December 15, 2006
Copyright © 2006 Marc Norton
Sometimes Pat Buchanan hits the nail on the head.
This is the conclusion to his most recent column, reprinted in the
Tuesday, December 12, 2006 San Francisco Chronicle, under the title of
"It's about blame and political cover:"
"The people who were right about Iraq were those who rejected bipartisanship to warn that invading Iraq was an unnecessary, unwise and, yes, even an unjust war that would inflame the Arab and Islamic world against us. Unsurprisingly, this group had no representative on the Baker-Hamilton Commission."
Anybody want to argue with that?
My only qualification would be just who the "us" is, as I don't identify too strongly with the "U.S." that Buchanan is talking about, despite the accident of my birth in Long Beach, California. But I might have trouble explaining that to the families and friends of a few hundred thousand dead Iraqis.
So how come a right-wing bigot like Buchanan can get right to the point, while our great new Democratic leadership
in Congress is waffling in confusion? This is what Buchanan says:
"The Democratic establishment... gave Bush a blank check to take us to war, 'to get the issue out of the way,' before the midterm elections in 2002..."
Can't argue with that either.
Worse, it seems like the Democrats are replaying history, trying to wiggle on the war, "to get the issue out of the way," before the presidential election of 2008.
Buchanan explains the game in greater detail:
"The Democratic establishment... is also preparing its defense of the role it played in plunging us into Mesopotamia, the 'if-only-we-had-known' defense.
"'If only we had known then what we know now -- that there was no hard evidence of WMD, no hard evidence of al Qaeda ties to Saddam Hussein -- we would never have voted for the war.'
"'If only we had known how incompetent Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon would be in managing the war, we would never have given Bush a green light...'
"The Democratic defense begs these questions: Why didn't you know? Why didn't you find out? Why didn't you do your constitutional duty and refuse the president the power to go to war until he had convinced you that only war could spare
the republic worse horrors?"
Lest you think that Buchanan is playing a Republican game here, he also claims that:
"This deepening fissure in the GOP presages a civil war in the party by 2008, over whether to stay in Iraq -- or, if the war has ended in a debacle or defeat, over 'who lost Iraq...'
"This ISG report is less about saving Iraq than about saving the U.S. establishment from being held responsible for the worst strategic blunder in U.S. history. It is about giving President Bush and Congress a 'decent interval' before Iraq goes down..."
Nor does Buchanan spare the neocons:
"The neocons are also preparing their defense before the bar of history. Realizing the Baker Commission recommendations point to slow-motion defeat, they are savaging Baker and calling for tens of thousands more U.S. troops to be sent to Baghdad and a new strategy of victory, no matter how much it costs or how long it takes. If Bush fails to follow their counsel, they will then say: 'It was not our fault. It was Bush's rejection of our advice that lost the war.'"
So, according to Buchanan no one is going to accept any blame for the Iraq war -- not the GOP, not the Democrats, not the neocons.
Somehow the war just happened because of some strange Texas cowboy in the White House. And, by the way, kids, Santa Claus is the one who delivers all those Christmas presents under the tree, just him and a few elves.
You can read Buchanan's whole column here. There are plenty of other things in that column, and on his website, that you will find more than a little objectionable, so don't say I didn't warn you.
But, as Buchanan used to say, it's time to saddle up and ride.
Are you listening, Nancy?