Wednesday, May 17, 2017

We get Tweets!

In addition to the accumulated sapience that our globe-spanning team of crack journalists offers to you on this blog, said team also sends Tweets (hint: they are on the right).  Once in a while we even get a response, this time from our friends at McClatchy's DC bureau.  They had posted a link to their article describing various Republican foreign policy types expressing the view that the Grifter-in-Chief was as alleged a felonious jackass.

We asked a question, and we got a response:

OK, who knew there was a difference between the GOP foreign policy establishment and neoconservatives? At least since Ed Brooke and Chuck Percy died?  Not us.  So anyway just for our own edification we decided to track down the GOP worthies named in Kate Glueck's article and find out what they've said and done to distinguish themselves from the mass of neoconservatives who lied us into the Iraqi War.

We'll start with one Gabriel Schoenfeld, whom we never heard of despite his frequent contributions to those not-at-all-neoconservative publications, Commentary and The Weekly Standard (whose former editor the not-at-all neoconservative Billy Kristol once dismissed distinctions between Shia and Sunni Muslims as “pop psychology.”).

Mr. Schoenfeld has been in fact notably reticent on the subject of Iraq (he's hoping for war with Iran instead).  He did however opine that things were going tickety-boo back in 2008 in Iraq (at a time when the U.S. was willing to arm and support Sunni militias over the objections of the Iraqi Government), stating “Let’s hope that this particular “fiasco” continues.”  Spoiler alert: it did!

GOP foreign-policy establishment
or neoconservative?  Ask McClatchy DC!
The second source for Ms. Glueck's story is one Peter Feaver.  Who he?  No neoconservative credentials here, except that he was “a National Security Council special adviser under President George W. Bush.”  George W. Bush?  Why is that name so familiar?  Wasn't he involved in the Iraq War in some fashion?

(Side pro tip: If you're searching for this guy, don't forget the 'a' in his last name.  Just sayin'.)

Well, OK, what did the not-neoconservative Peter Feaver say about the Iraq War?  Why not consult his article entitled Why We Went Into Iraq in The Weekly Standard (that's two, if you're counting at home)?  We did!  In it he said: “Third, the historical case for invading Iraq is much stronger than conventional wisdom pretends.”

The third source Ms. Glueck cites is Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a retiring and not at all neoconservative anti-Castro Republican.  What did she say about the Iraq War? 

Let's go back to July 21, 2005, after it had become clear to even the most meager intelligence outside of the Republican Party that the Iraq War was a sanguinary catastrophe.  On that day, no one will remember, Fox News reported:

Calls for an early withdrawal from Iraq . . .  are a mistake that will only embolden terrorists, the House resolved Wednesday. The resolution drew opposition from Democrats, who said it implied that questioning President Bush's Iraq policies is unpatriotic.
The measure, approved 291-137, says the United States should leave Iraq only when national security and foreign policy goals related to a free and stable Iraq have been achieved.
"Calls for an early withdrawal embolden the terrorists and undermine the morale" of U.S. and allied forces and put their security at risk, the amendment to a State Department bill reads.
. . . . 

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., author of the Iraq provision, stressed that calls for an early withdrawal were counterproductive to security aims in Iraq.
"Words matter," she said. "Incessant calls for an established date for withdrawal from Iraq have a negative effect. ... Do we want to send a message to the terrorists that their war of attrition is succeeding?"
If there's one thing that we, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Kate Glueck can all agree on, it's that words matter.  Let's leave it there and thanks for reading!

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