Before Operation Iraqi Freedom, and early in our operations in Afghanistan, I participated in a heated debate as to what the goals of such military operations should be.
The argument eventually solidified into one camp [the right] that was torn between a
Tacitean treatment of Iraq and a soft (American in the Philippines and
Cuba) Empire. The second camp [the left] were those who favored what they
preferred to call “Nation Building.” I was actually in favor of soft Imperium,
to give it its rightful name, as opposed to the Tacitean approach of
building a desert and calling it peace. My concern was that the left
would not stay the course and see the job completed.
My concern over the fecklessness of the left has of course been sustained by events. The upside was twofold. First, we managed to avoid repeating the Vietnam experience of winning a counterinsurgency and then abandoning our hard won victory to a conventional invasion. Second, we established that the all volunteer forces and the Republic can indeed win a war despite the active opposition of the left.
The area in which Glen Reynolds and I join in rubbing the nose of the leftists is their selective “anti-war” stance.
MEGAN MCARDLE: “Have you noticed all the huge antiwar demonstrations in the last twelve months? Yeah, me neither.
It turns out that a lot of the energy for the movement seems to have
been provided by Democrats who are a lot less worried about wars
conducted by Democratic presidents. Or at least who believe that
advancing the Democratic agenda is much more important than trying to
end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is by no means the whole
movement-but it was enough that once a Democrat took office, both the
numbers at the demonstrations, and the organizational capacity of the
movement as a whole, dwindled away to near-nothingness.”
Yeah, it’s as if all that self-righteous moralism, and cries or war criminal and illegal wars and concentration camps at Gitmo was just a lot of lying, self-serving twaddle by people who really just wanted power for their team. Who knew?
Well, some of us did. And pointed it out at the time. And, well, we’re going to keep rubbing it in now.
Indeed, we shall, especially those of us who predicted it.