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Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 03/ 4/2011

Krauthammer and the "Bush freedom agenda" fallacy

By Adam Serwer

Ever since the uprisings began unfolding in the Middle East, conservatives have struggled to make the case that they vindicate George W. Bush's vision of history. This morning, Charles Krauthammer attempts a somewhat nuanced rendition of this argument, insisting that the Mideast events represent a triumph for Bush's "freedom agenda":

Now that revolutions are sweeping the Middle East and everyone is a convert to George W. Bush's freedom agenda, it's not just Iraq that has slid into the memory hole. Also forgotten is the once proudly proclaimed "realism" of Years One and Two of President Obama's foreign policy -- the "smart power" antidote to Bush's alleged misty-eyed idealism.

Bush's "freedom agenda" has been so narrowed by his supporters as to be virtually unrecognizable from what it actually was. The American people didn't support war in Iraq because they wanted to establish a democracy; they supported the war because the president of the United States told them that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and falsified a connection to al-Qaeda and that implied a willingness to use them. 

Beyond the disastrous invasion of Iraq, Bush's "Freedom Agenda" was mostly characterized by the bipartisan continuity of support for despotic client states, except where the U.S. refused to adhere to the results of elections we didn't like, as when Hamas prevailed in Gaza. Krauthammer's argument that Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi was sufficiently frightened by the invasion to give up an arsenal he won't be able to use against protesters now has merit, but that in and of itself doesn't justify the invasion of Iraq, either.

To narrow the "Freedom Agenda" to simply believing the people have a right to self-determination is to excise everything about it that was objectionable. What's exciting about what's happening in the Middle East is that it is not happening as result of American military intervention, which augurs for a more lasting and stable outcome. The protests don't vindicate the idea that American military intervention is a necessary precursor to democratic transition in the Middle East; they suggest the opposite conclusion.

The invasion, and subsequent instability, also provided other despotic regimes in the region with an excuse to avoid democratization by pointing to violence in Iraq. 

Now, it can be argued that the price in blood and treasure that America paid to establish Iraq's democracy was too high. But whatever side you take on that question, what's unmistakable is that to the Middle Easterner, Iraq today is the only functioning Arab democracy, with multiparty elections and the freest press. Its democracy is fragile and imperfect - last week, security forces cracked down on demonstrators demanding better services - but were Egypt to be as politically developed in, say, a year as is Iraq today, we would think it a great success.

Look, we still do not know how all of this is going to turn out, and I think this vastly overstates the health of Iraq as a democracy. But not only is Iraq among the states being rocked by popular protests, arguing that a democratic Egypt that looks like Iraq does today would be a great victory is to ignore the years of war, terrorism, ethnic strife, and thousands of deaths that have characterized the intervening years in Iraq. Would a relatively stable democratic Egypt without all those things be really great? Sure. But what does that have to do with Iraq?

Facebook and Twitter have surely mediated this pan-Arab (and Iranian) reach for dignity and freedom. But the Bush Doctrine set the premise.

No matter how many times and in how many ways conservatives write this, it never stops being patronizing. Protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Iran are not rising up because President Bush gave them a pat on the head and told them they were worthy of dignity and freedom. Their inspiring courage, their bravery in the face of brutality and despotism, is a triumph all their own.

At bottom, there's a very basic contradiction at the heart of the conservative interpretation of today's events. On the one hand, they argue, the success of the protests vindicate Bush's faith in their democratic yearnings. On the other, they argue, Obama is doing everything wrong. Yet if Obama's doing everything wrong, even as some of the protests continue to succeed, what that really shows us is that we aren't the important actors here. This isn't about us. And it isn't about Bush.

By Adam Serwer  | March 4, 2011; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Comments

eeewwww, Charles Krauthammer? Adam, Greg, I realize the media covering itself has become the new normal in journalism, but that guy is beneath contempt.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

haha.

And today's job numbers are a direct result of Bush's pro jobs policies!

And, in two years when unemployment drops below 7.5%, it'll be because of Reagan's speech he made in 1987 but if the economy turns negative again and we go into a double dip it'll be because of the Pelosi/Reid/Obama agenda.

Is that about right my local right wingers?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"Iraq today is the only functioning Arab democracy."

Oh so the thousands of heavily armed Kurdish Peshmerga irregulars now surrounding the oil city Kirkuk, in defiance of Baghdad's orders, that is a functioning democracy. Ok, if the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld apologists say so: mission accomplished.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Krauthammer's claim, In A Nutshell.

George W. Bush, borrowed two trillion dollars, and pissed it away in Iraq, so that it would inspire a lone obscure man in Tunisia to set himself on fire, and burn to death.

Posted by: Liam-still | March 4, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

While I appreciate Adam's arguments and agree with them, I suspect Krauthaumer is also well aware of these counterpoints. His column today is a set of carefully chosen facts and artful sidesteps judiciously filtered and contrived to evade the logical fallicies of his argument. I believe Krauthaumer's column today was created as a deliberate fist-shaker designed not to drive thought but only web traffic. And I imagine he knows that.

Posted by: SteveCanyon | March 4, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Q: How do you know whan Charles Krauthammer is about to re-write history?

A: He's at the word processor.

Posted by: sidprejean | March 4, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The calls from the ME, using bush's EXACT terms are not mentioned?

Of course Dr. K is right.... only how right, is the question.

Obama's failures are not questioned here.

What bias.

Posted by: docwhocuts | March 4, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"but were Egypt to be as politically developed in, say, a year as is Iraq today."

Egypt is already far more politically developed than Iraq. How many suicide bombers have detonated themselves in Egypt? What they have done there was nothing short of a political clinic: how to overthrow a military dictator without massive bloodshed. Iraq was a catastrophe (it was born a failed state), it still is a catastrophe and America's involvement there was a criminal enterprise.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The real issue is why does the evil and mentally ugly claptrap Krapph@mmer get top billing in any paper he wishes, to promote his revisionist history and lies? A favorite son of the Israel Lobby, which has the ear of every publisher in the country? Why then?

Posted by: AIPACiswar | March 4, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Hey Greg,

Did you forget that Congress voted to initially fund the war with many Democrat votes in favor? And did you also forget that Pelosi, Rockefeller, Albright, Clinton and many other Democrats also spoke openly about the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam supposedly possessed? Your column is poorly written and your hatred for Bush comes through loud and clear. Nice try but your logic falls flat on lies and innuendo. Shame on you.

Posted by: pemullen | March 4, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The neocons and their apologists like Kraut always fail to mention that their lies sent the children of other Americans to be slaughtered and maimed. Their parents got a little insurance money and a life of grieving hell forever.

Bush and Cheney and Dumsfeld and all of their evil henchmen got big fat stock dividends, guaranteed high prices which keep their stock dividends coming, and in the case of Bush and Cheney, free taxpayers money for the rest of their lives.

Neither of them have the courage to walk down any Amrican street without their bodyguards. Or any street on all seven American continents.

Krauthammer is such a worthless man in every respect. He must write his poison drivel to earn his paycheck no matter how inane or untrue. There are some brilliant men and women in America who can write without bias, so why does the Post continue to pay this worthless jerk?

Posted by: papafritz571 | March 4, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"This isn't about us. And it isn't about Bush."

I think Adam forgot one (inexplicably):

"This isn't about Obama."

Bush's vision of the future is proving to be correct. History will vindicate the actions of the US.

Posted by: sbj3 | March 4, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Well, Krauthammer's a partisan. If a Democrat had been in the White House when the US invaded Iraq, he'd have been dead set against it. Hard to believe the guy is a psychiatrist given his lack of insight into his own motivations. But then again, maybe he's like those Russian shrinks who were always locking dissenters up for their own good...

Posted by: Samson151 | March 4, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Greg, you fail to mention that 96 Democrats testified on the floors of Congress demanding that Bush invade Iraq including Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi. And that 100% of both Republicans and Democrats voted for the invasion.

Posted by: mike85 | March 4, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

sbj, in a nutshell, please let me in on Bush's vision he had so I can save myself the time of listening to everyone else on how thing s will work out.

Who woulda guessed...Bush, the Great Visionary!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Krauthammer is war mongering fool who would have us sink more money, no questions asked, into Israel. He is a one-note apologist for Dumbya who I wish would wheel himself off a cliff already.

Posted by: LABC | March 4, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Greg is a just another liberal idiot at the Washington Compost. Is this the new media I am hearing about? One guys gives an opinion and you come out against that opinion? Gret work you jerk. What a gutter profession that you belong to.

Posted by: Cobra2 | March 4, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Here is the how this will work for the liberals. first we must understand that to a dyed in the wool liberal, the dogma of liberalism explains everything.

No one can succeed in this life without adhering to their beliefs. Any one who does not adhere to the dogma must be destroyed for the good of the liberal faith.

So what the liberals will do is develop a series of talking points that explains Bush to themselves. They did the same thing for Reagan. The liberals have standard answers to this fill in the blank question: "Reagan wasn't as good as people think because___________________"

They will develop the same "explanations" for George W. Bush. They have to. They must at all times continue to convince themselves that the ONLY way to be good in the world is to be liberal. Success from someone who isn't a liberal must be destroyed. Why if people in America started thinking outside the liberal straightjacket, why the movement could lose its momentum. The left could take shellackings at the polls and then be unable to garner any more interest that the skin heads do. Can't let that happen.

Fortunately the iron grip of the left on academia and the media help them to keep themselves thinking the politically correct way.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

You know, when GWB announced the Freedom Agenda, I was a bit skeptical. I felt that the invasion of Iraq was more than justified without it anyway.

But GWB said that building a democracy in Iraq, in the heart of the Middle East would spark democracy everywhere else. And now - just a few years later - democracy sprouting everywhere in the Middle East.

Serwer, you tried hard to explain it away, but you can't because it's just so simple.

.

Posted by: ZZim | March 4, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Charles Krauthammer always tells it like it is. Usually I agree with him. . Those who are criticizing here have short memories and an agenda of their own and they are wrong.

Posted by: mlbduffy | March 4, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't have said it better:

Krauthammer's claim, In A Nutshell.

George W. Bush, borrowed two trillion dollars, and pissed it away in Iraq, so that it would inspire a lone obscure man in Tunisia to set himself on fire, and burn to death.

