Monday, July 07, 2008

I thought our tired old canard was that they all needed a bath, a haircut and a job

Mike Mathias attempts to correct what he perceives as the Right's misperceptions about so-called peace activists.

Esenberg’s arguments pushes the same tired canard that peace activists simply don’t understand how dangerous the world is.

This argument is very difficult to understand, particularly when one considers that groups like Peace Action were substantially correct about whether Iraq posed a danger to the United States prior to the invasion. In fact, as I’ve noted, it was the peace groups and others against the war, not the administration or its surrogates, that truly understood the situation in Iraq.

In the comments, Esenberg corrects Mathias' misconceptions of self:

Second, peace activists did not understand the situation in Iraq. The official policy of both the Clinton and Bush administrations was that Saddam was a threat and should be removed. The consensus of all intelligence agencies and the weight of the evidence was that he had WMDs. The fact was that he was not in compliance with UN resolutions or the terms of the Gulf War cease fire. The fact was that the containment regime was following apart and both Saddam and the UN had coopted the oil for food program. The fact was that Saddam provided support for terrorist organizations (although there is no evidence that he was involved in 9-11 and the President did not claim he was.)

The response of the peace activists was to demand an end to sanctions.

It is always the interesting question that never gets asked. What would they have done? Worse than nothing, the political left was actually working to undermine what little anti-Iraq coalition cohesion there was prior to the invasion. That one aspect of Iraq's threat capabilities were overstated is missing the entire strategic point. Yet that thin reed is what the Left clings to in an effort to discredit what is trying to be done in Iraq.

The great irony is that we may achieve military and political success just in time to make a President Obama's timetable for withdrawal possible. You know, after he tweaks it a bit.