A FEW WEE QUESTIONS….I’m sure that conservative bloggers are feeling pretty smug about the Beinart–Drum–Atrios–Yglesias tiff regarding liberals and national security, but if I could have a moment of your time before you bust a collective gut over this, I’d like to suggest that you could all stand to have a brutally honest conversation about a few things yourselves. Just to get you started, here are a few questions ? numbered for easy reference:
Considering how Iraq has gone so far, do you still think that American military power is a good way to promote tolerance and democracy in the Middle East? Has your position on this changed in any way over the past two years?
Shortly after 9/11, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson said publicly that they thought the attacks were well-deserved retribution from God in response to moral decay ? as personified by gays, feminists, the ACLU, and NOW. Do you worry that Falwell and Robertson are identified by many as the face of the Republican party? Do you think President Bush has sufficiently distanced himself from them and their followers?
Is democracy promotion really one of your core concerns? Just how far are you willing to go to demonstrate your credibility on this subject? Note: President Bush’s policy toward either Pakistan or Saudi Arabia would be excellent case studies to bring this question to life.
On a related note, which do you think is more important to the Bush administration in the short term: preservation of a stable oil supply from the Middle East or spreading freedom and liberty throughout the region? Would you be interested in seeing the records of Dick Cheney’s 2001 energy task force to verify this? Please be extra honest with this question.
A substantial part of the Christian right opposes any compromise with Palestinians because they believe that Jewish domination of the region west of the Jordan River is a precondition for the Second Coming. Is this a reasonable belief? Or do you think these people qualify as loons who should be purged from the Republican party?
Yes or no: do you think we should invade Iran if it becomes clear ? despite our best efforts ? that they are continuing to build nuclear weapons? If this requires a military draft, would you be in favor?
If President Bush decides to substantially draw down our troop presence in Iraq after the January 30 elections, will you support that decision? Please answer this question prior to January 30.
Would you agree that people who accept Laurie Mylroie’s crackpot theories about Saddam Hussein’s involvement in 9/11 might be taking the threat of terrorism a little too seriously? What do you think should be done with them?
And you know what? These aren’t even the most embarrassing questions I could ask. But hey ? that’s just the moderate, civil-discourse-loving kind of guy that I am.
But I’ll bet Beinart and Atrios and Yglesias could come up with a few more if they wanted to. And they might not be as nice as me.