Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Maybe I was simply raised differently.

It has taken me this long to figure out what really really bothers me about John McCain (and the other conservatives that got us into the Iraq war) ongoing and and deep abiding tantrum about being given credit for the surge.

Both Barack Obama and myself were raised primarily by single mothers - my mother (and I somehow suspect the same in true of Barack Obama) just didn't have the time required to hug me and congratulate me on cleaning up a mess I made. If you made a mess carelessly, you cleaned it up and got spanked.

It may be that the son of an Admiral is raised differently than that, or at least was in the 1930's and 40's.

Now, I am willing to grant that I thought the surge would have less effect than it seems to have had, and that in concert with a number of other factors (Most of which, such as the Anbar awakening, I believe were far more influential, and no, it was not the 'start of the surge', no matter how much John McCain would like to conflate the two.) it has helped. Whether it has helped less or more than an equal effort spent in others ways is hard to say, but it seems to have been at least a net positive in a war in which net positives are quite sparse.

But the fact is still that John McCain in particular, and conservatives in general, very clearly want 'credit' for the surge - and you don't get credit for helping to clean up a mess you made.

At the end of the day, we invaded a country on the premise that we were invading an ally of Al Qaeda that was on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons and still had biological and chemical weapons from previous years, an invasion that has cost us a great deal more than the estimates of it's proponents suggested, in money, in opportunity costs, and in blood.

Since then it has become clear that those that doubted those premises were correct, that there was no 'super dooper secret' data that only the President had that undercut those arguments, and that those that were on the inside and expressed doubts about either the justifications of the war or the costs were removed rather than listened to.

They attacked those that disagreed. They verifiably lied to those that they couldn't remove and thought might be persuaded with a few fear mongering untruths.

So the advocates of this war lie in three camps - The liars, that deliberately spread disinformation attempting to rally others to the cause, the careless, that had both the disinformation the administration provided, and access to other sources that readily debunked that information, but chose not to check, and the deceived, those that checked, but were deceived into support.

I have very little sympathy for the deceived - the adminstrations disinformation never seemed adequate to me and many others, and was debunked with astonishing regularity - but many of them have at least honestly accepted repsonsibility for having been deceived, and have done what they can to try and get us out of this mess.

The liars and the careless have yet to do so - they villified those that argued against them six years ago, and they still attempt to tar those that have never accepted their debunked premises as terrorist sympathizers, left wing nuts, even traitorous.

And yet, they insist, they deserve credit for the surge?

Bullshit - When you've dug yourself into a hole this this deep, you accept help graciously from anyone that deigns to try and help you out of it - you don't get extra credit doing some of the work yourself. End of story.