Posted by: printthis | March 4, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

It seemed Krauthammer wished more to call attention to the irony of the current sentiment towards possible American involvement in Libya when contrasted with the outrage that that particular tactic was met with when it was put into practice in Iraq. Though I suppose an affirmation of the Bush Doctrine is present as well.

Personally, I feel that if the UN ends up wanting a no-fly zone over Libya, someone else should take care of it. We are not the only country with planes, no? The everything-falls-to-America tactic becomes tiresome.

Posted by: taran111 | March 4, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable: Krauthammer's utter cluelessness and total rejection of truth. Iraq: a war we waged against a country that didn't attack us because our president wanted to finish his daddy's war. Tunisia/Egypt/Lybia - the people rising up against their oppressors. (I haven't heard anyone thanking Bush; some have thanked Facebook and Twitter, however, as they have been tools, which have allowed the people to unite.) Let freedom--and truth--ring out.

Posted by: JM16 | March 4, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

skip, the traditional conservative foreign policy in not to be an interventionist.

Is that what you mean?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I too read Charles Krauthammer's column in amazement. To somehow connect the internally-initiated, spontaneous uprisings in the middle East with any American president, Bush, Obama or other, is ridiculous.

Besides, as pointed out in this column (and vindicated by several strongly neo-con posters above), Bush's invasion had nothing to do with establishing Democracy. The "freedom" initiative came much later, in an attempt to back-justify the invasion, and clearly ignored dictatorships that were pro-America, and disfavored democracy where it was anti-US.

Also - a history lesson for some who seem confused: The official roll call for the invasion in the house was Republicans 215 for, 6 against; Dems 81 for, 126 against. In the senate it was republicans 47 for, 1 against, Dems 29 for, 21 against. Independents not listed.

Posted by: iamweaver | March 4, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Has Charles ever been right? He is lookin in hindsight at Freedom Agenda which he didn't support at time either. He is basically a proponent of power politics.

Posted by: Pensfans | March 4, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"The "freedom" initiative came much later, in an attempt to back-justify the invasion"

ding ding ding

We have a winner!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@mike: It is called Bush's Domino Theory.

From January 2003:

"On his current book tour, the former White House speechwriter who was behind the phrase "axis of evil" is calling the president's Middle East strategy nothing short of a foreign-policy "revolution."

"Just more poetic license from a political wordsmith? No, his word choice isn't poetic enough, if bringing democracy to that troubled part of the world is truly the president's goal, as former insider David Frum states.

"Certainly, the Bush administration's hawks hope the fall of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein would be the first domino to tip other autocratic states in the region toward democracy. Having felled the Taliban in Afghanistan, and insisted on new Palestinian elections, this White House drive to bring democracy to Iraq - as well as to disarm it of chemical and biological weapons, and end its support of terrorism - fits into an emerging United States strategy to push democracy into places that breed or support terrorists and the weapons of terror.

"... Bush's intention, if not the detail, is right there in black and white in the National Security Strategy from last September. The document declares that the US example of freedom, democracy, and free enterprise constitutes "a single, sustainable model for international success," and that this model is "right and true for every person, in every society."

"... Setting up Iraq as a model of democracy may be necessary, but it will take a commitment to nation-building - not America's, or this president's, strong suit. If it works, however, it could bring hope to millions of Arabs, improve the chances for Israeli-Palestinian peace, and alter the geopolitical dynamics of Middle Eastern oil."

http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0128/p08s02-comv.html

Posted by: sbj3 | March 4, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Here's my thesis:

Obama got elected, the Middle East looked upon the U.S. in a much more favorable light than it did under the Bush years, which led to the population no longer reflexively taking the dictators' sides against the U.S., which led to them rising against said dictators.

Prove me wrong.

(Obviously, the point here is that both that and Krauthammer's arguments are logically possible, and neither can be proven or disproven. But the constant here is the people in the Middle East. Let's stop trying to take all the credit for their actions.)

Posted by: jaycane40oz | March 4, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

So the Democratic members of congress that wrongly and naively believed the WMD story that was entirely propagated and by the American "intelligence"community that was under the absolute and total control of the Cheney/Bush regime are responsible for the disaster of Iraq?

Is that the GOP position? That it's the Democrats' fault because they believed Cheney/Bush?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | March 4, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Adam must be close to the truth; you can tell by the heretofore unknown trolls streaming in to muddy the waters...

Posted by: JkR- | March 4, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

If George W. Bush and his agenda are so inspiring to Middle East protestors, why is this only happening now? The Iraq invasion started eight years ago, and Bush hasn't even been in office for two years.

I don't know if I should be amused or appalled at conservatives' (and neoconservatives') endless, delusional self-justification and narcissism. We've seen this before; remember the hype about an "Arab Spring" a few years ago?

It seems to me that a better lesson to be taken from the weakness or downfall of Middle Eastern despots is that it does not require an invasion or other direct US pressure to attempt to throw off the tyrant's yoke. Serwer is right.

Posted by: mkarns | March 4, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't part of the "freedom agenda," but W's inept oversight of the financial sector probably does bear an unintentional assist in this whole process. If he'd been a more responsible steward of the world's largest economy, you probably would have more tourism and remittances supporting these local economies -- that in turn might have helped to off-set the impact of commodities prices on ordinary consumers.

Of course, that's a bit of a stretch -- not unlike ascribing events in the Middle East to W's "freedom agenda" over two years after he left office.

Posted by: JPRS | March 4, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse


What is wrong, terribly wrong, about Obama's policy is that he has downplayed a relatively successful effort in Iraq, in the heart of the Arab, Muslim myth and traded it for an unwinnable effort on the fringe in Afghanistan.

Posted by: edbyronadams | March 4, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse


I figured it out !!

On Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays our Glorious Republicans believe in supporting " Conservative " Dictators like Mubarak in Egypt.
These are America's " staunch allies " against Moslem extremism and feed our righteous & God-given Oil Addiction.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays these clever Patriots are busy spreading " American Values " and Democracy by supporting the Liberal Revolutionary Movements around the world.
Chaos, confiscation of precious Private Property and Air-Strikes are "kewl" for half the week.

On Sundays they take a day off and just directly insult the First Lady or harass Funerals.

Republicans are seditious Traitor-Chameleons!
They live off the Poison they create.

Posted by: axl-rod | March 4, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I must admit, I always get a bit of furtive enjoyment about reading conservative and liberal talking-horses on forums like this.

Liberalism and Conservativism have little to do with foreign policy, other than a historical preponderance for liberal presidents to tend to avoid overseas fights, and the opposite for conservative presidents. Nonetheless, many liberals and conservatives tend to charge in swinging - which usually makes their arguments a bit silly, as they try to convince themselves that those with differing views on the use of domestic governmental power must be wrong as well when looking at issues in completely different spheres. Heaven help us if we ever recognize that in almost all real-life issues, we agree with our opponents.

Republicans and Democrats draw "lines in the sand" that are usually rather arbitrary (though sometimes connected with their power bases) on a whole raft of issues, simply so that they con continue their "us vs. them" mentality in other arenas. And, sadly, we all follow along like little lemmings.

Posted by: iamweaver | March 4, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

The uprisings in the Middle East are showing how unnecessary the costly war in Iraq was, if democracy had been our actual objective.

I don't think Krauthammer should anticipate Bush getting the Nobel Peace Prize for invading Iraq. Desperate Republicans might be this gullible, but the world is not.

Posted by: Beeliever | March 4, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on. Give Krauthammer a break. He's just trying to revise Bush's legacy. What's so bad about that?

Posted by: willows1 | March 4, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"Having felled the Taliban in Afghanistan,"

Someone should have notified the Taliban that they had been felled, because they will still be there, long after the Americans are gone.

"Setting up Iraq as a model of democracy may be necessary..."

This must be some kind of joke. Once a failed state, always a failed state. Failed states don't get fixed, especially in the wake of an invasion.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Bush friends can write all they want but history is history.

Posted by: rlj1 | March 4, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"The "freedom" initiative came much later, in an attempt to back-justify the invasion"

Not true in the least. From March 2003:

".. A classified State Department report expresses doubt that installing a new regime in Iraq will foster the spread of democracy in the Middle East, a claim President Bush has made in trying to build support for a war, according to intelligence officials familiar with the document."

"The report exposes significant divisions within the Bush administration over the so-called democratic domino theory, one of the arguments that underpins the case for invading Iraq."

http://articles.latimes.com/2003/mar/14/world/fg-domino14

Posted by: sbj3 | March 4, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

History is not written by the losers.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

sbj3 - Yes, we all remember how those twenty or so men gathered to watch the statue of Saddam Hussein be pulled down by the US military while all around people were shooting at US soldiers and contractors. I honestly think there would be a more favorable (and cheaper) outcome if we dropped about $100 billion in $100 bills on Benghazi. Actually, we could do this in rebel strongholds throughout the Mideast and it would still be cheaper than fighting the Iraq war. Most likely with better outcomes.

Posted by: willows1 | March 4, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

If Bush's policies were about the middle east, why is it that Central North Africa was the birthplace of the protests and it spread from there?

Or was it there proximity to the middle east and they caught the "freedom agenda" cold?

lol

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

LOL. Apparently this partisan hack is unaware of the fact that it was a stated goal of the neocons that the presence of Arab democracy would lead to the toppling of dictators.

Pretty sad that this partisan hack is so petty as to deny America a hard-earned kudo for silly partisan gain. How small can you be?

Posted by: bobmoses | March 4, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Can we just once and for all drop the "well, Democrat so-and-so ALSO thought Saddam had WMDs!" faux "argument"?

Listen, wingers: people who weren't in control of the government being wrong about something doesn't excuse the people who WERE in control of government from not only believing the same wrong thing, but acting on it as well. In fact, it's far LESS excusable, because the people in control are the ones with the best access to the facts. When they lean on intelligence agencies to cook the facts, etc., then they are not only ignoring the facts but also seeking to convince other people who DO NOT have access to the facts to believe things that are wrong. And your "defense" is to blame the people who believed the people who had access to the facts who were lying to them?

I continue to say that anyone who believed there was ANY case for war after the ridiculous "Saddam has remote-controlled model planes he's gonna use to spray your house with anthrax!" rationale is a frigging dumbass who not only should never hold elected office but also shouldn't be allowed to VOTE. I kept waiting for them to announce that Saddam had "sharks...sharks with fricken' LASERS on their heads!"

People argue their cases with the strongest points they have. If one of your strongest points is "he might use a remote-controlled model plane to spray your house with anthrax" is one of the points you choose to advance, it means you don't have stronger points. And if the one you've gone with is so weak that a local court would laugh your local prosecutor out of the courtroom if he dared bring it up, then you don't HAVE a case.

Which is how I knew they were lying about the whole damn thing 6 or 8 months before it ever started.

Posted by: JennOfArk | March 4, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

A couple of points.
Virtually the entire world believed Saddam had WMDs, including his closest generals. He had used them on his own people.
Iraqis in particular and the world in general is better off under their fledgling democracy.
The Iraq war prompted Qadaffi to give up his nuclear and other WMD programs and begin to be a bit more civilized.

Those are just a few facts omitted from Serwers article.

Posted by: spamsux1 | March 4, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of fake news, I wonder why Fox kicked Santorum and Gingrich off its programming until they decide whether they are going to run for President, but they still pay Sarah Palin to deliver scripted talking points and I think Huck is still part of their staph of "contributors" too.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

It sounds as if Krauthammer is still expecting the Iraqi people to greet the U.S. invasion with flowers and gratitude.

Well Bush got a shoe thrown at him, so that's almost the same thing.

Posted by: Beeliever | March 4, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

and...

"other than a historical preponderance for liberal presidents to tend to avoid overseas fights, "

I don't want to sound like a war mongering liberal but FDR brought us into one our most successful wars. And, if I'm not mistaken, wasn't it Kennedy that started the Vietnam ramp up, Obama tripled troop levels in Afghanistan and if I'm not mistaken, has MORE troops on Afganistan and Iraq combined than during any period during Bush's Presidency.

The only cut and run President of modern times is Reagan, the mythical superhero conservative that rides unicorns and flees from Lebanon when our troops were attacked at the embassy.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that, sbj3. I didn't remember that the democratic domino idea was mentioned during the initial push for the war.

But I would like to point out that it was mentioned as a possible benefit, but not as one of the justifications, for entering Iraq. It wasn't until later that this potential benefit was regularly repeated in the US in such strident terms that it became almost a casus belli.

I'm still not sure it applies here, though. Iraq *doesn't* have a stable democracy. In fact, the same uprisings occurring in other places are occurring in Iraq. So the first domino hasn't even fallen yet. Our invasion in Iraq might well have impacted current events - but it's certainly not in the way envisioned by Pres. Bush, as the preconditions aren't there.

Posted by: iamweaver | March 4, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

This is such a phony argument. None of these people, including CK and GWB, gives a hoot about arab democracy. What they care about is the price of oil. Are we destabilizing African dictatorships lacking natural resources? Do we respect the legitimacy of a democratically elected government in Gaza? Do we sell weapons to the Saudis? Based on the Democracy Index, Saudi Arabia ranks 160 out of 167 countries and shares company with such notables as Burma, Uzbekistan and North Korea.

Posted by: mus81 | March 4, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The middle east must have caught the freedom agenda virus and sneezed onto Tunisia and infected it, then, Tunisia sneezed on Egypt, then Egypt sneezed onto Yemen, Jordan, Iraq, Libya and a few other countries.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Neo-cons are revisionist hucksters.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 4, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The so called democracy in Iraq will be short lived once and if military is gone. I don't think U.S. troops will ever leave Iraq, how would we ever be able to control the government
as we do in Korea, Germany, Japan, if we left. We set up puppet govenments in lots of countries to control whose in charge.

Posted by: garynona | March 4, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@iamweaver: Although we certainly disagree I appreciate the politeness of your comments without all the snide stuff.

I think we are all sort of guessing how "history" will view this era.

Posted by: sbj3 | March 4, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse


To say that "Everyone is a convert to W. Bush's freedom agenda," as Krauthammer states today online is clearly mistaken because I for one, am no such "convert," and I would go so far as to say that I am not alone in this. Having said that, the misrepresentation pales in comparison to the pack of barefaced lies that W. Bush foisted on the word that led us into the unjustified and unjust war against the Iraqis.

W. Bush's lies caused the death of more innocent people in Iraq alone than sleasebucket murderers Saddam Hussein and Osama ben Laden combined did.

And W. Bush's lies caused the death of many of our brave fighters, and for what?

And W. Bush's lies caused us great expense in other ways including financially and morally.

W. Bush's agenda was not to free anyone. W. Bush's agenda was to make as much money for himself and especially as a puppet his handlers including Cheney and Co. and the arms dealers and the oil dealers. Anybody in their right mind know this.

So stop lying, Mr. Krauthammer.

Signed, Washington Pinkskins (change the name, bigots).

Posted by: memorybridge1 | March 4, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

While I think it's ridiculous to connect Bush's actions to the current revolutions, it isn't surprising that publicy the Bush administration didn't mention democracy building much and instead focused on weapons etc. The UN would never have gone along with militant democracy building as justification of the use of force.

From Bush's 2003 state of the union address: If Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety of our people and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm him.

At no point in that address did he mention building democracy across the ME or anything close to that.

Bush can have all the visions he wants, but simply because his vision came true doesn't mean he made it come true. The causation proof offered by conservatives thus far has been far from compelling.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

As Iraq heads for civil war and or partition, the Bush/Cheney crowd considers their war there a great success...

This week, the Kurds have surrounded Kirkuk with thousands of heavily armed Peshmerga irregulars...in direct conflict to orders that they withdraw from the government in Baghdad.

"Yawir said the Peshmerga deployed were reinforcements to bolster Iraqi Army units already stationed in the area, and would withdraw as soon as, "threats have been eliminated."

Political analyst Ibrahim al-Sumaidaie says that Kurdish concerns that demonstrations at this sensitive time could turn violent are understandable, but do not justify the deployment of thousands of Peshmerga troops.

Sumaidaie says the failure to hold planned elections in the province that could have led to a power-sharing arrangement has contributed to the present tense situation.

At a press conference on March 1 on his return from a trip to Europe, Kurdistan region President Masud Barzani stressed that real security threats -- especially against the Kurds -- made the deployment of Peshmerga forces necessary.

He added that they were there to protect not only the majority Kurds, but also the large populations of Turkomans and Arabs in the city as well as other ethnic groups.

A census of Kirkuk's population was to be held in December but was cancelled due to a dispute over the status of the city, as it is claimed by the Kurdistan region and the central government.

Kirkuk is a city of some 900,000 people located 235 kilometers north of Baghdad. Kirkuk Province has some 13 percent of Iraq's proven oil reserves and is believed to have much more that is untapped."

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

We now see that there were gross lies about going to war and then so many lives loss over a whim. Now all of the major players are backing away from their stories about the need to go to war. How many of the big players are going to jail for the lies and all of the deaths of our citizens. Where is the mushroom cloud and all of the weapons of mass destruction? They have left Washington and are writing books.

Posted by: ralyons45 | March 4, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight.........the Neo-Cons think the uprisings are abad thing because the Islamists will take over and the Neo-Cons think it's a good thing because GB inspired them to seek freedom. So which is it? Are they just playing both sides so they can claim they were right no matter what? Give credit where it is due......the brave people of these nations who had enough of tyranny and have put their lives on the line for freedom. How it will turn out is as yet unknown. Mr. Krauthammer..........you are an elitist snob.

Posted by: RealConservative | March 4, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Virtually the entire world believed Saddam had WMDs, including his closest generals.

--------------------------------------

I don't think the UN inspectors that said he didn't have WMDs believed it. I'm guessing the Democrats who voted against the war didn't either.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Actually, what's happening in the middle east is a direct result of Steven Segal' speech at the end of Under Siege 2. See, when he talked about freedom and all, it really struck a nerve in the minds of all those freedom loving Muslims.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

All, this is pretty great, Wisconsin Dems making plans to respond very aggressively to Walker layoffs:

http://wapo.st/g5L3Kp

Posted by: Greg Sargent | March 4, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Would someone please, please take away all of Krauthamer's pens, pencils and keyboards. He does not rise to the level of "partisan hack." He's just a plain, old-fashioned, fool! I'm pretty certain even he doesn't listen to what he is saying.

Posted by: Blueboyo | March 4, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Not a fan of having gone into Iraq (cost way too much, blood, treasure, etc) but I'm sure these other nations see that Iraq got rid of a guy who brutalized his people for years and now they feel its their turn...I tend to agree with Charles K....liberals suck it!

Posted by: mjandrews8 | March 4, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Not a fan of having gone into Iraq (cost way too much, blood, treasure, etc) but I'm sure these other nations see that Iraq got rid of a guy who brutalized his people for years and now they feel its their turn...I tend to agree with Charles K....liberals suck it!

Posted by: mjandrews8 | March 4, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Who is this Sargent guy, posting off-topic Links on this forum!

Oh, wait.

Never mind :)

Posted by: iamweaver | March 4, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Actually, what's happening in the middle east is a direct result of Steven Segal' speech at the end of Under Siege 2. See, when he talked about freedom and all, it really struck a nerve in the minds of all those freedom loving Muslims.

Posted by: mikefromArlington
---------------------------------------

And obviously, Rocky gets credit for ending the Cold War.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

It's amusing that trolls blame Democrats in Congress for the Iraq War because they believed a President/Vice President's manufactured intelligence. Bush and Cheney lied to them and to us and somehow it's the Democrat's fault.

That's a lame defense.

Posted by: Beeliever | March 4, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Notice the megalomaniac pattern here?

Jobs today = result of Bush's economic policy.

Democracy spreading = result of Bush's foreign policy.

Anything good that happens, the same Bush apologists show up hoping we'll bite on their revisionist history they are trying to pawn off to justify to themselves for having supported his failed Presidency.

Next will be a cure for cancer will be a result of Bush's NIH spending!

Or maybe when the U.S. lands a man on Mars it'll be because of that one time he talked about landing a man on Mars.

Even people who consider themselves conservatives must blush when trying to connect some speech Bush gave to what's going on.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

So how supportive of democracy will Krauthammer and the rest be when some of these countries elect Muslim leaders with negative views of the US? Democracy for all -- as long as you love America.

Posted by: jfs0425 | March 4, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

One possibility that we Liberals need to think about is that the people of other nations saw that if they don't become democratic on their own, the US will invade them and they'll end up like Iraq! So Kudos to Bush!

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The conservatives attempt to associate the Bush/Chaney fool's goal with the "freedom movement" in the middle east is no surprise. Republicans are still trying to re-write history to "prove" that Ronald Reagan alone ended the cold war (if the Republican happens to be Catholic, he will also give credit to John Paul II). Ignoring the fact that Bush/Chaney lied the U.S. and much of the western world into wars in the Middle East, the conservatives are still ignoring Reagan's turning the Constitution on its head, sanctioning little Ollie North's crimes.

Posted by: Blueboyo | March 4, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

reading your last comment ashot reminds me of a persons avatar that comments on therawstory. It's a drawing of a bunch of bombs being dropped with the text 'We are going to free the s%#t out of you' below it.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I rarely agree with you Greg,,, but in this case you're 100% correct.
Ck is making shitola up and ignoring the truth.

Posted by: newagent99 | March 4, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Whose to say Egypt 2011 could not have been Iraq 2006 without the American invasion. No one disputes hoping for democracy for all is a bad thing; the dispute is over the means to bring it about. So far the Obama speech in Cairo is looking much more effective than the Iraq invasion.

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | March 4, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Charles K. has made such a compelling case for the success of the Bush Doctrine, that the Texas School Boards have asked him to re-write all their history textbooks.

Posted by: xdougwhite | March 4, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The powder kegs that are kingdoms, fake countries, colonial inventions and satrapies don't usually become democracies after they explode. They implode and balkanize.

There are no democracies in the Arab world, none. If and when that happens, maybe we should examine how that happened then.

"Fighting between Sunni and majority Shi'ite Muslims in central Bahrain injured several people overnight in the first sectarian violence since protests erupted in the Sunni-ruled kingdom two weeks ago."

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

shrink2 - Lebanon? Turkey? Also, if Sunni/Shia tensions were going to happen, it would be in Bahrain where the tiny Sunni monarchy has been propped up by Saudi Arabia very much at the expense of Shiite well-being. I don't think the other countries have quite the same level of direct sectarian divisions.

Posted by: willows1 | March 4, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty certain that Arab discontent with lack of freedoms, as well as improving economic policies here at home, are both directly related to Sarah Palin's daughter being on Dancing With The Stars.

Posted by: bozhogg | March 4, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Let us go back to Logic 101:
All Republicans lie all the time.
Krauthammer is a Republican.
Therefore?
"Nuanced" be damned...a lie is a lie is a lie.

Posted by: kstack | March 4, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't consider the Turks Arabs, certainly they don't think they are Arab, though there are some Arabs in Turkey. It is a functioning democracy.

Lebanon is not a functioning democracy, sadly.
Hezbollah is exhibit A.

As for sectarian division, no place outshines Iraq and there are many divisions not necessarily sectarian but tribal etc. in Yemen Jordan, Oman, all across the Maghreb...

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only person in America that remembers that Saddam Husien HAD WMDs and demonstrated his willingness to use them by dropping them on the Kurds? This is not supposition or guessing, the pictures were broadcast on the evening news shortly after it happened. I guess we can say that it was made up, but then it would have been made up by the same people who are now saying that WMDs never existed in IRAQ. How anybody can take the media seriously is beyond my comprehension. We are being lied to by EVERYBODY, politicians and most especially the news media.

Posted by: bob53 | March 4, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"haha.

And today's job numbers are a direct result of Bush's pro jobs policies!

And, in two years when unemployment drops below 7.5%, it'll be because of Reagan's speech he made in 1987 but if the economy turns negative again and we go into a double dip it'll be because of the Pelosi/Reid/Obama agenda.

Is that about right my local right wingers?"

Nope. Our economy will tank because the 80+ years of basing our economic policies on fallacies is finally catching up to us. We succeeded all those years DESPITE our economic policies.

Posted by: BradG | March 4, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Here is a quote from Bush's second innaugural address:
"We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."

I like the second because Bush beat back the anti victory crowd and their candidate John Grimjaw. Apparently he served in Viet Nam. Just saying is all.

But what does Mr Serwer actually SAY in terms of a refutation of Krauthammer?

Basically it amounts to Serwer's opinion VS Krauthammer's. I don't see a whole bunch of you know, facts and evidence.

The "argument" that Egypt today is somehow better off that Iraq today is unsupported by anything that could even be remotely termed a fact. It is what Adam says it is because Adam says it is. the liberals here, having the need to insure that Bush never succeeded, will agree with Adam's fact free assertions simply because they must.

And no liberal polemic would be complete without some rhetorical slight of hand. Here's Adam's:
" Krauthammer's argument that Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi was sufficiently frightened by the invasion to give up an arsenal he won't be able to use against protesters now has merit, but that in and of itself doesn't justify the invasion of Iraq, either. "

I don't recall that Mr Krauthammer used this, and this alone, to justify the invasion. In fact, I don't recall that the column by Krauthammer offers any justification at all.

That's an invention of Adam's. An effort to put words in Krauthammer's mouth so he can "disprove" them.

'round here, we call that a cheap shot. You go Adam.

Oh and one last observation concerning the rote talking points of the anti victory crowd (of which Adam must be a card carrying, dues paying member). To the anti victory folks, the Iraq government must be "perfect" as they define it. Anything less that "perfect" as they define it is failure.

Again, these folks have no choice in the matter. They explained the Iraq war to themselves and anything that contradicts their explanation has to be wrong. It is just that simple.

so if Iraq struggles, as all young democracies will, it means that Bush failed and the war was a waste. Again, this is just dogma-talk. The anti victory people HAVE to believe this. To do otherwise would be tantamount to admitting that the anti victory position was nothing more than political posturing.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Greg. This reminds me of another bit of neocon revisionism: the notion that Reagan's "tear down this wall" sound-bite sparked revolutions in Eastern Europe and contributed to the fall of the Soviet empire.

To quote the Church Lady from SNL: "How conveeeenient!"

Posted by: cyclingman | March 4, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

mike85 wrote:
Greg, you fail to mention that 96 Democrats testified on the floors of Congress demanding that Bush invade Iraq including Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi. And that 100% of both Republicans and Democrats voted for the invasion

FYI, the vote on the Iraq War resolution was 296-133 in the House and 77-23 in the Senate. Kennedy and Pelosi both voted against it. But, as always, right-wingers don't let facts get in the way of their assertions of "the truth", especially when it comes to all the glorious achievements of GWB. So Greg didn't "fail to mention" the outright lie that you told. Good for him.

Posted by: Donzinho | March 4, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

[Adam denied: "Libya and Iran are not rising up because President Bush gave them a pat on the head and told them they were worthy of dignity and freedom."]

Meanwhile in the reality: Libyan Rebels Literally Chant For… ChimpyBushitlerMcHaliburton!
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110303/wl_nm/us_libya_protests

"Opposition activists called for a no-fly zone, echoing a demand by Libya’s deputy U.N. envoy, who now opposes Gaddafi.

“Bring Bush! Make a no fly zone, bomb the planes,” shouted soldier-turned-rebel Nasr Ali, referring to a no-fly zone imposed on Iraq in 1991 by then U.S. President George Bush."

*Bush-tastic!*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 4, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer is always right. At least in his own mind. Never ceases to amaze me that people are so gullible as to believe the Krauthammers of the world.

Posted by: streff | March 4, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

BTW, mike: Greg didn't write the article, either. Another example of your attention to the facts.

Posted by: Donzinho | March 4, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

So Skip- You don't have anything to support Krauthammer's point either? I assume if you did, you would have included them somewhere. Instead it's your usual claptrap.

Like you said, it's Krauthammer's opinion vs. Adams. I can hardly even imagine a "fact" that would prove a War started 8 years ago led to what we are seeing today. The near innumerable number of factors that lead to a democratic revolution combined with all the events that have occurred between 2003 and today make a causation argument irresponsible and, frankly, arrogant.

And all the arguments you made against the anti-victory crowd apply in reverse to the pro-war crowd. You need Bush to have meant the war to spread democracy b/c the other justifications were proven to be false. The pro-war desperately need to believe this or else they're just war mongers.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

George Bush's ever changing reasons for attacking Iraq in 2003......

1. Saddam Hussein was partly behind the 9/11/01 attacks on the US..proved FALSE

2. Saddam Hussein had terrible weapons of mass destruction that he was going to give Al Qaeda to use against the US....FALSE again!

3. When those two bogus reasons fell flat...then Bush stated "We're bringing Democracy to Iraq"....hooey.

4,400 brave US killed, 40,000 maimed and woundeed, 115,000 innocent Iraqi killed...and for what?...one two-bit dictator hiding in a rat hole. Viva Democracy!

Posted by: logcabin1836 | March 4, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I agree that crediting Bush with what's going on in the Middle East is revisionist history at its finest. Only misty-eyed revisionists would find vindication for the 'Freedom Agenda' in what's happening two years after Bush left office.
What changed in Tunisia, in Egypt, in Yemen and in Libya since Bush left office that had those nations' citizens decide NOW was the time to rise up? Why didn't all this happen on Bush's watch?
It would seem logical to conclude that these uprisings are in fact completely devoid of Bush Freedom Agenda inspiration. Why would a citizenry who believes in the Bush Freedom Agenda wait until after its advocate was out of office to rise up? What assistance - moral or otherwise - would they expect if the man who fashioned the Freedom Agenda is no longer in power in the U.S.?

Posted by: ChrisLorrain | March 4, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Bush's vision of the future is proving to be correct. History will vindicate the actions of the US."

LOL....Bush lied. The actions of the US have NOTHING to do with what's going on in the Middle East today. What would we say if the people who are protesting vote in a Taliban like government? We would have the same reaction to that as we had when the Palestinians DEMOCRATICALLY voted Hamas into power.

This is just another lame attempt by the GOP to re-write history. Another lame attempt as all of the lame attempts that they have made to turn Ronald Reagan into some sort of demi-god. The man was a doddering fool and more of a puppet to big business than any sort of real leader.

And now look....the GOP is trying to create a legend out of an idiot who failed miserably as President. A man who should be in jail now for all types of war profiteering, the attack on America called 9/11 and many other treasonous acts against the USA.

We agreed to invade a country that didn't attack us based on lies. The Bush Administration also outed one of its own CIA agents because her husband wouldn't go along with the lie and provide false reports that supported the BUSH "doctrine".

History will always show the truth, even though certain people will always try to re-write it for their own twisted benefit.

Sad.

Posted by: massmedia77 | March 4, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

SkipSailing, the problem is that, as I mentioned, Iraq's US-supported government is also undergoing uprisings. So are you saying that the "freedom" initiative" is working, even within Iraq? This seems rather nonsensical.

