[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Herald Opinions on Iraq Issues

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Herald Opinions on Iraq Issues

The Herald editorial board weighed in today on Alberto Fernandez's comments about the United States' arrogant and stupid actions in Iraq to Al-Jazeera, saying that Fernandez doesn't need to apologize for telling the truth.

Perhaps Joe Schmoe in Altoona wouldn't have to apologize for making the same remark, but a U.S. diplomat on a network notorious for its anti-Americanism ought to be much more responsible.

Memo to the Herald: one can express his/her true feelings, but people such as Fernandez who are in a position of representing their country and it's policies in foreign territories have a responsibility and the expectation of doing so with respect. Is that too much to ask for these days?

Secondly, this column by Jonah Goldberg on our decision to go to war in Iraq is very thought-provoking.

Here's an excerpt:

But truth is truth. And the Iraq war was a mistake by the most obvious criteria: If we had known then what we know now, we would never have gone to war with Iraq -- at least not the way we did. I do think that Congress (including Democrats Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller and John Murtha) was right to vote for the war given what was known -- or what was believed to have been known -- in 2003. The claims from some former pro-war Dems that they were lied to strike me as nothing more than cowardly buck-passing.

The failure to find weapons of mass destruction is a side issue. The WMD fiasco was a global intelligence failure, though calling Saddam Hussein's bluff after 9/11 was the right thing to do. Washington's more important intelligence failure lay in underestimating what would be required to rebuild and restore post-Hussein Iraq. The White House did not anticipate a low-intensity civil war in Iraq, never planned for it and would not have deemed it in the U.S. interest to pay this high a price in prestige, treasure and, of course, lives.

There something in Goldberg's column to please, and displease, everyone. That's why it's so good. It makes people on both sides of the Iraq debate dig deep to think about their stance and why they believe the way they do. If not, then you're not thinking about it enough. It offers a perspective that has been totally lost these days with both sides screaming at each other and making baseless accusations. Politicians, take note.

Goldberg's column does lose a bit of luster at the end with his suggestion of an Iraqi vote to keep or send the troops back home, but I'll forgive this one slip up because the rest of it is recommended reading.


Blogger Jonathan said...

-The Herald's editorial is silly. Fernandez was expressing his personal opinion in a way that was certain to be misinterpreted as an official statement. The fact that his opinion agrees with the Herald editors' opinions doesn't make what he did OK. He should be fired, because it's very important that our officials not express national self-doubt in a political context where millions of people are risking their lives based on our promises, and where our enemies interpret any expression of doubt or confusion by us as weakness.

-The information we have about WMD and Saddam Hussein's intentions and capabilities that war critics now take for granted was not available before we invaded Iraq, and is only available because we invaded. Because we invaded we are also in a better position to block Iran's nuke program, and Iraq is no longer spending tens of billions of dollars bribing UN and European officials to screw us.

-Speaking of Iran, the same CIA that didn't know much about Iraq before we invaded now thinks that Iran won't get nukes for 5-10 more years. I think we would be wise to be ready to take military action against the mullahs much sooner than that. Withdrawing from Iraq would make it much more difficult, politically and logistically, to do that.

-The idea of letting Iraqis vote on our continued presence is idiotic. We're there mainly in our own interest, not because we wanted to help Iraqis (though Iraqis are much better off now). And if we got out now there would be a bloodbath that would make the aftermath of our defeat in Vietnam look like a picnic and would destroy our national credibility for a generation.

1:06 AM, October 27, 2006  

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