Monday, October 09, 2006

Howard Dean Was Right

I am a proud Deaniac. Oh, I swallowed my doubts and supported John Kerry after he got the nomination, but I was on the Dean train before he got cow-catchered off the tracks by the corporate media's playing fast and loose with his speech in Iowa. Because Dean was smart and knew what was really going on. Glenn Greenwald has an excellent post reminding us what Howard Dean had to say about North Korea and Iraq before Bush's ill-fated adventure began.

Unclaimed Territory: Invading Iraq and the North Korean threat -- a historical reminder

Contrary to the propaganda campaign enabled by the passive, mindless 2003 media, most anti-war advocates (such as Howard Dean) did not oppose the war in Iraq because war itself is wrong or even because preemptive war in response to a truly imminent threat is wrong. They opposed it because the evidence that Iraq posed an imminent threat was so shady and unconvincing and that the case that no other options short of war existed was so unconvincing (anyone with doubts about that should just go read Dean's speech -- "Secretary Powell's recent presentation at the UN showed the extent to which we have Iraq under an audio and visual microscope. Given that, I was impressed not by the vastness of evidence presented by the Secretary, but rather by its sketchiness").

More importantly, Dean pointed out that there were far greater threats to U.S. security than Saddam Hussein -- and he particularly emphasized the threats posed by North Korea and Al Qaeda, which would be neglected -- if not outright ignored and worsened -- by the mammoth, unpredictable and highly dangerous project of invading Iraq and attempting to re-build it into a stable democracy (see e.g. the resurgent Taliban, the uncaptured Osama bin Laden, the takeover of much of Iraq by Al Qaeda and Iran, and yesterday's North Korean nuclear test). The only way to see the Bush movement as "serious, weighty, tough" foreign policy thinkers, and the only way to see Democrats like Dean as "frivolous and weak on defense," is to completely ignore (or distort) history and to operate from the premise that being terribly wrong is a sign of seriousness and wisdom and being completely right is a sign of frivolity and weakness.

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