I like this column by Victor Davis Hanson at Townhall.com today.
Hanson makes the point that the pandering by Democratic hopefuls to the anti-war base is difficult because every one of them believed the intelligence from Bill Clinton's CIA through George Bush's.
Most in Congress accepted that Saddam was a genocidal mass murderer. They knew he used his petrodollars to acquire dangerous weapons. And they felt his savagery was intolerable in a post-9/11 world. There was no debate that Saddam gave money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers or offered sanctuary to terrorists like Abu Abbas and Abu Nidal. And few Democrats questioned whether the al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist group Ansar al-Islam was in Kurdistan.
In other words, Democrats, like most others, wanted Saddam taken out for a variety of reasons beyond fears of WMD. Moreover, it was the Clinton-appointed CIA director George Tenet who supplied both Democrats and Republicans in Congress with much of the intelligence they would later cite in deciding to attack Saddam.
When both congressional Democrats and Republicans cast their votes to go along with President Bush, they even crafted 23 formal causes for war. So far only the writ concerning the fear of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction has in hindsight proven false.
But we no longer hear much about these various reasons why the Democrats understandably supported the removal of Saddam Hussein. Instead, they now most often plead they were hoodwinked by sneaky warmongering neocons or sexed-up partisan intelligence reports.
Ah, yes, the 23 reasons for war, none of which get discussed except WMDs. This is because the same people who cried and screamed that Saddam Hussein was a monster and that George H.W. Bush was a coward for not taking him out in 1991 claim that the U.S. is worse now. Nothing is beyond the hyperbole for these people.
Hanson makes the point that changing one's mind isn't a terrible thing, but what is dishonest is not owning up to why one changed one's mind.
Democrats need to admit the truth: that removing a dangerous Saddam Hussein and promoting democracy in his place seemed a good idea to them in 2003-4 when the cost appeared tolerable. Now, in 2007, with over 3,000 American lives lost in Iraq, they feel differently.
In other words, Democrats could argue that somewhere along the line -- whether it was after Fallujah or the start of sectarian Sunni-Shiite violence -- they either lost confidence in the United States' very ability to stabilize Iraq, or felt that even if we could, it was no longer worth the tab in American blood and treasure.
That confession could, of course, be nuanced with exculpatory arguments about the mistakes made by those in the Bush administration, such as: "Our necessary war that I voted for to remove Saddam worked; your optional one to stay on to promote democracy didn't."
I've looked feverishly through the moonbatosphere trying to find a Liberal who will make such a reasonable argument but there are none forthcoming. Nope, they all "knew" that there were no WMDs (forget the other 22 reasons to oust Saddam...they were unimportant) and that leaving Iraqis to Saddam's torture was perfectly ok. It's apparent to me that the fate of the Iraqi people was never very important to these people. They are and were only political pawns for two-faced hacks.