Iraq is not an independently functioning democratic state. At this point, it's still just another puppet government, partially supported by its master state. Is this what other countries should be aspiring to?

Also - Pres. Bush's speech was not about the freedom initiative. The "freedom initiative" isn't about the laudable goal that, hopefully, all Americans believe in - that is, that governments that are democratic in nature, with sufficient precautions to protect the minority, are a good thing. I fully agree with Pres. Bush's statement that you quoted.

And again I will remind you - this has nothing to do with being a liberal or a conservative. Traditional conservative doctrine, if there is such in this kind of situation, has been isolationist. Attempting to somehow "own" democratization of the world as either a conservative or a liberal is simply silly. Both Libs and Cons overwhelmingly believe in the democratic process, and Libs and Dems mostly believe in a Republican form of government - and, frankly, I know of no one personally that doesn't think that the world would be a better place with more governments of our type in place.

Posted by: iamweaver | March 4, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Kruathammer is a shameless stooge - but everyone knows that.
Keep your eyes on McCain; he's drooling at the possibility of war with Libya. He can see that the public taste for the Afgan war is waining - he knows he needs to get something started and this week has given him his best chance. He was a patriot once, but now he's a shill for arms manufacturors.

Posted by: michael5 | March 4, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The protests against Arab nation regimes have spread TO Iraq, not from it. A WaPo article in today's paper said that the al Maliki government has been using violence against anti-government protests, same as in places like Iran. The article said that 29 people have been killed in protests in Iraq.

Krauthammer and the other neocons may want us to believe that George Bush bestowed democracy on the benighted natives of the Middle East, a task that the British colonialists used to call "the White Man's Burden." But the only burden that particular white man left us with is trillions of dollars in debt for his unfunded wars and more than 4000 killed and many times that number of soldiers maimed for life.

Posted by: Spacer | March 4, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Methinks the B.D.S. lunatic left doth protest too much.

Reagan was correct.

Bush was correct.

Krauthammer is correct.

And you're all just a bunch of small and petty simpletons.

But you keep fighting that fight you love. You know, the one against reality.

Posted by: etpietro | March 4, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

As Iraq falls apart, will the neocons blame Obama?
Obviously.

"With influence from the United States waning as the military prepares to withdraw at the end of the year, Mr. Maliki’s critics say that one legacy of the eight-year American occupation is a democratically elected leader from the country’s Shiite majority who has far more power than its Constitution intended.

Critics said that the court ruling in January was a particularly damaging blow to the country’s voting process and feeble economy. Sean Kane, the program officer for Iraq at the United States Institute of Peace, a Congressionally financed research center, said that the ruling directly contradicted Iraq’s Constitution, which he said clearly states that the commissions do not fall under the prime minister’s office.

Referring to the recent court ruling, Aliya Nasaif, a lawmaker from the Iraqiya coalition, a rival to Mr. Maliki’s State of Law bloc, said: “Because there is no law, you will find him overwhelming other institutions. This is the beginning of dictatorship. We are regressing by centuries.” NYT

Dictatorship, at least they know how that works. Too bad about the war. Now they get a Shia dictator instead of a Sunni. At least they won't die in the millions fighting Iran anymore.

I'm not sure about the regressing by centuries, that doesn't comport with history I know, depending on how many centuries you want to look back.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey pemullen!

Did you forget that congress voted based on information provided to them by the White House and CIA that was fabricated or otherwise altered so that it fit the desire of the White House?

If congress voted the way it did based on factual data and the truth from POTUS you would have a valid point. But because congress was misled your point is as valid as Dick Cheney's continued insistence that WMO was found in Iraq.

You also overlook the basic fact that while Saddam had WMO (we know this because he used them in the war with Iran), he destroyed them after the 1st Gulf War, which was verified by the inspection regime.

Bush's argument was not that Iraq had the weapons continuously but that they had RESTARTED production and invented ways to hide it....

Nice try but your logic falls flat on the lies and innuendo Bush used to get his way. Shame on you. And shame on all the fools who continue to defend this fraud on the American people.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | March 4, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

You got your numbers wrong mike85:
A total of 133 members of the House, including Pelosi and six republicans voted against invading Iraq.
In the Senate, twenty-three Democrats--including Kennedy and one Republican-- voted against the invasion.

Posted by: jmk833 | March 4, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

[logcabin1836 misquotes: "George Bush's ever changing reasons for attacking Iraq"]

*RUBBISH* The 22 legitimate casus belli cited by a bi-partisan CONGRESS (not Booosh) against Saddam were clear.

Saddam did try to kill a former American president; the U.N. embargo was violated (as were its inspection protocols); the 1991 accords were ignored; the genocide of brave Kurds did happen; suicide bombers were being given bounties; terrorists (including those involved into the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) were given sanctuary by Saddam; and on and on.
http://www.husseinandterror.com/

Your anti-American smear campaign in the context of Kaddafi's terrorist massacres are grotesque.

*RUBBISH*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 4, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

From the article:
" The American people didn't support war in Iraq because they wanted to establish a democracy; they supported the war because the president of the United States told them that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction"
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Everytime this statement comes up it discredits whatever article in which it is mentioned.
The WMD situation was shown to the entire congress which almost totally agreed that what they were being shown by international inspectors and observers was convincing enough to act on. In agreement were Sens Kennedy, Kerry, Clinton and other liberal luminaries. So enough with the "we were lied to" baloney.

Posted by: jimbob3 | March 4, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

".....the Neo-Cons think the uprisings are abad thing because the Islamists will take over and the Neo-Cons think it's a good thing because GB inspired them to seek freedom. So which is it? Are they just playing both sides so they can claim they were right no matter what?......

"Posted by: RealConservative | March 4, 2011 1:05 PM"

And that's the key question that slugs like Krauthammer won't answer, they won't take a stand one way or another, just leaving all their moral-relativistic options open for future use.

As an aside, to those still blathering about Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons against his own people, yes, with our blessing, Hussein used these weapons against Iranian troops and the people of Halabja, Iraq.

Hey, here's a whole bunch of pics with Donald Rumsfeld enthusiastically meeting Saddam Hussein back in 1983. (The link goes to the results of a google image search.)

http://tinyurl.com/4tclwa8

So here's another batch of questions for those like Krauthammer pushing this nonsense about the easily-debunked "Bush freedom agenda"

Does the suffering of the Iraqi people matter when the US was propping up the Hussein crime family financially, militarily, commercially and diplomatically?

Does the US, and it's leading warmongers/chickenhawks like Krauthammer bear any responsibility for the misery and pain Saddam Hussein inflicted on his people when he was our puppet for decades?

If not, why?

Or does the suffering of the Iraqis only count and matter after Iraq invaded Kuwait?

Why were the same voices, like Krauthammer, so loudly insistent, now, about the easily-debunked "Bush freedom agenda" so quiet about brutal dictators-Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran-kept in power by US support?

Don't expect Krauthammer, or the rest of the Bush Jr/Cheney deadenders to answer these questions logically and ethically, as there's no way to do so with their mindset.

And if the Bush Jr/Cheney deadenders can show, logically, how the US is in a much stronger position now, especially militarily, because of our completely self-inflicted Iraq fiasco, then do give it a try.

Posted by: kingcranky | March 4, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

What happened? Is Soros all out of punch and pie?

Why isn't billionaire progressive George Soros financing any unhinged Leftist rent-a-mob rallies against The Obamateur's summary execution of (un-Mirandized!) civilians by Reaper drone airstrikes in Pakistan?

Afterall, The Obamateur's tactics are clearly more "violent" than Mubarak's secret police beatings.

The Obamateur's policy to use Reaper drones to target (un-Mirandized!) civilians has spiked without a peep from the Leftist morality police. Get busy, progressives.

Soros should pay Rev. Wright to burn a Koran every day until The Obamateur regime flees the country.

*Rage against the machine*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 4, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Recall the climactic scene from “LOTR: Return of the King” when Sauron’s Ring melts in the crack of Mount Doom; The Dark Tower disintegrates; and Mordor itself swallows up the enemies of Middle Earth?

That’s what we’re witnessing in the Middle East today as Islamo-autocratic power melts in the fires of Iraqi democratization.

Saruman Soros and Wormtongue Obama can now only watch in frustration as Bush and Cheney are born triumpantly on eagles’ wings into history... The End

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 4, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh, Iraq is in terrible trouble. I know it is all Obama's fault (everything is) but this is not going to end pretty...

"Fear has also extended to the central bank, where officials said they worried Mr. Maliki would now have the power to order the institution to print money to cover Iraq’s growing budget deficits. Such a move would weaken the value of Iraq’s anemic currency and lead to rapid inflation.

“Our fear is that they will now see it as their money,” the bank’s senior adviser, Dr. Mudher M. Salih Kasim, said."

Oh, don't worry about that Doctor Salih Kasim, dictators who think they own the currency? Well...ah, anyhoo, Maliki is our dictator and one thing we know about USA USA supported dictators, they always promise democratic reforms.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Bush was and is a total failure-in all departments. Krauthammer-Kristol-Hume were the Three Stooges. Still are.

Posted by: rias2500 | March 4, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

jimbob3 writes "The WMD situation was shown to the entire congress which almost totally agreed that what they were being shown by international inspectors and observers was convincing enough to act on. In agreement were Sens Kennedy, Kerry, Clinton and other liberal luminaries. So enough with the "we were lied to" baloney."

_____________________

As I recall it, those international inspectors kept insisting that the were NO WMDs -- it was the CIA and the Pentagon that claimed the WMDs were there, and congressional democrats were simply acting on the false information they were being fed. Enrolling congress -- republicans or democrats -- in blame for Iraq is invalid: if I hear fire alarm I leave the building, and it's not my fault if it was a false alarm. George W. pulled the fire alarm...

Posted by: Bookbinder | March 4, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone imagine The Obamateur invoking Article 51 on Kaddafi?

"He counted on America to be passive. He counted wrong.”
--RWR--
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5fOq9PYp8A

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 4, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Serwer's Orwellian revisionism conveniently ignores Bush's second inaugural address:

"We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

"America’s vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation’s security, and the calling of our time.

"So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

Now, Mr. Serwer may not agree with Bush's "Freedom Agenda," but he can't deny that it was a driving force behind Bush's foreign policy. Perhaps that's why Libyans are now calling on BUSH to overthrow Gadhafi.


