The Moose addresses whether it is possible to be anti-Iraq war and tough on terror.
The brilliant Peter Beinart piece in the New Republic has stirred quite a controversy. The Moose felt he had a Vulcan mind meld with Beinart in the belief that the donkey must be resolutely in the camp of the hawks in the anti-terrorist war. But the question arises - is it possible to believe that the war in Iraq was unwise and remain a hawk?
The short answer, of course it is. But nevertheless, much of the left is weak on the question of the over-all war against Islamist jihadism. The prime example of an anti-war hawk, however, is retiring Senator Bob Graham of Florida. Indeed, Senator Graham was a prophet about much of what transpired in this war. From the beginning, he did not believe that Iraq was the menace of the Administration's claims.
But, Graham is far from a dove. He has argued that the main threat in this war comes from two primary sources - Saudi funding of extremists and Iran along with their allies in Hezbollah. Ironically, Iran may emerge as the big winner in the war as they extend their influence over the Shia majority in Iraq. Consider this piece in today's Washington Post,
"The leaders of Iraq and Jordan warned yesterday that Iran is trying to influence the Iraqi elections scheduled for Jan. 30 to create an Islamic government that would dramatically shift the geopolitical balance between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in the Middle East."
The 9/11 Report pretty much corroborated Graham's views about the Saudis and Iran. Most importantly, Bob Graham is animated by the notion that we are engaged in a war against Islamic extremists, and that we must win it.
Contrast Graham with Michael Moore who suggested that the war in Afghanistan was merely a dispute over an oil pipeline. And many on the left are either not focused on the anti-terrorist war as a priority or believe that it is primarily an invention of the Bush Administration and Halliburton. Some on the left actually maintain that the 9/11 attacks were blowback for past American transgressions.
So yes, it is possible to be anti-Iraq war and a hawk. Bob Graham proves that point. But now that we are committed to Iraq, a prudent national security position requires that we cannot allow that country to devolve into anarchy. That means we cannot withdraw, but rather we must help establish stability. How many anti-war lefties are willing to accept that obligation?
- A test for an anti-war hawk.