Last night I was riveted by this lecture given by Horowitz in Santa Barbara, CA, earlier this year. The lecture is on the real rationale behind the war in Iraq, the radicalization of the Democrat party, and the ineptitude of the Bush White House's handling of the public case for the war.
In the period between our rapid military conquest of Iraq and the consolidation of order, a time of intense insurgent violence, many liberal media pundits argued for an analogy between Iraq and Vietnam. In the sense of Vietnam being an unwinnable war, I demur. However, in the sense that liberalism undermined the public American will to complete the mission, I concur.
Horowitz explodes several myths about the war: Bill Clinton actually established our foreign policy to remove Saddam. The original rationale for deposing him was based in the fact that he remained in obstinate violation of seventeen UN sanctions. Iraq was not then a sovereign nation; it was on probation since the first Gulf War, under obligation to keep the terms imposed upon it by the victorious coalition forces.
Colin Powell made his overstated WMD case to the UN, after the U.S. congress had already approved the use of force to depose Saddam based on his violations of UN sanctions. The Democrat leadership initially largely supported the war, and only reneged after it became apparent that Howard Dean was the party front runner in early 2003.
Horowitz sharply criticizes the Bush Administration's selling of the war. He contends the rationale should have always been Saddam's demonstrated intent to neither live at peace nor to abide by international law. The WMD and democratization arguments could only be supplemental to the essential reasons for going into Iraq in the first place.
Amazingly, it appears that even now with things going well many conservatives are eager to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory out of the fantasy that America can return to its isolationist foreign policy of the early nineteenth century.