TNR AND THE WAR….Generally speaking, I favor a warm embrace for people who once supported the war but have since seen the light. This is mostly a pragmatic choice. It’s easier for people to change their minds if they think their admission of faulty judgment will be welcomed instead of scorned, and since I want people to change their minds on this subject I figure it’s best to let bygones be bygones.
Even by my soft-hearted standards, though, today’s editorial from The New Republic renouncing their support for the war was remarkably clumsy and unsatisfying. TNR “deeply regrets its early support for this war,” the editors say, but they don’t provide a hint about why they regret their support. Is it just because things didn’t work out? Because they think things could have worked but they’re ashamed of not realizing that George Bush would bollocks it up? Because Saddam turned out not to have any WMD? Or what?
Nor do they give a clue about whether the Iraq disaster has prompted any kind of broader re-evaluation of their support for foriegn military adventures in the future. “We do not conclude that our past misjudgments warrant a rush into the cold arms of ‘realism,'” they say, but they don’t tell us what ? if any ? change in direction they do think is appropriate.
In fact, I can’t really figure out why they wrote the editorial. Does it presage a change of attitude toward Darfur? Iran? Peace talks with the Palestinians? Any change at all? It doesn’t really sound like it.