Monday, August 23, 2004

More on the War

One of the interesting things which is floating around now is that, with hindsight, the "best argument against the war" was the "this gang is just to goddamn incompetent to do anything right" argument. I find that interesting, because at the time it was the argument which, aside from pithy-anti-war-slogan-protest-sign-arguments, was the one which was inevitably met with the most derision. Embracing that one was the sure route to being tarred as a "partisan" who just "hated Bush" and would "put politics ahead of national security" because you "liked Saddam more than Bush."

I never really understood (nor do I now) the idea that "anti-war" people needed to make profound arguments against the war -- that burden, it seems, was on the pro-war people. Frequently we heard "where are the serious anti-war arguments?" as if that were somehow meaningful. I didn't need to make a case against war -- its supporters needed to make a case for it. The fact that the argument was poor, ever-changing, and in many cases obviously fraudulent should have been enough.

But, yes, for me too... what little feeling I had that this war could be the right thing, overall, was beaten back by that general idea - that these people were too incompetent and/or corrupt to do it right.

Sadly, though, I had no idea. I really had no clue just how incompetent they could be (corrrupt doesn't much surprise me, though the media's continuing willingness to not care about billions of dollars thrown away does surprise me). comments, old fashioned patriot gives us yet another choice Rice flashback, down the media's memory hole:

So Ambassador Bremer has been talking about a seven-step plan: constitution, followed then by elections and then by the transfer of sovereignty. And it makes perfectly good sense to do this as soon as possible, but to do it in a way that is responsible. And I think that the -- as all of us have said, the French plan, which would somehow try to transfer sovereignty to an un-elected group of people, just isn't workable.