Thursday, December 15, 2005

Neocons: Liars vs. Fools?

Via Libertas I found this commentary by New York Daily News' Richard Cohen. Cohen, an avowed liberal, comments on the Middle East "it's all about the oil" thriller, Syriana, and defies the convention that Bush lied us into war.
Still, if [Syriana] is going to say anything, then it ought to say something smart and timely. To read George Packer’s “The Assassins’ Gate” is to be reminded that the Iraq war is not the product of oil avarice or CIA evil, but of a surfeit of altruism, a naive compulsion to do good. That entire collection of neo and retro conservatives - Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and particularly Wolfowitz - made war not for oil or for empire, but to end the horror of Saddam Hussein and, yes, reorder the Middle East.
Color me amazed. But then we have this assessment
They were inept. They were duplicitous. They were awesomely incompetent and, in the case of Bush, they were monumentally ignorant and incurious, but they did not give a damn for oil or empire. This is why so many liberals, myself included, originally supported the war. It engaged us emotionally. It seemed . . . well, right - a just cause.

It would be nice if Hollywood understood that. It would be nice if those who agree with Hollywood - who think, as Gaghan does, that this is a brave, truth-to-power movie when it is really just an outdated cliche - would come up with something new and relevant.

I say that because something new and relevant is desperately needed. Neoconservatism crashed and burned in Iraq, but liberalism never even showed up.
Well, we're making progress. Bush didn't lie, he's just "awesomely incompetent." As I posted in the comments section at Libertas, I appreciate Cohen’s assessment of the reasons for the Iraq war, but I don’t understand his other comments. How did Neoconservatism crash and burn in Iraq? Saddam is ousted and on trial, Iraqis are voting like the dickens, and casualties are extremely low for a major invasion that has gone on this long (and nobody knows how many of the Iraqi casualties resulted from American troops or from Iraqi “insurgents” killing their own). Would Cohen have preferred the Clinton style of warfare, which is to retreat at the first sign of trouble, as he did in Mogadishu? Or to take the only military in the world capable of stopping the Rwandan genocide and do nothing while hundreds of thousands die? I’m rather disappointed with the Neocons in many respects, but they have conducted this war about as well as anyone could have.

I think this is the reason most liberals keep harping "Bush Lied!" When a liberal is honest enough to acknowledge that Bush didn't lie, that the war wasn't about grabbing oil or establishing an empire, then the only criticism he's left with (and he absolutely must criticize the Bush administration) is that Neocons are screwing up the war, which is indefensible when you look at the facts. Where the Neocons are plainly screwing up is on domestic issues, but since they seem to be channeling the spirits of Democrats-past in that respect, there isn't much for libs to pick on.

Incidentally, we have another prominent liberal who is now also claiming that he initially supported Bush, but apparently found his support waning after... what? I still don't know.

Update: Rusticus of Solarvoid comments
"...[L]iberalism never even showed up."

They were all too busy making signs to protest the war and marching in protests, and calling Bush every vile name they could think of. They showed up, alright, in all forms of vile and degrading manner in 'peace' rallies and so forth.

They are the ones that crashed and burned, all still in the comfort of America.
I think Cohen is engaging in the ancient practice of projection.

2 Comments:

Blogger Rusticus said...

"...[L]iberalism never even showed up."

They were all too busy making signs to protest the war and marching in protests, and calling Bush every vile name they could think of. They showed up, alright, in all forms of vile and degrading manner in 'peace' rallies and so forth.

They are the ones that crashed and burned, all still in the comfort of America.

12/15/2005 11:03 AM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

I agree.

Liberals are masters of the art of projection.

12/15/2005 11:58 AM  

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