Dover Bitch

Friday, July 20, 2007


(Cross-posted at Hullabaloo)

I see Ed Koch is, once again, sharing his views on the war:

I’m bailing out. I will no longer defend the policy of keeping U.S. troops in Iraq to assist the Iraqi central government in the ongoing civil war.

Well, hallelujah.

ThinkProgess noted that he attacked war critics a year ago:

There is something terribly wrong with people seeking to demean and weaken the president in war time, thereby strengthening our country’s enemies. As a result of the language and tactics of those opposed to our presence in Iraq, our enemies have been emboldened, believing the American public to be sharply divided on the war, and in fact at war with itself.

Sounds like a certain Senator from Connecticut.

I failed to find any apologies or concessions in his column today. I guess the war critics were wrong until this very moment. Personally, I don't care about apologies from politicians very much, even less when it comes after thousands of unnecessary deaths, including America's reputation. But Koch has a lot to apologize for. It's not simply that he lashed out at people who were right all along. He willingly abandoned the principles he claimed to hold and did so, apparently now, for no reason at all.

Consider the meat of his column today (I'll make no comment on the wisdom of the person upon whom Koch relies for support):

My voice is a modest one, so I would like to buttress my pro-withdrawal position with arguments put forth by the highly regarded New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. In his July 11 column, he stated:

“But getting out has at least four advantages. First, no more Americans will be dying while refereeing a civil war. Second, the fear of an all-out civil war, as we do prepare to leave, may be the last best hope for getting the Iraqis to reach an eleventh-hour political agreement. Third, as the civil war in Iraq plays out, it could, painfully, force the realignment of communities on the ground that may create a more stable foundation upon which to build a federal settlement.

Fourth, we will restore our deterrence with Iran. Tehran will no longer be able to bleed us through its proxies in Iraq, and we will be much freer to hit Iran -- should we ever need to -- once we’re out. Moreover, Iran will by default inherit management of the mess in southern Iraq, which, in time, will be an enormous problem for Tehran.”

I agree with Friedman and repeat that I would support our troops remaining in Iraq if our allies were to join us. But they have made it clear they will not.


But my support for remaining in Iraq was conditioned on our allies joining us in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sadly, very few have done so. Instead, many of those same allies criticize us for staying in Iraq.

It was all about the allies, huh? Too bad the Democrats didn't run a candidate who made an effort to bring America's allies and regional interests together the centerpiece of his Iraq policy. A candidate who repeated things like this over and over during the debates and throughout the campaign:

I have a better plan for homeland security. I have a better plan to be able to fight the war on terror by strengthening our military, strengthening our intelligence, by going after the financing more authoritatively, by doing what we need to do to rebuild the alliances, by reaching out to the Muslim world, which the president has almost not done, and beginning to isolate the radical Islamic Muslims, not have them isolate the United States of America.

I know I can do a better job in Iraq. I have a plan to have a summit with all of the allies, something this president has not yet achieved, not yet been able to do to bring people to the table.

That would have been a perfect candidate for Koch.

But, no, Koch didn't see or hear anything like that in 2004. Instead, he went to George Bush's convention in New York and said this:

"I, too, disagree with the president on every major domestic issue from taxes to Social Security. Yet I believe those issues are trumped by the overriding need to defeat international terrorism, the biggest threat to our freedom."

Trumped. Every major domestic issue trumped. What a bargain that was... A responsible, effective government dealt away for a failed foreign policy, broken military, catastrophic debt and the loss of respect around the world. Last October, Koch told Chris Matthews that Bush should be given credit for his courage. Now, Koch's home town is disintegrating in an asbestos shower, symptoms of the diseased policies he swallowed out of fear. New Orleans has drowned and the warmonger from Connecticut he endorsed turned around and refused to do his job and investigate the failure .

Koch doesn't just owe the war critics an apology, he owes everybody an apology.

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