Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Try the Other Foot Now

Now that Mr. Bush is poised to make the case once again for staying the course in Iraq, we’re getting a great deal of chatter from the Republicans that those who oppose the present course are undermining the morale of the troops and that only the liberals are calling for a timetable for extricating ourselves from the quagmire. Ah, how soon we forget. Let’s step into the Wayback machine:

Every time the United States goes into battle, anti-war activists blame the causes and casualties of the conflict on the U.S. government. They excuse the enemy regime’s aggression and insist that it can be trusted to negotiate and honor a fair resolution. While doing everything they can to hamstring the American administration’s ability to wage the war, they argue that the war can never be won, that the administration’s claims to the contrary are lies, and that the United States should trim its absurd demands and bug out with whatever face-saving deal it can get. In past wars, Republicans accused these domestic opponents of sabotaging American morale and aiding the enemy. But in this war, Republicans aren’t bashing the anti-war movement. They’re leading it.

That’s from the May 7, 1999 edition of Slate in an article by William Saletan, noting the strong opposition to President Clinton’s involvement in the war in Kosovo.

Some Democrats call Republicans who make these arguments unpatriotic. Republicans reply that they’re serving their country by debunking and thwarting a bad policy administered by a bad president. You can be sure of only two things: Each party is arguing exactly the opposite of what it argued the last time a Republican president led the nation into war, and exactly the opposite of what it will argue next time.

Wow, did he get that one right.