Make Peace With Your Fellow Metaphorical BirdJosh Marshall
I don’t think we can deal with the issue of Democrats, national security policy and the war on terror, without addressing Iraq front and center and recognizing just what a disaster our enterprise there has become. This isn’t a secondary issue.
Now that's right. But there are ways
in which that's right and ways in which it's wrong. I tried to get at some of the differences in this longish post
over at Mojo.
Simply splitting up the camps into "hawks" and "doves" and reviving the old feuds of 2002 and 2003 doesn't do much good. Not just from a "political" standpoint, but from any standpoint. It's much, much easier to wipe the slate clean, come to a consensus on the actual lessons learned on Iraq, figure out what we now know and what problems now exist, and move forward. This mushy approach isn't very morally
satisfying -- the Peter Beinarts of the world still want forcefully install a backbone into those weak-kneed lefties, and the Atrios's of the world still want to gut the liberal hawks for cravenly giving in to the neoconservatives -- but obviously this doesn't get anyone very far.
Moreover, we're simply not going to invade and occupy another country with the aim of imposing democracy anytime soon, so this isn't a debate we absolutely need to have. Especially insofar as it obscures current national security concerns -- so in this sense, Iraq is
a "secondary issue," pace