Monday, April 24, 2006

Sullivan's escape hatch

I know I'm not the only one out there to find Andrew Sullivan's ongoing discussion of the Iraq War tendentious. A long-time supporter of the effort, he still believes it was "noble"; but now, in what is all to easily interpreted as a face-saving measure, he has assumed, like so many others, the posture of the noble but wronged neocon, whose only error was to believe that Bush and Rumsfeld knew what they were doing.

To paraphrase Stephen Colbert, he did the right thing, but he was wrong to do it.

I can't fault him for no longer trusting Bush and Rumsfeld, or for thinking that the first step in regaining our composure in Iraq is to let Rumsfeld go, but I am frustrated that he has spent so little time re-analyzing why he thinks the war had the potential for success -- that it could have been what it was sold to be. His has always been a mission of idealism, holding that "a tipping point" really exists and that the Iraq War was it. In fact, this "reverse domino" theory of democracy has never been demonstrated.

His apology in early March reminds us of so many these days, no better than "I'm sorry if I offended anyone," or "I'm sorry, but I'm still right because ..."

So, as long as Sullivan continues to allow himself this escape hatch, it's going to be hard to take anything he says about Iraq seriously ever again.

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