Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Byrd and Clinton

This op-ed, calling for a de-authorization of the U.S. effort in Iraq is rather too simple, and indeed, unworthy of an aspiring President. Here’s one line of which I approve, however:

If the Bush administration believes that the current war, as it is being executed, is critical to America’s future, then it should make the case and let the people decide.

HRC goes on to say that the Senate didn’t authorize our involvement in a civil war, to which NRO’s Andrew McCarthy has this response:

Not a civil war, Senator Clinton. A chaos strategy to win a war al Qaeda is fighting against the United States.

If President Bush and his supporters would forthrightly join the debate, and if certain Republicans wouldn’t simply be quaking in their boots about the domestic political ramifications, well....

Discussions - 5 Comments

Joseph: if anything is "too simple" here, it is McCarthy's view: the war on terrorism is a big game of chicken, and we should make strategic decisions based on al Qaeda propaganda. That's like figuring out where and how to fight WWII by reading Mein Kampf and worrying about whether the Nazis think that we're better and stronger than they are. Give me a break. It's amour propre as a strategic impulse. Insane.

How about doing what we think is best, not what we think al Qaeda will think that we are doing because we think that we're strong enough not to care what al Qaeda thinks.


I welcome your confidence in American strength, but wouldn't you agree that it at least makes sense to take seriously what our adversaries say. I'd hate to replace the alleged ignorance of the Iraq war planners with a new (old?) ignorance of the terror war minimizers.

And I take seriously the proclamations of our enemies, if only the more successfully to wage the war of ideas to which I referred in an earlier post.

Finally, it's hard not to regard a failed state in Iraq as an invitation to our most inveterate enemies (Sunni and Shiite alike) to do us, our friends, and lots of innocent people all the harm they can. I don't think a failed state is inevitable unless we, in effect, throw in the towel.

Joseph: Sure, failed states are bad. We pretty much singlehandedly created one in Iraq. I hope we can get through the remainder of the Bush administration without accomplishing the same result in Iran, but that will be harder if people listen to such proven foreign policy luminaries as McCarthy.

We should learn what we can from al Qaeda propaganda, to be sure, just as we could learn from the manifestos of the KKK, Aum Shinriko or the Red Army Fraction. But just as with those groups, their problems, as they see (or saw) them, are not our problems. McCarthy hasn't understood that. It's pretty basic.

I'm not sure that the Bush administration is the right crowd to avoid the worsening of the failed state in Iraq. At the very least, the problem has to stop being an American problem of finding the right level of occupation.

We don't need "more debate."

We need more ordnance being delivered on the enemy!


Iraq is not a failed state, by any normal understanding of the term.

I don't know what your problem is exactly with McCarty, but I'd listen to him over some anonymous blog commenter.

The KKK's problem was our problem. Al Quedas problem is our problem also. Unless you think that things like 911 are not our problem.

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL:

Warning: include(/srv/users/prod-php-nltashbrook/apps/prod-php-nltashbrook/public/sd/nlt-blog/_includes/promo-main.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /srv/users/prod-php-nltashbrook/apps/prod-php-nltashbrook/public/2007/07/byrd-and-clinton.php on line 528

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/srv/users/prod-php-nltashbrook/apps/prod-php-nltashbrook/public/sd/nlt-blog/_includes/promo-main.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/opt/sp/php7.2/lib/php') in /srv/users/prod-php-nltashbrook/apps/prod-php-nltashbrook/public/2007/07/byrd-and-clinton.php on line 528