The Left’s New Line On Iraq

When liberals thought it was politically expedient to declare Iraq lost, that was what they did. Liberal after liberal after liberal told us that we could not win in Iraq, that the surge was a waste of time, and that we should leave ASAP.

For example, there’s Time’s Joe Klein. Klein, like Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, supported the war in Iraq initially — when it was politically popular — and then changed his position later when the political winds blew the other way.

By January of 2007 Klein was in full “cut and run mode” and writing things like this,

“Pelosi’s right, though: it’s too late for a surge. Instead of putting all its brainpower into surging, the military should be focusing on how to get our conventional forces out (and leave our unconventional forces in the neighborhood) in a way that prevents an all-out regional conflict.”

For the record, I’m outraged Bush is ignoring the election results and the reality on the ground in Iraq. I think he is sending more young American lives into an impossible situation.

Now, here’s Joe Klein yesterday at Time’s Swampland blog,

The reality is that neither Barack Obama nor Nouri al-Maliki nor most anybody else believes that the Iraq war can be “lost” at this point. The reality is that no matter who is elected President, we are looking at a residual U.S. force of 30-50,000 by 2011 (a year ahead of the previous schedule).

So initially, it was “too late” for a surge and the situation was “impossible,” so we needed to leave as quickly as possible. Now, it’s impossible to lose, so we need to leave as quickly as possible.

Incidentally, this is exactly the same line of reasoning that Barack Obama has been using. He opposed the surge and believed we should leave Iraq in 16 months because the situation was unwinnable. Now, his new line is that we should leave in 16 months because things are going so well that they won’t need us — and ironically, Klein’s post yesterday was sharply critical of John McCain for having the chutzpah to tell the truth about Barack Obama,

This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.

If anything, McCain’s comments were too limited because they apply just as aptly to Klein and most of the other big name political pundits on the Left, who have consistently and soullessly been putting politics ahead of the good of their country and winning the war in Iraq for years.

PS: I would be thrilled if we actually could have 30,000-50,000 troops in Iraq by 2001, but that’s a decision that should be made after consultation with our generals, based on the situation on the ground, not a decision that should be made based on political calculations designed to move votes for the 2008 election.

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