Peter Beinart’s “The Good Fight” (with Updates)
I will spend my last hour today with Peter Beinart, author of “The Good Fight: Why Liberals –and Only Liberals– Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again.” Center-right folk really ought to read this as it is the closest to a coherent critique of the war as the left has come up with. It fails to persuade on many levels, but it will certainly find a following and contribute talking points to the shrinking caucus of Lieberman Democrats.
UPDATE: Some of the statements of senior Demcocrats on the floor today are nothing short of amazing. Two examples.
From senior House Ways and Means Committee Member, and former member of the Texas Supreme Court, Lloyd Doggett (he’d chair a subcommittee under Speaker Pelosi):
Mr. Speaker this war was launched without an imminent threat to our families. It endangers them more every day, creating new generations of terrorists. Radical know-it-all ideologues here bent facts, destroyed intelligence, distorted intelligence, and perpetrated lies designed to mislead the American people into believing that a third rate thug had a hand in 9/11 and was soon to unleash a mushroom cloud.
From the start House Democrats overwhelmingly voted against this war but radical ideologues rushed headlong anyway, ignoing professional military advice about the number of troops and equipment needed. One general after another has indicted this Adminsitration for its misjudgment and mismanagement. But almost three thousand Americans lie dead. Another 20,000 have been seriously injured. Every day, every single day American taxpayers are forced to spend 229 million dollars in Iraq and they pay again every time they go to the gas pump.
All that is in sight is a civil war quagmire. Today’s resolution pins Adminstration’s failures on the coattails of our courageous servicmen and women. Administration ineptness is falsely attached to a resolution honoring our troops. Well you know Americans are increasingly realizing there’s a better way to honor our troops than sending more of them off to be killed. Would that there were more than a little of our troops’ courage right here in Washington, from those who refuse to challenge this Adminsitration’s myth-based policies and who choose to cut-and-run from their responsibilities. Instead of staying the course, we need to chart a smarter course. It’s not weakness or retreat to recognize the Administration offers us only an endless spend-and-bleed policy. When this talkathon ends, reject this fraudulent resolution which cannot be amended or changed to alter this Adminsitration’s deadly pursuit of a desert mirage. Neither paper resolutions nor more Adminsitration arrogance weill defeat terrorism.
Jane Harman, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee:
We were all wrong. Overriding the advice of intelligence professionals, Adminsitration officials put stock in bogus sources like “Curveball” and self-promoters like Ahmed Chalabi. But simply calling Iraq an intelligence failure ignores the larger policy failures that created the false momentum towards war. The Adminsitration cherry-picked intelligence, and hyped the threat. They talked in ominous tones about mushroom clouds even though many questioned evidence suggesting Saddam had nuclear weapons capability. They made a mantra of the claim that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi agents in Prague, a claim that has been thoroughly discredited.
The Democratic talking points that failed to persuade in 2004 will hardly be more persuasive with an elected, broad-based government in place in Iraq, with Zarqawi dead and the extent of the al Qaeda network revealed and suffering set-back after set-back.
Peter Beinart wants to believe his party can be brought back to national security sobriety. Unfortunately, his Congressional leadership insists on talking candidly about what they really believe.
And what they believe is brewed up in Kosland, and does not and will not inspire the confidence of the electorate on the most important issues of the day.