Instead of attacking a Democrat like Will Marshall, maybe he should attack the people who actually took us to war, ran the war, and blundered the war; the people refuse to ban torture, insist on undermining the constitution, cheerlead warrant-less wiretapping, and promote a "unitary executive" - they're called Republicans, and it seems Atrios has forgot about them. Atrios, instead, would like to purge the Democratic Party of dissenters and create an internal civil war where none should exist.
First, Marshall was one who took us to war. Then, in 2005 he said:
Of course, as the opposition party, Democrats have a responsibility to hold the White House accountable for the painfully high price we've paid in Iraq, the thousands killed and wounded, and the billions of dollars spent. But they must do so in a way that makes it clear they are rooting for America to succeed in Iraq.
As they catalogue the administration's many mistakes, Democrats should also attend to the other side of the balance sheet. That side shows that our forces and their allies have toppled one of the world's most odious tyrants; upheld the principle of collective security; liberated a nation of 24 million; made possible Iraq's hopeful experiment in representative self-government; and changed the strategic equation in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
These are considerable, and noble, accomplishments, but they could all be squandered if we give up and come home too soon. Just as the Bush administration has made itself look foolish by its relentlessly upbeat assessments of a supposedly waning insurgency, progressives shouldn't leap to the premature conclusion that we are doomed to failure in Iraq.
which qualifies as helping to blunder the war (any rhetoric which helped maintain the status quo - and this more than satisfies that requirement - does).
Will Marshall on Move On:
Such attitudes aren't likely to allay voters' doubts about Democrats' resolve to make them safer from terrorist attacks. Neither are demands by left-wing Democrats and the anti-war group, MoveOn.org, that the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq. Rather than offering fresh fodder to Karl Rove, the party would do better to heed Sens. Joe Biden, John Kerry, Evan Bayh, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who have set an example for responsible, progressive patriotism. They have balanced blunt criticism of the Bush administration's blunders with concrete suggestions for relieving the strain on U.S. forces in Iraq, broadening international support for the Iraqi government, and speeding up the pace of reconstruction.
Will Marshall on Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib... you know, torture, etc:
Democrats should also bring a sense of proportion to the prisoner abuse scandals at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. These sickening deviations from America's core principles have damaged our country's moral reputation around the world. True patriotism demands not denials and whitewashes, but a thorough, independent investigation, punishment of those responsible, and clear policies to prevent a repetition.
Yet the revelation that some U.S. troops aren't saints should not come as too great a shock, at least to grownups. By dwelling obsessively on U.S. misdeeds while ignoring the far more heinous crimes of what is quite possibly the most barbaric insurgency in modern times, anti-war critics betray an anti-American bias that undercuts their credibility.
Amnesty International likewise stumbled into the quagmire of moral equivalence in a report that absurdly analogized Guantanamo Bay, where 500 prisoners remain, to the Soviet gulags, where millions perished. The usually level-headed Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was forced to apologize after falling into the same trap. Activists rationalize such witless hyperbole by saying it's the only way to get Americans to pay attention to what their government is doing wrong. But this is the political equivalent of a compound felony: insulting voters' intelligence while offending their patriotic sensibilities.
Will Marshall helped take us into war, Will Marshall helped to quell criticisms of the worst abuses of the Bush administration, Will Marshall regularly attacked the Democratic party for being too hard on these things, etc.
Most importantly, of course, is that Will Marshall helped take us into war. Will Marshall is, of course, a very serious person who was very active in helping to cause the biggest foreign policy and humanitarian debacle in memory. That there is no accountability for such things, because they would be, you know, partisan, perfectly captures everything which is wrong with the "Foreign Policy Community."