Andrew Sullivan continues to become almost sensible:
I agree we need an effort to expand the military by several divisions. That was Al Gore's position in 2000, by the way, the candidate the Weekly Standard hounded as insane and weak. It was Kerry's position in 2004, another candidate the WS smeared as Jane Fonda in drag.
. . .
It's over, guys. Your beloved Bush administration botched this so badly it's irrecoverable. You enabled them. You never fully took them on when it would have counted - and you trashed those of us who did. You knew this before the 2004 election and still cynically played the anti-Kerry card for all it was worth, telling yourselves you could sway Rummy after the election. Well, you couldn't and you didn't. Your policy was sabotaged by a defense secretary who never believed in it and by a president too weak and out-of-it to rein him in. Get over yourselves and recognize that this dream has died. And we have to fight the nightmare we now face rather than pretend your dream is still even on life-support. That's the patriotic responsibility at this point. And no, I'm not impugning your patriotism. I'm asking you to place it before your shattered dreams.
If only he hadn't written crap like this:
Monday, March 24, 2003
SOME PERSPECTIVE: From the invaluable David Warren:You wouldn't know it from reading most of the papers, but the war in Iraq is going fabulously well. After just five days the U.S. Third Infantry Division and supporting units are approaching Baghdad. The immense steel column continues to drive reinforcements across the Iraqi desert, while its leading edge rumbles through the fields, villages, and waterways of Mesopotamia. To its rear, the "sleeper cells" of Ba'athist and terrorist hitmen waiting in ambush are being eliminated one by one. Special forces have seized bridges, dams, airstrips, oil and gas fields, and weapons sites all over the country. The U.S. Air Force has devastated leadership targets, military infrastructure, and the physical symbols of the Saddam regime, across Baghdad and elsewhere. Allied troops have Basra, Nasiriyah, now Karbala, and other Iraqi cities surrounded, and are tightening each noose. Snipers in the towns are being patiently deleted. The "Scud box" of western Iraq is in allied hands, daily more secure, and allied forces are building with endless air deployments to the northern front. In all, the allies have taken only a few dozen killed, and a couple hundred lesser casualties -- many of these from small accidents within the most amazing and vast logistical exercise since our troops landed in Normandy (when we lost men at the rate of up to 500 a minute, liberating France). In just five days all this has been achieved! And while the most grisly parts of the campaign still lie ahead, all the worst fears have gone unrealized, so far.I second that. And if we weren't bending over backward to act scrupulously while the enemy behaves like barbarians, we'd be even further along.
- 11:19:30 PM
HOW DO THE IRAQIS FEEL? It's too hard to tell. It seems to me that we may have under-estimated the psychological effect of president George H. W. Bush's brutal betrayal of the Iraqi people in 1991, at the behest of the U.N. No wonder Iraqis are still skittish about Americans and fearful that this interlude may end. The allied strategy of simply skirting past major cities also means that Saddam's henchmen may still be in control there, and so feelings are still deeply skeptical, mixed or shrouded. I also think that we hawks might have under-estimated the Iraqis' sense of national violation at being invaded - despite their hatred of Saddam. That's what this piece suggests and what Salam Pax reveals. And yet we also have evidence of their obvious joy at the possibility of ending the long nightmare of Saddam. We simply don't know for sure, and the mood may vary dramatically from area to area. In fact, we may not know at all until Saddam is finally gone. Like so many other things in this conflict, we'll see.
Well, Andy, keep at it. Someday your penance will have been paid, and you'l be accepted back into the reality-based world again.
Till then, look at this: