circa-2002 hysterics, don't expect me to cut much slack to this President (with respect to Iraq), who in my opinion caused the greatest tragedy of our generation.
A-friggin'-men. I realize that I'm conflating right-wing hawks like Sully with faux-respectable "liberal hawks" like Ken Pollack and Michael Ignatieff, but they're equally contemptible in my eyes. While I'm in no mood to go running around yelping "I told you so," given the horrific situation in Iraq, I will neither forgive nor forget the contemptible, war-fever bile that Sullivan and his ilk spewed during that time period, regardless of their recent semi-contrite lamentations.