PrestoPundit

ANDY McCARTHY WEIGHS IN

Posted by PrestoPundit on 05/27/2008

on how the Bush Administration’s shifting rationale for war and other communications failures help turn the tide against the war in Iraq:

When we didn’t find the WMD in the quantities the intel had indicated
would be there, the administration began talking up democracy-promotion
as the righteous cause for which we were fighting.  No meaningful
effort was made to solidify Saddam’s record as a jihadist facilitator. 
I started warning that this would be a big problem before the 2004 election ..

After winning
re-election, the administration took the tack that it was “looking
forward rather than back.”  Feeling itself burned on the WMD front, the
administration decided it was a political loser to revisit the
multi-layered rationale for the Iraq invasion.  Thus it talked about
democracy-promotion and refused to engage with critics who assiduously
discredited the war as illegitimate.  This was a triple-disaster in
that (a) Americans don’t care whether Iraq becomes a democracy, (b)
since building democracy in an Islamic society is, to put it mildly,
difficult, we were sure to suffer set-backs which would enrage the
public while occasional successes (like elections) would do little to
enthuse the public, and (c) without a coherent tie-in between Iraq
operations and the suppression of jihadist terror (which Americans do
care about), public support for the war was bound to plummet — and
without public support, the forces on the Left that want the U.S. to
lose the war would have an increasingly strong hand.

In an earlier post McCarthy wrote:

For years, I’ve been beating the seemingly dead horse that the reason
we deposed Saddam was to eliminate a national security threat not to
establish Iraqi democracy; that democracy-promotion is a dangerously
counterproductive distraction; and that the Bush administration has
made a galactic blunder by failing to champion the war-on-terror
rationale for invading Iraq ..

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