Sunday, November 20, 2005

No, No, The Cloud is Silver!

From today's National Review Online, the main-page header to Victor Davis Hanson's piece:

"Fair-weather war supporters forget their own history."

I must've been catatonic during this fair-weather interval, where everything about the war was falling into place, going off without a hitch. But that aside, articles of this sort are now the hard archetype of hawk commentary - a partisan, face-saving rescue mission sneaking past any serious argument about the reasoning and execution of the Iraq war. Hanson has always struck me as a little too big for his britches - learned, erudite, and wrong in just about all his meaningful opinions.

The whole article reeks of despair. Of the cowards in Washington who have begun the chastening work of rethinking their early support of the war, Hanson has this to say:

"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."

Leave aside that the mantra of the extreme Left he cites happens to be incontrovertible - that dishonesty prevailed at several intervals, especially on the part of the vice president, in whom the president has reiterated his complete trust. What can be culled from this paragraph is a simple suggestion: now that soldiers are in Iraq for a long, long time, Congress ought to do the patriotic, noble thing and presume its own rightness in sending them there, and it's own imperviousness to objections. Because, after all, this sort of thing is little but the heckling of Marxist saboteurs.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Operation No Speculation

Why watching C-Span can be a vertiginous experience - I wish I hadn't missed this (from Justin Logan and Gene Healy's new Reason column on what staying the course in Iraq actually means):

"During recent congressional testimony, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was asked, "Do you think five years from now some American forces will have come out?" She replied, "I don't want to speculate." Then a softer version of the same question: "What about 10 years from now?" After some brief wrangling, Rice replied, "I don't know how to speculate about what will happen 10 years from now." "

TRANSLATION: "Who knows? Ten years from now it won't be my problem!" Seriously, though - "I don't want to speculate about what will happen 10 years from now." It escapes me why one inquisitive Democratic senator didn't respond with the obvious point that speculation is what enveloped the Iraq question from the very beginning. Or that public policy in general is inherently speculative. I see her point though. Sure - if you started speculating, you couldn't really avoid saying something falsifiable. And you'd have to actually make the regime change policy a real policy, as opposed to another of George Bush's pie-in-the-sky profusions of compassionate conservatism.

It's really ashame that a truly brilliant guy like Christopher Hitchens has to resort to hackery like this.

One wonders why betrothing himself to the liberation of Iraqi Kurdistan hasn't led him to think that maybe those same Kurds might actually eventually come to think of stability and Scowcroftian realism as a good thing.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Jerk of the Week

This is unbelievable:

"Not genuine"? How could you tell, your honor?