Consistency Revisited III
One more small thing that occurred to me glancing back through the archives today. I've long been slammed for turning against Bush's war only when it turned south. That's not entirely untrue - and criticizing a war plan as it unfolds is perfectly valid, when you could not know the war plan in advance. But from the beginning, I worried about too few troops, and before the beginning, I wrote the following:
I do think that an opportunity exists for Bush to neutralize and even co-opt some of these [liberal anti-war] people by his conduct in the post-war settlement. He must commit real resources, real troops, real money to reconstructing Iraq and to building the beginnings of democracy there. No friendly new dictator; no cut-and-run; no change of the subject. He has to show the essentially progressive nature of the war against Islamist terror and its state sponsors - not just for the security of the West but for the future of the Arab world. Rescinding some future tax cuts to help pay for this may well be prudent - and even popular. Bush can't reverse the tide of hatred on the far left. But he can try and reach out to the many liberals in the center who would support a proactive foreign policy, if they believed it was about more than mere national interest.
My turn against Bush was because he did not do these things, and did not pay for what he did do. It was not a fair-weather reversal; it was the pursuit of my own judgment and principles in the face of changing facts. It's what I'm supposed to do in my line of work.