Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 14, 2004
WAR/POLITICS: Stop the Presses
In fairness, the letter Drezner links to is worth checking out and the comments of Drezner himself are characteristically fair. The credentials and assertions of the “S3FP” should be weighed a little more heavily than much of what usually passes for anti-war arguments, but those arguments themselves are still basically repackaged Democratic talking points, some of which (notably General Shinseki’s comments, the cited James Fallows piece) have been the basis for frequent distortions by the Kerry campaign.
Rich Lowry has a cover story in National Review this month, which cites a large number of Administration officials and which, while supportive of the war, is very critical of a number of aspects of its management. (I’d link to it were it available online). Anyway, Lowry nicely debunks Fallows’ view - which has become orthodoxy in many circles - that the Defense Department ignored all pre-war plans concerning reconstruction. It should also be said that Lowry’s article reads largely as a Defense Department rebuttal to proxy attacks by the State Department and, thus, should be read critically. Yet, that very legitimate side of the argument is too often ignored by the more Foggy Bottom-friendly press corps.
As for my position on the Iraq War, I strongly disagree with the stated position of the S3FP. Most of their arguments were addressed in my lengthy, four-part defense of the war (see here, here, here and here). Check it out, especially the third part.
Finally, as for the scholars’ notion that “on moral grounds, the case for war was dubious” - inaction would only have meant increasing the number of stories like this. Maybe they can live with that. I’m glad we don’t have to.
UPDATE: John Derbyshire has some comments on the Lowry article, which, again, I wish I could to link to here directly. It has a lot of good stuff to ponder, regardless of where you ultimately come down on the war.