Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hindsight

Kathryn Jean Lopez notes a change - finally! - in (highly paid New York Times columnist/Chi-Com Dictatorship cheerleader) Tom Friedman's tune on Iraq:
Thomas Friedman today:

Former President George W. Bush’s gut instinct that this region craved and needed democracy was always right. It should have and could have been pursued with much better planning and execution. This war has been extraordinarily painful and costly. But democracy was never going to have a virgin birth in a place like Iraq, which has never known any such thing.

Thomas Friedman in 2006:

It is now obvious that we are not midwifing democracy in Iraq. We are baby-sitting a civil war.

...

leaving, while bringing other problems, might also make it easier to build coalitions to deal with post-U.S. Iraq, Iran, Hezbollah and Syria.
Yes, hindsight's 20-20. But that doesn't mean that it wasn't possible to see that Friedman was wrong in 2006, as he's wrong about so much today. For example, here's some of what I was saying about Iraq in 2005:
2 1/2 years ago, Saddam Hussein was in power in Baghdad. He was paying the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. He was providing a haven for some Al-quaeda members. He was shooting at US and British planes that were enforcing the UN no-fly zones. He had the largest army in the middle-east. He was taking UN Oil-for-Food money and preventing aid in the form of food and medicine from reaching his oppressed citizens. Now he's gone, his armies are gone, his sons are gone and the Iraqi people have elected a representative government that's making progress towards a democratic constitution. The influence of the actions in Iraq has caused changes in behavior - positive changes of behavior - in Syria and Lebanon and Libya. On the day after that ridiculous comment, the New York Times, Bush administration mouthpiece, carries a front-page story that starts "Iraqi leaders moved to the brink of agreement on a new constitution on Sunday, solving several contentious issues..." And Hagel's got the nerve to go on the air yesterday and compare Iraq to Vietnam and say that "we're not winning."

and 2006:
The fact is that the "major campaigning" in Iraq lasted about 8 weeks. At which point in time, the country needed to be rebuilt. That's the exercise we've been involved in for the last 3 years. Has it been different than what I, or anyone else expected?

Welcome to reality.

...

If you'd told me 3 1/2 years ago that in the spring of 2006, Iraq would have held democratic elections, Afghanistan would have held democratic elections, there would not have been another attack on American soil because we're killing the terrorists over there instead of dealing with them over here, and that the American military death toll in Aghanistan and Iraq combined would not yet have reached the official New York death toll for 9/11, would I have supported that? The answer to that is not only "yeah," it's "hell, yeah!"
This really wasn't a hard call. But there were people like Friedman so blinded by their ideological response to George W. Bush that they weren't able to see it.

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