Ackerman Versus Sanchez
Spencer Ackerman finds himself unimpressed with Ricardo Sanchez:
The current crop of right-wingers is too close to the Iraq war to accept Sanchez's vituperation, since it contains an attack on Bush. But as the war recedes and the need for scapegoating expands -- particularly if conservatives lose the White House next year -- Sanchez's speech reads like a foundational text for an aggrieved conservative worldview that the war was too virtuous for the country that fought it. And it makes a lot of sense that it's Sanchez, the most disgraced general of the entire war, who issued this j'accuse.
This is something that I think liberals, especially ones like me who work in the ideas business, are going to need to be vigilant about for years to come. It took quite a while for the Rambo theory of Vietnam to go mainstream and I'm sure at the time it didn't strike people as necessarily a big deal if Ronald Reagan wanted to perpetuate a mythical account of the past while, in his actual role as president, being quite cautious about putting American boots on the ground. Today, though, we've all lived to see the damage done by unlearning too many of those lessons. I can only hope it doesn't wind up all happening again.