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Monday, March 6, 2006

What He Got Wrong

Posted by on March 6 at 11:18 AM

Andrew Sullivan joins the parade of conservatives (William F. Buckley Jr., George F. Will, Francis Fukuyama, etc.) who are now admitting they were wrong about Iraq.

Sullivan’s first error:

To overestimate the competence of government.

Meaning: The competence of George W. Bush.

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Interestingly, the Stranger's own Bret Fetzer got that part of it right in his excellent counterpoint to Dan Savage's pro-invasion editorial way back in 2003. As I recall, his reasoning went something like "Look at Afghanistan and tell me these people know how to win the peace."

Or something similar. Actually, I'd love to see a reprint of that piece because it seemed to me that the counterpoint was dead-on on nearly every count. But perhaps my memory plays the tricks on me...

Ted Rall also got it right in The Stranger.

Now that you mention it, I do remember that. But it also seems to me he was kind of a jerk about it.

"The second error was narcissism. America's power blinded many of us to the resentments that hegemony always provokes. Those resentments are often as deep among our global friends as among our enemies--and make alliances as hard as they are important. That is not to say we should never act unilaterally."

What a bunch of bullshit. Sullivian is seriously trying to claim that he, and the rest of the neoconservative movement, simply didn't know of the truman doctrine? What a load of crap.
The Truman doctrine basically established the pattern of supporting freedom and democracy worldwide *through multilateral organizations.* They intentionally wanted to kill it, and it's left us nearly friendless in the world. Nothing was more damaging in the long term for america's ability to retain power than this stupid stupid idea of "coalitions of the willing" and the need to go it alone, damn the rest of the world. Fuck him.

good to see that sullivan, savage, et al are admitting their complicity in the slaughter and torture of thousands of innocent humans.

sure glad i don't have that kinda shit on my conscience.

Because of course all the people who objected to the war are free from all taint of association.

And of course anyone who supports the policies of a government that doesn't pay heed to whether people are for it or are against it bear all the blame.

What's all your self-congratulation done to stop the war or to put an end to the slaughter and torture?

Mmm... true, but unfortunately I think that Sullivan means it exactly as it reads. It's government's fault. No one could do any better. It's just that mean ol' guv'mint.

What Sullivan and other Libertarian-styled gov'mint-hating conservatives haven't quite caught onto yet is that Bush is the logical extension of their failed ideology. This faction has spent the last few decades screaming about how big, bad, and incompetent Federal government is by definition... so when the baby who's been raised up in that Libertarian cesspool becomes President, how could he be anything other than big, bad, and incompetent? It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Teach someone that the government as an institution is lousy, and they'll grow up to be a lousy President.

whatever. if that's sullivan's reasoning-- government can't do anything right-- then i guess he's revised his views on world war ii as well, the war that conservatives constantly invoked as providing the us with an everlasting mission to engage in state building? then i guess the us should just disband its military and police force and go back to being run by private militias? it's not government that's the problem. it's people who have no faith in government who decide they have a divine fucking mission to run government into the ground. it's their self-fulfilling, neo-apocalyptic fantasy. so that when they apologize, they're really just saying that they were right all along. groan.

I thought Sullivan was supposed to be a Libertarian. Libertarians think government is incompetent at everything. It's very convenient that he trusted our government to be capable of nation-state building, but not reducing poverty or providing universal health care.

When the UN inspectors continually found no proof of WMD's, we were always told, "Oh yeah, we know where they really are." Well, three years later, we pretty much have control of all the country, and no WMD's. Lesson, believe all of what of you see, and one half of what you hear,(in this case, one half of nothing is still nothing.

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