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Iraq and Darfur

Posted by Richard on May 23, 2007

Former Democratic Senator and 9/11 Commission member Bob Kerrey took his fellow liberals to task in The Wall Street Journal today. Kerrey made two points: first, that Iraq "is central to the fight against Islamic radicalism"; and second, that the Democratic critics of our Iraq policy are at least inconsistent, if not downright hypocritical:

No matter how incompetent the Bush administration and no matter how poorly they chose their words to describe themselves and their political opponents, Iraq was a larger national security risk after Sept. 11 than it was before. And no matter how much we might want to turn the clock back and either avoid the invasion itself or the blunders that followed, we cannot. The war to overthrow Saddam Hussein is over. What remains is a war to overthrow the government of Iraq.


The critics who bother me the most are those who ordinarily would not be on the side of supporting dictatorships, who are arguing today that only military intervention can prevent the genocide of Darfur, or who argued yesterday for military intervention in Bosnia, Somalia and Rwanda to ease the sectarian violence that was tearing those places apart.

Suppose we had not invaded Iraq and Hussein had been overthrown by Shiite and Kurdish insurgents. Suppose al Qaeda then undermined their new democracy and inflamed sectarian tensions to the same level of violence we are seeing today. Wouldn't you expect the same people who are urging a unilateral and immediate withdrawal to be urging military intervention to end this carnage? I would.

As if on cue, Senator Joe Biden today renewed his call for the United States to invade Sudan. Biden's call for the United States to "cowboy up" and use military force unilaterally was denounced by the Sudanese ambassador to the U.N., thus deepening the irony: Biden opposes having U.S. troops in a country whose democratically-elected government wants us there (Iraq), but he's eager to "redeploy" those troops into Sudan over the strenuous objections of its (admittedly undemocratic) government.

I believe I can clear up the mystery for Bob Kerrey and anyone else who is puzzled by the inconsistency of Biden, most Democrats, and most of the American left in general. Unlike, say, Ron Paul or Pat Buchanan, these people aren't opposed in principle to military intervention in foreign countries. They're only opposed to military intervention that might possibly be in America's self-interest.

And of course, they can't abide anything supported by Chimpy McHalliburton Bushitler.

UPDATE: Bob Krumm, commenting on Sen. Kerrey's article, suggested that if the Democrats had nominated Kerrey instead of Kerry in 2004, they might control the White House today. I suspect he's right. He has some other interesting observations, so check it out.

Later, Krumm sarcastically explained the lack of media coverage Kerrey's gotten:

Have you noticed that whenever a Republican of some national prominence says anything negative about America's Iraq policy, that it's greeted with rapt media attention? (Think Chuck Hagel)

This morning, however, former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey says that the war in Iraq is central to the war against Islamic terrorism, and the media apparently responds with deafening silence.

Instead of jumping to the conclusion that the differing treatments are indicative of media bias, might it be dog bites man? Perhaps the existence of pro-war Democrats is more common than anti-war Republicans, and that's why it's not news.

That must be it, Bob. After all, it can't be media bias — all the big media journalists have assured us that they're objective reporters with no political biases whatsoever.

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