The liberal corner into which they are painted
: David Carr’s fine piece in the NY Times yesterday sets out the liberal war quandry:
This has been a tough war for commentators on the American left. To hope for defeat meant cheering for Saddam Hussein. To hope for victory meant cheering for President Bush.
The toppling of Mr. Hussein, or at least a statue of him, has made their arguments even harder to defend. Liberal writers for ideologically driven magazines like The Nation and for less overtly political ones like The New Yorker did not predict a defeat, but the terrible consequences many warned of have not happened.
Now liberal commentators must address the victory at hand and confront an ascendant conservative juggernaut that asserts United States might can set the world right.
Yes, as I’ve said (in my Lament for Liberals), the my fellow liberals need to get back to their roots and set their own priorities right:
The left is for human rights. That means freeing the Iraqi people.
The left is for helping the poor and downtrodden. That means aggressively supporting help for the rebuilding of Iraq and the building of democracy and free speech there.
The left is against isolationism and selfishness. That means supporting the war in Iraq as a means of freeing its people. Nevermind WMD; that is the conservative cause, the hawk’s crusade.
The left’s reason for this war is people, not weapons.
Just watch Tony Blair. Say what he says. You’ll get the hang of it.