Posted by: hoyatiger | March 4, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

How come there is no agitation for freedom and democracy in Saudi Arabia, if what is happening in the Arab (Middle East) is a result of Bush's "push for democracy" in that part of the world? After all, Saudi Arabia is probably the most oppressive (religiously, politically, gender-wise) nation in the Arab world. Women are not allowed to drive and they must walk (as a matter of requirement) several feet behind their husbands or male family members. A woman is NOT ALLOWED to go out (walking) on her own unless they are accompanied by their husbands or male relatives. Women are not allowed to use the internet unless (in a few very limited cases) it is related to the execution of their professional (job) responsibilities.

And by the way, how about all the opinion pieces Charles Knuckle-Headmer wrote in 2002 and thereafter in support of George “Wobbly” Bush's claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was connected to the 9-11 attacks and those were good reasons for the US to invade Iraq? When were the people of this country told that the reason for us invading Iraq was to spread democracy in the Middle East? And if that was the reason then why did we not also invade China, North Korea, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Libya, Cuba, Venezuela, etc.

Posted by: jene_njonjo | March 4, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The thing about Krauthammer and his ilk is that they don't give two hoots about the Arabs.

What they care about is claiming vindication for their view of America the Mighty, the Righteous, America the Defender of Capitalism.

Posted by: j3hess | March 4, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

[Bookbinder denied: "Enrolling congress -- republicans or democrats -- in blame for Iraq is invalid"]

*RUBBISH* The 22 legitimate casus belli cited by a bi-partisan CONGRESS (not Booosh) against Saddam were clear.

Saddam did try to kill a former American president; the U.N. embargo was violated (as were its inspection protocols); the 1991 accords were ignored; the genocide of brave Kurds did happen; suicide bombers were being given bounties; terrorists (including those involved into the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) were given sanctuary by Saddam; and on and on.
http://www.husseinandterror.com/

Don't be a Soros-enabled Saddam-hugger your whole life.

*RUBBISH*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 4, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Arabs hating the U.S. military for being in the Mideast, and, Arabs hating the U.S. for not playing a military role in the mideast.
This is the point of Krauthammer's column. I enjoyed reading it immensely. I always have to wait for Krauthammer in order to read anything by a talented opinion writer.

Posted by: kls1 | March 4, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Never forget it was American military might that compelled Kaddafi to surrender his WMDs and bedwet:

"I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq and I was afraid."

*Bush-tastic!*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 4, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Now, Mr. Serwer may not agree with Bush's "Freedom Agenda," but he can't deny that it was a driving force behind Bush's foreign policy.
-------------

Bush didn't even have a "Freedom Agenda" after his claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction" were exposed as a big fat lie. Bush's real agenda was "Let's start a war to boost my job approval ratings and come up with a reason for the war later."

Posted by: Spacer | March 4, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Good points, Greg. I find it funny that even serious commentators try to ascribe a strategic rational for the moving target that was the "Bush doctrine." It's tough to do, because it was kind of all over the place and not really backed up with substance.

If we're to be intellectually honest, I think we need to consider the idea that strategy was not a part of it, but that we simply had a president that was over his head, did not know what to do, and was making it up as he went along.

Posted by: Buddydog | March 4, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The people comparing what's happening in the Middle East to Middle Earth fantasies are they themselves not in touch with any kind of reality any more than the people who are giving Bush credit for what's happening.

If the middle east/north African uprisings fail then the conservatives will blame it on Obama and if they succeed they'll give Bush credit.

None of them give Bush the credit for a war based on lies that drove our deficit to new heights and sent over 4,000 of our brave men and women home in body bags!

And anyone giving Krauthammer credit for being brilliant is as vile as Krauthammer himself. If you really hang on Charlies every word then you need to get a life.

Posted by: davidbronx | March 4, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I find it ironic that anyone is trying to credit G.W. Bush (remember, he was being called "shrub" during the campaign?) with the cry for freedom now coursing through the Middle East. The President's motivation was simple: strike back at Al Qaeda, and finish what G. H. W. Bush began but could not finish.
Yes, Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, at least once upon a time. He did use them in the Iran/Iraq war, and against his own people. But the implication in the carefully staged photos and video clips to justify the war was that his scientists were still working on refining and improving those weapons. That was the big lie.
What drove us into the war was hubris - GW wanting to have a legacy - incited by his VP, whose friends at Halliburton saw a fantastic opportunity for outrageous, scandalous, gargantuan profit, at American expense.
Think about it. We invade. We destroy Iraqi assets, weapons, military infrastructure. But we can't leave the country defenseless, so it all has to be rebuilt. A lot of infrastructure falls into disrepair. It also has to be rebuilt. We need to win "hearts and minds" in Iraq. Who are you gonna call to manage all the construction required? Halliburton, Blackwater, and related companies, that's who.
By the time we had realized what we were into, the die was already cast. Having expended billions trying to create a democracy with our own chosen despot at its head, we were stuck pouring billions per month in addition to protect our troops. Small matter then if a billion here or there didn't make it into an actual project for the people of Iraq. We had an American company to support, an American legacy, a "Democratic" tyranny, to perpetuate on the Iraqi people, all in the name of "supporting our troops."
The wind of democracy sweeping through the Middle East is a repudiation of the "Freedom Initiative" as expressed by GW. It may result in freely elected governments in some countries, or it may be subverted by well-organized groups with specific agendas. But it will be Democracy in much the same way as our Founding Fathers understood it. You can't predict how it will turn out, but it will belong to the people of the Middle East, for good or for ill.

Posted by: PLMAnnapolis | March 4, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Stop making sense!

It's very confusing!

Posted by: binkynh | March 4, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Eight years after Operation Iraqi Freedom began, the butcher’s bill is in: 4,400 U.S. dead, 37,000 wounded, 100,000 Iraqi dead, half a million widows and orphans, half of Iraq’s Christian population in exile, the other half terrorized and a Shia Iraq drifting toward Tehran. For what? Al-Qaida was not in Iraq in 2003, but it is there now.

Posted by: dh110713 | March 4, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I don't see many people supporting the Democracy agenda that Bush pushed very aggressively in a post 9/11 world, which either means that the Post's online readers are demographically aligned with the left, or the people willing to support Bush are working at their jobs. :)

Weapons of mass destruction was a pretense for going into Iraq, but most people on the right were aware that the real goal was to plant the seeds of liberty in the middle of a region that had no viable means of hope towards freedom and liberty without our support. This isn't about Bush or Obama, but about the worlds superpower using it's political capital to promote its ideals and principles globally that provides for a much safer future. The rumpus going on in the Middle East today is as much a derivative of those decisions as is our pumping $800B from the Fed....causing the price of grain imports to go up 2-3x and creating a tipping point in nations where food is the most valued of all commodities. Same thing happened with Iran in the Carter years...where 'the people' of Iran finally had enough and did something about it. It's unfortunate that Islamist's took over, but hopefully those who are front and center in these protests have the enduring political will to expand and enhance the rights of all minorities, including Christians.

Talk about irony of all ironies...that the US left would support an administration that has screwed the impoverished parts of the world through it's f'ed up monetary policy. IMHO...if these people are screwed because they can't eat, the best outcome for the Western world would be for us to end up with 10-12 modest attempts at democracy in the Middle East vs. none....and get the Mubarek's of the world out of their palaces.

If, however, our President is either unwilling or uanble to use his political capital at a time that the world is demanding it...then what good is it? As Charles points out...if these people who are also leading the protests are asking for our help...why are they asking for our help by imposing no fly zones? I thought they hated us after 8 years of GW. Or....perhaps they didn't and that was merely the narrative that the Post and Times were building.

Don't judge W for another 15 years...until we see what results in the Middle East. And I won't judge BO, until we see what our health care system looks like in 15 years.

Posted by: egray1 | March 4, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the analysis, but it is not necessary. Everybody knows that Krauthammer is a partisan right-wing hack, and there is little chance that truth will ever flow from his pen.

Posted by: gposner | March 4, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."
--------------------------------------
This is the policy of every US President. Tee question isn't whether Bush thought democracy was good or whether increased democracy was good for the US. The question is whether the policy was to use military force to spread democracy.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Final point...for those of you who continue to call W an 'idiot.'

If he was sinister enough to lie about WMD, don't you think he'd be sinister enough to produce WMD to prove his sinister theory?

I can't recall what the vote was in the Senate and House, but I do recall that the UN was failing to support our move....becuase of some billions of $ being misappropriated to UN officials and their families/friends through the UN managed Food for Oil program.

Posted by: egray1 | March 4, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Never forget it was American military might that compelled Kaddafi to surrender his WMDs and bedwet:

"I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq and I was afraid."

It took The Obamateur to put Kaddafi back in the hostage extortion business.

Can anyone imagine The Obamateur invoking Article 51 on Kaddafi?

"He counted on America to be passive. He counted wrong.”
--RWR--
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5fOq9PYp8A

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 4, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

The Depth of Moral Depravity - - -

G.W. "born again" Playboy Bush's drummed up Invasion of Iraq in order to parade as a War Commander in Chief.

It only costs thousands of our troops lives, maimed tens of thousands of them horribly, decimated countless of our soldiers families, killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children, AND stuck us into a hopeless expansion of death and misery in Afghanistan.

His evisceration of Governmental Regulations for clean air, preservation of forests, clean water....And deregulation of Wall Street (also thank Texas' Phil Graham and Arizona’s John McCain for the one) slammed us AND Obama with a herculean economic nightmare . . . . .

AND don’t forget how much his Unpaid for War and Tax Cuts for Oil, Coal mega-corps and his wealthy colleagues contributed to our humongous deficit!

Geeze! How IGNORANT can people be???
GW BUSH was without a doubt the most despicable destructive self-serving President that we were fools enough to put in Office!
THAT is a fact!

Posted by: lufrank1 | March 4, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

egray1:
"If he [Bush] was sinister enough to lie about WMD, don't you think he'd be sinister enough to produce WMD to prove his sinister theory?"

Bush and his cronies simply assumed they'd have a quick and easy victory and nobody would care much whether or not there'd ever been any WMDs there. Nothing succeeds like success, as the saying goes. Things didn't work out quite the way they planned. I don't know whether Bush is an idiot, but he was one of the most incompetent presidents in US history.


