Friday, November 18, 2005

Victor Hanson: War & Reconstruction. For Bush’s critics, even hindsight is cloudy.

How disgusted am I by Pennsylvania Representative John Murtha's strident call to surrender in Iraq? He said OIF was "unwinnable" last year, too. Yes, Murtha is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, but his decisions have profoundly betrayed our men and women on the ground in Iraq and aided the enemy.

Here is a good essay by the excellent Victor Hanson about the dishonesty of pro-Defeat types in government.

War & Reconstruction

For Bush’s critics, even hindsight is cloudy.
by Victor Davis Hanson


This is the mantra of the extreme Left: "Bush lied, thousands died." A softer version from politicians now often follows: "If I knew then what I know now, I would never have supported the war." These sentiments are intellectually dishonest and morally reprehensible for a variety of reasons beyond the obvious consideration that you do not hang out to dry some 150,000 brave Americans on the field of battle while you in-fight over whether they should have ever been sent there in the first place. Consider the now exasperating (and tired) argument that almost anyone who looked at the intelligence data shared the same opinion about the threat of weapons of mass destruction — former presidents, U.S. congressmen, foreign governments, Iraqi exiles, and numerous intelligence organizations.

The prewar speeches of a Jay Rockefeller and Hillary Clinton sparked and sizzled with somber warnings about biological and chemical arsenals — and, yes, nuclear threats growing on the horizon. Politicians voted for war at a time of post-9/11 furor and fear, when anthrax was thought to have been scattered in our major cities and the hysteria over its traces evacuated government buildings. In response, the Democrats beat their breasts to prove that they could out-macho the "smoke-em-out" and "dead-or-alive" president in laying out the case against Saddam Hussein,
especially after the successful removal of the Taliban.

To argue recently, as Howard Dean has, that the president somehow had even more intelligence data or additional information beyond what was given to the Senate Intelligence Committee can make the opposite argument from what was intended — the dangers seemed even greater the more files one read attesting to Saddam's past history, clear intent, formidable financial resources, and fury at the United States. If the Dean notion is that the president had mysterious auxiliary information, then the case was probably even stronger for war, since no one has yet produced any stealth document that (a) warned there was no WMDs, and (b) was knowingly withheld from the Congress. Read the rest . . .



UPDATE: link to Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, October 2, 2002.

UPDATE 19Nov05: Blogger Austin Bay recommends Brendan Miniter's comparison of the Vietnam War to OIF together with Hanson's article.

- Eric

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