Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Gulf War I Syndrome

Joe Klein, now blogging at Time Magazine's "Swampland" is in a bit of a pickle. He claims he's long been against the invasion of Iraq, but his record doesn't show it. This post at the Washington Monthly shows that he advised John Kerry not to vote for the "Use of Force" resolution, but Klein never went public with that. The question is, what was Klein afraid of?

The answer, I suspect, is what we were all afraid of. We all saw the first Gulf War. It was fast and decisive and was such a major American victory that people said it had cured America of "Viet Nam Syndrome," a condition that had kept us from invading other countries for fear of getting caught in a quagmire. The fear was that Bush would push ahead with the invasion despite any opposition (a true fear) and that the second war would go as well as the first (which turned out to be false.) Had Iraq II turned out to be the same cakewalk that Iraq I was... Bush and his decision to invade would be enormously popular right now.

Some people, who were opposed to Iraq II were just clearly afraid of winding up on the wrong side of history. Heck, in the early days of Iraq II, where Saddam's regime fell quickly, those fears were seemingly realized. Then came the civil war and quagmire that other war opponents had warned about.

Klein now says he's done debating about whether or not he opposed Iraq II from the start. Too bad. He should really just admit that he was too scared of a possible cakewalk to oppose the idea in public.


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