Posted by: Spacer | March 4, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Dear Adam, how do you do it? Having to work with someone like a Krauthammer who bends logic to indefensible positions. The idea of the Bush Doctrine having an effect on the current uprisings is pure non-sequitur. It's beyond understanding that nay newspaper that wishes to promote itself as offering real journalism would want to print the ravings and screed of such a man.

Posted by: GDWymer | March 4, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Mr Serwer's piece must be linked elsewhere. Interesting cross currents and new commenters. That's great!

For too many here Adam's essay is just an opportunity to once a spew anti victory talking points that were memorized years ago.

Reading most of the anti victory ranters here doesnt' result in any new insight at all. It is just the same old hacky sack, repeated by rote by the dogma driven sheep on the left.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"The American people didn't support war in Iraq because they wanted to establish a democracy."

I'm a political idiot, and even I knew that the facade was to establish a democracy, trying to follow the old old old strategy of the ancient Greeks, it's easier to Hellenize them than it is to constantly go to war. And even my myopic buttocks in 2003 saw the tanks rolling through the dessert through the cell phone cams, and knew we'd be there for at least a decade, and Hellenization was the goal, and Iraq fit that bill in addition to other convenient reasons. Yes, we did know. But for both political and psychological reasons you can't TELL people that's the reason; you can't tell either side. Clearly, there are still a lot of ways this could go, and clearly not all can be pointed back to Iraq at this time, but people that hate Bush will have to hem and haw and eat crow for centuries if this does go well. I really don't care. I don't have strong opinion either way other than his interpersonal skill were pretty poor for the job. But the thesis that "Americans didn't..." Yes we did. We're smerter than meets the eye.

Posted by: NovaMike | March 4, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

If the Bush invasion of Iraq is the motivating force behind the current uprisings, why weren't they happening in 2004? Saddam was gone then, their motivation should have been adequate.

Posted by: dlk117561 | March 4, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

If the Bush invasion of Iraq is the motivating force behind the current uprisings, why weren't they happening in 2004? Saddam was gone then, their motivation should have been adequate.

Posted by: dlk117561 | March 4, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@spamsux1: "Virtually the entire world believed Saddam had WMDs, including his closest generals."

Oh, how I love revisionist history. The fact that you use the world "believe" rather than "knew for a fact" says a lot. Putting aside the "entire world" falsity, why did these people claim to believe these things? Perhaps because the administration put so much stock into supporting and exaggerating what they wanted to believe rather than what the iffy facts and hazy intelligence suggested? See the recent admission by Chalabi that everything he said was a deliberate lie--such a shock to those of us paying attention at the time.

Thanks for calling out Krauthammer on his cynical reality lapse, Mr. Serwer. I think the last time I read such a crapload of cherry-picked facts and spin-doctoring was....probably during the run-up to the Iraq invasion.

I especially love how it doesn't seem to occur to him that the reason Arab citizens aren't in the streets calling for American blood this time is maybe because we aren't using these events to so ham-handedly insert ourselves into nation-building to the detriment of said nations.

Posted by: BlueDog1 | March 4, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The saddest thing to me is the fact that so many young Americans gave their lives and untold tens of thousands of Iraqis were killed to get Iraq to where it is or isn't today. It's just possible that the protests sweeping the Middle East today could have done the same job without the loss of a single Amerian life and destruction of the Iraqi infrastructure.

Posted by: wireman65 | March 4, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

If the Bush "Plan" for the Middle East was about deposing a dictator (who was not even a threat to his neighbors, much less the U.S) to start a chain reaction creating democracies across the Middle East, then why didn't they just say that, instead of creating the lies about WMD to justify the Iraqi War. The willful deceit is what democratic lawmakers signed on to, and that is why everyone is so hateful toward Bush.

Posted by: manitocat | March 4, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I can't recall what the vote was in the Senate and House, but I do recall that the UN was failing to support our move....becuase of some billions of $ being misappropriated to UN officials and their families/friends through the UN managed Food for Oil program.

Posted by: egray1

------------------------------

You recall correctly the UN did not support our move. You recall being told their motivation was corruption, and not the fact that we were wrong. Guess what. We were wrong.

Posted by: leftcoaster | March 4, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

And you're all just a bunch of small and petty simpletons.

But you keep fighting that fight you love. You know, the one against reality.
_______________________________

Leaving aside the childlike name calling, we can all gain some insight as to how true Dr. K's thesis is by reviewing the realtime commentary of people on the streets in Libya who when asked if they supported a no-fly zone said "no they (US) will turn us into another Iraq."

Posted by: bob29 | March 4, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Bush was definitely catalytic to recent events. Information technologies facilitated them. Oppressed citizenry have been the driving force.

But, if people had tried this in Iraq in 2003, Saddam would have smoked them. The world is a much better place without him. The sacrifices our men and women in uniform made have had much more of an impact than chronic Bush-bashers will ever admit.

Posted by: dogwolf | March 4, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

The Liberal Libel machine is alive and working overtime. This dreck is akin more to toilet paper writing than newspaper writing.

Posted by: MoonDoggie | March 4, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Chuckles Krauthammer is always wrong. Why should today be any different?

Posted by: ExConservative | March 4, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

this is a truly amazing statement:
===============
You recall correctly the UN did not support our move. You recall being told their motivation was corruption, and not the fact that we were wrong. Guess what. We were wrong
===================

We were right and the UN is corrupt. The oil for palaces program was a perfect example of UN corruption.

the left needs to believe that the Iraq invasion was a huge mistake and that all manner of great things coming to pass now might have happened anyway. Yeah, I'm sure.

but the fact remains that Saddam's regime was ugly, brutal and corrupt. And the UN was right in there getting their fair share. Leftcoaster would love it if we forgot names like Kojo Annan and Bennon Sevon but we won't.

The Iraq war was a masterstroke as a response to 9/11. And we're seeing the long term after shocks of that now. Bush was right, the anti victory leftists were wrong (yet again)

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

This is so funny. Our president the great uniter.....The one beloved by the world over...Sits in the White House and on his TV what does he see......Arabs on the streets of Libya asking for George Bush to help them defeat their dictator.

Posted by: bjeagle784 | March 4, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

'Krauthammer's Wrong'

'Dog Bites Man'

Hardly news.

Posted by: rparker125 | March 4, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget seeing is believing. Iraq is the proof the region needed to see that you can still want freedom of opinion and elections and still be Muslims. Who put that idea in their heads. Bush did. Where's Obama been. Hiding under the table until the global community condemns Gaddafi first and then Obama jumps on the bandwagon. Is that leadership. No it's not. Bush never said in order to have freedom of opinion and elections you have to convert. It's funny how the Democrats, the left and especially the MSM has an opinion that is totally different then the people who live in the region.

Posted by: houstonian | March 4, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

So, democracy is breaking out all over the middle east as the conservatives here are claiming.

Where? Tunisia? Why are 4000 Tunisians a week sailing off across the Mediterranean to islands off of Italy trying to get away?

Egypt ... any signs of a democracy yet? Algeria ... Yemen ... The Palestinians did democratically elect Hamas, and in Lebanon Hezbollah was democratically elected .. so I suppose you're right about that after all.

Look, I understand you conservatives want to bash the liberals, but your desperate battle against reality is why the independents keep throwing your candidates out. Pandering you to morons is all your politicians know how to do.

Don't be too surprised if we toss your loser GOP out once again in 2012 ... and that sucks.

Posted by: eezmamata | March 4, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't see anyone on the right commenting here that is proclaiming that democracy is just around the corner. eezmamata is just setting up another straw man. The technique is now so old and over used that it is both obvious and tiresome.

the guy makes up a position HE thinks others have taken and then describes why he thinks this position is wrong.

eezmamata is arguing with himself. Hmmm. I wonder who will win.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28, another desperate battle against reality. What makes you think any of these countries are going to have democratic governments, ever?

I know, you were suckered into humping bush's leg and you have to defend him against all comers now that you're so ashamed of yourself for being so wrong. It's a standard conservative maneuver, blame your opponents for what you yourself are guilty of having done.

I didn't hate Bush, skipsailing28, and I don't like Obama. I think we've had two consecutive presidents fighting for the honor of worst ever in a row, right at the time when we need a decent president in office the most.

But here you are, defending one of them, like you had a clue. Bush is your fault. Obama is the liberal's fault. You and the liberals are equal and opposite in value, both approaching zero.

Posted by: eezmamata | March 4, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark wrote:


"So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."
--------------------------------------
This is the policy of every US President. Tee question isn't whether Bush thought democracy was good or whether increased democracy was good for the US. The question is whether the policy was to use military force to spread democracy.

======================================

Is this REALLY the policy of every US President? Has Obama ever stated it, much less defend it? Did the great orator say it at his inaugural, or was he too busy apologizing for America's transgressions?

I do recall JFK promising to "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." Alas, the Democrats over the past 50 years seem to have drifted away from that position.

You Bush-haters are hilarious! And you can't stand it when events prove that Bush was on the "right side of history," which all of you crypto-Marxist lefties rate so highly.

Just wait a generation. Bush will then be regarded by your children and grandchildren -- if they can read, which is doubtful given their parents -- to be the equal (at least) of Harry S Truman, who was also hated in his time but who is now regarded as one our best presidents.

Posted by: hoyatiger | March 4, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"We were right and the UN is corrupt. The oil for palaces program was a perfect example of UN corruption.

"the left needs to believe that the Iraq invasion was a huge mistake and that all manner of great things coming to pass now might have happened anyway. Yeah, I'm sure."

You can assume that the only reason people disagreed was that they were corrupt but guess what. Bush was wrong about WMD, he was wrong about how Iraq would turn out. You can pretend it's a model democracy now, but I bet you're not going there for a visit to let the Iraqi people thank you in person.

Al Gore predicted exactly what would happen if we invaded Iraq. Lots of people were opposed to the invasion who had nothing to do with the oil for food program.

The things coming to pass now needed the Internet and Wikileaks. It would not have happened without Twitter, Facebook, and mobile phones. That's what allowed these events to come to pass. The model started with Ushahidi in Kenya, and has been quietly growing ever since.

The example of Iraq? Do you honestly believe people are looking at Iraq since 2003 and wishing their country was that way too? Are they following the Iraq model? The Iraqi model is a big superpower rolls tanks in, busts up the joint, and sets up a new government. What is happening across the mideast now is completely different from what happened in Iraq.

