John Hinderaker, in his powerlineblog, makes the claim that “[t]he truth is that most antiwar Democrats not only believe we can't win in Iraq, they hope we don't win. They care more about scoring political points against the Bush administration than they do about the freedom of the Iraqi people or about America's national security.”
This statement is outrageous. Where do you get off impugning our loyalty? We don’t impugn the patriotism of Bush, Cheney and the others who led us off the cliff; just their judgment.
Hinderaker is an attorney. What evidence does he have that this is true. I, for one, would like nothing more than for the United States to “win” in Iraq. The problem is that we don’t appear likely to win and are being lied to about what is going on.
The centerpiece of President Bush’s speech last week that the warbloggers have hailed as setting the record straight, was an apparently false account of Iraqi soldiers leading the charge in a battle in TAL Afar. Bush said:
This year in TAL Afar, it was a very different story. The assault was primarily led by Iraqi security forces -- 11 Iraqi battalions, backed by five coalition battalions providing support.
As recounted on ThinkProgress and reported in the Huffingtonpost, those on the scene told a very different story:
TIME Magazine reporter Michael Ware, who is embedded with the U.S. troops in Iraq who participated in the Tal Afar battle, appeared on Anderson Cooper. He said Bush’s description was completely untrue: "I was in that battle from the very beginning to the very end. I was with Iraqi units right there on the front line as they were battling with al Qaeda. They were not leading. They were being led by the U.S. green beret special forces with them. Green berets who were following an American plan of attack who were advancing with these Iraqi units as and when they were told to do so by the American battle planners. The Iraqis led nothing."
Presumably, if he had some true stories that show we are doing well, Bush would have told them. This is one reason why those of us who are just following the news believe that we are not winning and that we need to put new managers in charge of the endeavor.
What Hinderaker, Cheney and the rest don’t accept is that those who oppose the war love our country. We cherish our freedoms and want our way of life to improve and survive forever. What we don’t want is a foreign policy based on theological faith in the principal that a taste of democracy, especially this sort of U.S. imposed democracy at the point of a gun, somehow drives out terrorism and totalitarianism and neutralizes fundamentalist religions (other than Christianity, I suppose). We do not think that it makes sense to fight fundamentalist Islamic terrorism by attacking a secular dictator. We think that it does not cramp the domestic war on terrorism for judges to evaluate search requests after being informed of the actual evidence that an invasion of privacy is warranted.
And we want to win in Iraq, if that means that Iraqis are left in control of a country that is not a petri dish for terrorism. We just don’t think it is happening and are appalled at the cost in lives and money.
UPDATE: To wiccaqueen and others commenting that there are extreme positions on both sides. Hinderaker was not talking about a lunatic fringe. He said "most anti-war democrats . . .."
(spelling of our revered Veep's name corrected. I had him confused with John Chaney, coach of the Temple Owls!)