Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sullivan's decaying defense

I wrote on Monday about Andrew Sullivan's increasingly stretched rationale for having supported the Iraq War: that the War was a good idea, but those executing it were incompetent. This allows him to have been "academically" correct about the war's chances while being able to blame its outcome on the failure of our leaders to properly execute it.

A reader responded to his post, somewhat echoing my complaint:
I think you go too far -- the problem isn't only Rumsfeld, but the war itself. Pinning all the blame on one person is simply a way for people who supported the invasion from the beginning to get themselves off the hook for not anticipating the wars failures.
To which Sullivan responds (my emphasis):
Some good points. Iraq was always going to be extremely tough. We under-estimated the appalling damage Saddam had already wrought on Iraqi civil society (which makes removing him even more morally defensible). However brilliantly we conducted the war and occupation, the deep ethnic divisions would have emerged, and the psychic wounds of the past revived.
This is interesting. Not only is Sullivan admitting that Rumsfeld and Bush's execution of the war was incompetent, but that we always knew the war would be difficult.

He's given on every major point. He now admits that the war is going badly, that our leaders are incompetent, and that the war was always "going to be extremely tough." Now all he has to do is admit that it was a bad idea in the first place. Only fantasy bars this last admission.

Here's hoping for Mea Culpa #2.

UPDATE: Sullivan has just posted a quote from Joe Scarborough echoing his own rationale for support of the war / hatred of Rumsfeld that kind of made my stomach turn.

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