I hope we won't repeat the disaster in Iraq. It gained us nothing, and it shows. The die-hard Bush supporters are the ONLY ones jumping to take credit and make this tenuous link between actions they are still - after 8 bloody years - trying to justify.

You may think you're right. You'll never convince the rest of the world.

Posted by: leftcoaster | March 4, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget al Jazeera. The serious journalism of Al Jazeera has been instrumental in this awakening of the Arabic speaking world. If texting, twitter, and facebook have permitted impromptu organisation of the proponents of change on a minute by minute basis, Al Jazeera has over an extended period of time opened minds to the potential for political change.
Secretary of State Clinton was on target to laud the network, its quality, and its integrity, particularly when compared to the hyper-ventilating domestic telejournalism as practiced in the U.S. One can't but suspect that she was thinking most specifically of the Murdoch outlets in making her courageous comments, but Fox has been merely leading its competitors in the race towards the bottom. It is the mud-wrestling media that is so responsible for the polarisation and radicalisation of American politics and the general incivility of civil discourse, all to the benefit of the few and the powerful. Mrs. Clinton deserves credit for having spoken the truth.

Posted by: rarignac | March 4, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget al Jazeera. The serious journalism of Al Jazeera has been instrumental in this awakening of the Arabic speaking world. If texting, twitter, and facebook have permitted impromptu organisation of the proponents of change on a minute by minute basis, Al Jazeera has over an extended period of time opened minds to the potential for political change.
Secretary of State Clinton was on target to laud the network, its quality, and its integrity, particularly when compared to the hyper-ventilating domestic telejournalism as practiced in the U.S. One can't but suspect that she was thinking most specifically of the Murdoch outlets in making her courageous comments, but Fox has been merely leading its competitors in the race towards the bottom. It is the mud-wrestling media that is so responsible for the polarisation and radicalisation of American politics and the general incivility of civil discourse, all to the benefit of the few and the powerful. Mrs. Clinton deserves credit for having spoken the truth.

Posted by: rarignac | March 4, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Very well put, Mr. Sargent.

But it's really no surprise to see Krauthammer and his contemoraries in the vast conservative media empire doing all they can to re-write history in favor of the worst world leader in modern history.

To the conservatives it goes like this: Anything good that happens in the world is thanks to Bush... (I'm not sure the recent uproar in the Middle East is "good" yet, but that's how they're spinning it now).

Anything bad that happens is Obama's fault (like the ecomonic, financial, health care, and international disasters he inherited from Bush).

The game plan has to be this simple because it's the only way for the narrow minded members of the far right to follow it **cough Sarah Palin cough** **ahem Sean Hannity ahem**

Posted by: jgarrisn | March 4, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Mr Serwer. The Arab protests and political demands are not about, and not caused by, the US.

Posted by: Philippa7 | March 4, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Adam,
A great piece.

Krauthy is a fraud:he wants to hijack the Great Arab Revolt paid for by the blood,sweat, tears and courage of young Arabs-and hand it over to Bush.

Bush's 'democrcay' = invasion,destruction and fragmentation of Iraq = one million iraqis dead,four million more tunrned into refugees,5000 Americans dead,billions of $US taxpayers money and the elevation of Iran into a regional power.

Bush's 'freedom agenda' is based on two pillars:the blind support of a racist apartheid colonial occupying jewish entity and the support and protection of the worst and most brutal and corrupt Arab tyrants such as Mubarak ,Saudi Arabia and otherrs.

If Bush were so sincere about freedom why did not he ever utter a single word about the oppressed, beisged PAlestinian Pepole who have been occupied or otherwise exiled for 63 years?

Krauthy's is not motivated by a conservative agenda-it is just a mask-he is motivated by by the isrli agenda because he is a jew. That is a fact. Recall Joe Liberman who suddenly jumped ship from the democratic party and moved over to support the invasion of iraq on behalf of isrl. Political correctness set aside:once a jew always a jew.

Posted by: asizk | March 4, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Good article! Kraut is such a repulsive being.

Posted by: wlockhar | March 4, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

LOL, did you all miss you meds today? For One thing they did find chemical weapons (weapons of mass destruction) and why did we argue in the first place? Because Colin Powell wanted the blessing of the EU! Screw the EU, they all had their hands in the oil for food scandal.
I suppose you all would credit Carter who helped bring the Shah down and saw the blood bath or the Iraq-Iran war follow?
That peanut farmer allowed the Iranians to enter our Embassy (oh yeah..students did that not agents of the gov!!!!)aqn act of war and tried to buy his way out with military parts.
Charles is mostly right, but you here inside the bubble of the wp can't see that so as usual you call him names.
By the way did November bother you? Remember the way you were "rewarded" for Obamacare etc?
Wait till 2012.
Even if Obama wins because the GOP runs an idiot the Senate will be gone too.
And Obamacare will go do in flames at SCOTUS.
Get your meds or try driving through flyover country and listen to people that aren't sharing your delusional view of the world.
You all really are just too funny.

Posted by: Saladin3 | March 4, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Dr Krauthammer is the most politically astute and insightful political commentator in the USA. His observations are almost always spot on, unlike most of the other WaPo columnists who are usually just reacting to Conservative deeds rather than sharing their own thoughts (thank goodness for that)

By insisting on imposing democracy in Iraq rather than implanting a new dictator, President Bush has unquestionably changed the Middle East forever. As Dr K admits, the democracy is not perfect but is developing. Unfortunately the Bush haters could never give him credit for anything, their hate is too strong.

President Bush realised that the Muslim extremists are not afraid to die but they are afraid of democracy. He planted the seed from which the tree of freedom from tyranny and religious extremism will grow. Well done President Bush and thank you for reminding us Dr K.

Posted by: mckenna7 | March 4, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Adam, thank you for this excellent analysis. The GOP is persistent in trying to rewrite history, and I'm glad there are thinkers like you and Greg to set the historical record straight.

Posted by: elscott | March 4, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

If, after 2 plus years, all our financial problems still belong to Bush, as our leftist friends tell us, then why shouldn't we also give Bush the credit for these democratic uprisings. After all, that was his agenda.

Posted by: Marin823 | March 4, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Very, very well written, although you shouldn't really waste your time on his silliness. Why he's even published in a respectable newspaper is the real question; he should be in the comics section.

Everything so said is correct and sensible; of course invasion of other countries or meddling in other peoples' affairs in never justified. In fact, I'd appreciate if the Post would keep other countries and their issues to the World News as it does not concern Americans.

Posted by: jgrace5 | March 4, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Bush Jr, a liar......

".....Weapons of mass destruction was a pretense for going into Iraq, but most people on the right were aware that the real goal was to plant the seeds of liberty in the middle of a region that had no viable means of hope towards freedom and liberty without our support......
"Posted by: egray1 | March 4, 2011 3:05 PM"


.....or just spectacularly incompetent?

"Final point...for those of you who continue to call W an 'idiot.' If he was sinister enough to lie about WMD, don't you think he'd be sinister enough to produce WMD to prove his sinister theory?....."
"Posted by: egray1 | March 4, 2011 3:10 PM"

Fair and balanced, YOU decide.

Sometimes, the debunking is just way too easy.

".....The Iraq war was a masterstroke as a response to 9/11. And we're seeing the long term after shocks of that now. Bush was right, the anti victory leftists were wrong (yet again)

"Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 5:02 PM"

Let's review:

Suicide/car bombers now operate on a regular basis after being so ruthlessly suppressed by the Hussein regime.

Iran is much more strengthened after taking out their main counterweight, Iraq.

US trillions of dollars in debt due to not funding the Iraq & Afghanistan campaigns with the regular budget, but supplementals, thereby passing off the financial cost to our children and grandchildren.

Being in such a rush to invade & occupy Iraq that troops were deployed WITHOUT adequate body and vehicle armor.

US much weaker militarily now than before invading and occupying Iraq.

al-Qaeda NOT destroyed, and Usama bin Laden still free because Bush Jr cut & run from Afghanistan, to Iraq, instead of finishing off bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

Yeah, that Iraq invasion was sure some "masterstroke" all right.

If you were to go to Iraq yourself, and show just how well loved Bush Jr's "freedom agenda" is among the Iraqis you'd surely debunk we liberals, but I'm guessing that won't be happening anytime soon.

Come to think of it, why haven't the Iraqis invited Bush Jr, or Cheney, to address their Parliament as a way of showing gratitude for ridding them of Saddam Hussein?

So let's wrap up with some questions I posed earlier in this thread.

Does the suffering of the Iraqi people matter when the US was propping up the Hussein crime family financially, militarily, commercially and diplomatically?

Does the US, and it's leading warmongers/chickenhawks like Krauthammer bear any responsibility for the misery and pain Saddam Hussein inflicted on his people when he was our puppet for decades?

If not, why?

Or does the suffering of the Iraqis only count and matter after Iraq invaded Kuwait?

Why were the same voices, like Krauthammer, so loudly insistent, now, about the easily-debunked "Bush freedom agenda" so quiet about brutal dictators-Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran-kept in power by US support?

I'm guessing the Bush Jr deadenders will still stay silent regarding these questions.

Posted by: kingcranky | March 4, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

asizk wrote:

"Krauthy's is not motivated by a conservative agenda-it is just a mask-he is motivated by by the isrli agenda because he is a jew. That is a fact. Recall Joe Liberman who suddenly jumped ship from the democratic party and moved over to support the invasion of iraq on behalf of isrl. Political correctness set aside:once a jew always a jew."

Ah, the true voice of The Left.


Posted by: hoyatiger | March 4, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

.
So,
Daniel Pipes is a "Middle East scholar ?"
When did that happen, Dr. K ?
?

Posted by: BrianX9 | March 4, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Daniel Pipes has been a Middle East Scholar for decades, BrianX9. He can be controversial, but few claim that he hasn't studied the middle east extensively.

Posted by: iamweaver | March 4, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

krauthammer is not the first. eliot abrams started it, with a canned piece he had ready to send in as soon as mubarak stepped down. same claim: it's all thanks to w, the hundreds of thousands dead and maimed, the children born deformed from depleted uranium, and a legacy of torture as SOP. wolfowitz joined in, too, and now K. the neocons are trying to launder themselves by saying it's so; from the look of the comments above, not a lot of people are buying it.
here's another perspective: the e-word is fraying at the edges.

Posted by: LatAm1 | March 6, 2011 2:00 AM | Report abuse

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