Categories
Great Britain Iraq

Why Bush’s Blunders are Derailing Plans for Thatcher’s Funeral

[digg-reddit-me]Britain’s Daily Mail reports that plans are already under way for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral – although she is in good health and not expected to kick off any time soon.  The article explains that long-term planning is necessary for any potential event that involves the Queen. This is the big news of the piece – that Lady Thatcher will be given the first State funeral for a non-royal since Winston Churchill, and only the sixth State funeral for a non-royal since 1800.

There is one snag in the current plans as traditionally soldiers line the route along which the coffin will travel, but:

there are insufficient troops available to line the route because the Armed Forces are so overstretched in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Categories
Election 2008 Iraq McCain Obama Politics

Iraq insists on withdrawal timetable

How does McCain respond to this?

My bet is that he does the only thing he can – ignore it, until he cannot ignore it any longer.

He cannot insist on keeping American troops in Iraq if the Iraqi government is demanding they be withdrawn.  He cannot insist on an open-ended commitment to Iraq if the Iraqi government refuses to sign any agreement that would allow American to remain troops in Iraq.  Or at least he cannot do either of these without explicitly demonstrating that America is acting as an empire in Iraq, rather than as a partner.

Barack Obama, in the meantime, can point to the fact that he is willing to adjust his position to account for a change in circumstances – and allow the Iraqis to set a date for the withdrawal of American troops. Neither Bush nor McCain can very well insist we are creating a democracy in Iraq if they also refuse to accept the demands of the democratically elected Iraqi government.

This is a good development for Barack Obama politically.

More important, it is a good sign for Iraq itself.  Presumably, if the Iraqi government is insisting on this, they do not anticipate chaos to accompany an American withdrawal.  Also – it is about time that they began to assert their sovereignty.

Categories
Election 2008 Foreign Policy Iraq McCain National Security Obama Politics Post 9/11 Generation The War on Terrorism

If that’s what you believe, Mr. McCain, you’ll have to draft me.

[Photo courtesy of christhedunn.]

Senator McCain:

You have said that Islamic extremism is:

the greatest evil, probably, that this nation has ever faced…

You have said that you think:

the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamic extremists…

You have explained that you:

think it’s clear that this [war in Iraq] is now part of a titanic struggle between radical Islamic extremism and Western standards and values…

You have said that the war in Iraq is the main front in the battle against:

the incredible evil of radical Islamic extremism…

In an interview, you explained that you would:

much rather lose a campaign than lose a war. Because [you] think there’s so much at stake.

You said, as you launched the general election campaign, that you have always:

put our country before any President – before any party – before any special interest – before [your] own interest.

Your website quotes an NPR reporter saying that you are:

of the school where if you’re going to do something you should do it right and you should commit sufficient resources…

You have traveled around the country in a bus called “the Straight Talk Express.”

I bring all this up because if you truly believe we are in this titanic struggle with the fate of our nation and our values at stake and you are willing to risk your candidacy to convince the American people of this, shouldn’t you be calling on all Americans to sacrifice to defeat this transcendent challenge to our way of life?

Why is it that the only things (those of us who aren’t in the military) are being asked to give up are some of our liberties at home and some of our national values as we turn to the “dark side” to defeat terrorism?

If the threat we face is so dire, we obviously need to marshal all of our resources to defeat it.  If we need to win in Iraq and Afghanistan, and if you know that the only thing worse than a war with Iran is an Iran with a nuclear weapons (and Iran seems determined to get nuclear weapons), and as Pakistan destabilizes and if we are truly fighting a generational war and with our military already stretched to a breaking point, and with our civilization itself apparently at stake, we cannot afford to go to war with the military we have – we need to use every societal resource to make sure we have the military we need.  We obviously will need a draft.

Mr. McCain – I believe that we face a very real threat from Muslim extremism.  I remember waking up on the morning of September 11.  I work in the Chrylser Building in Manhattan, and I am aware of the threat of terrorism as I travel the subways at rush hour.  I believe that military measures are necessary as part of an overall strategy to deal with the threat of Muslim extremism – especially in the area of the world where, according to experts, many of these extremists are gathered – from Chechyna, from Al Qaeda, from the Taliban – the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  I believe it is likely that Al Qaeda will strike America again.  I take this threat seriously.

But I don’t believe you are being straight with us.

Why haven’t you laid out some plan, aside from staying in Iraq indefinitely, to marginalize and defeat Muslims extremism?  Why isn’t this plan one of the centerpieces of your campaign?  If we can’t afford to lose this war, why do the measures you propose we take seem so half-hearted?

Everyone has their own experience.  I don’t know what you believe – but I do know that I love my country.  I was a big supporter of yours in your 2000 campaign – sending far too many emails around to my relatives, pasting a bumper sticker onto one of my school notebooks, and trying to convince my friends to support you.  I counted you as a personal hero when you stood up to the Bush administration as it authorized torture, when you stood up to Bush’s irresponsible tax cuts, when you condemned the Swift Boaters for the trash they were throwing in 2004, and when you fought for campaign finance reform.  But now you support those tax cuts and you have made it clear that you believe that the CIA should be allowed to torture.  Your line about Boumediene was shameful.  I don’t mean to be a jerk, but you’re not the candidate I once supported.

This campaign you are running now is far different from your campaign to remake Washington in 2000.  Instead you advocate the preemptive surrender of our values in war-making and the preemptive surrender of our liberties at home.  You speak of Iraq as a kind of American protectorate and confuse the extremely different enemies we face.

If you can convince me that the threat we face is dire enough, I will volunteer in whatever capacity I might be most useful.  If I believed we were facing an existential struggle for our civilization, I would join the military.  If I believed some leader had a realistic plan – based on more than naive hopes of democracy-building by invasion – I would do what I could to help.  As it is, I am doing what I think is necessary to win this war against Muslim extremism.

I believe the problems we are facing are more complex and more challenging than a repeat of the Second World War.  And I believe we need a president who can inspire us to rise to the approaching challenges, who can remain steadfast in defending American values, who will marshal our resources wisely in the fight against Muslim extremism, and who will call on Americans to serve their country to allow us to make it through these hard times and emerge stronger.  I believe we need a president who can lead our nation in this war against Muslim extremism.  That’s why I support Barack Obama.  He’s not perfect, but he understands the moment we are in and the challenges forthcoming better than you seem to.

So, Mr. McCain –

If you can’t convince me, and if you believe your own straight talk about the absolute necessity and urgency of this war, you’ll have to draft me.  And the rest of my generation.  But you’ll have to get enough votes first.

Good luck with that.

Sincerely,

Joe Campbell

Categories
Election 2008 Foreign Policy Iraq McCain Obama Politics The War on Terrorism

Obama versus McCain on Iraq

This is a political fight that I’d like to see.  And it looks like we’ve now got the chance.

From last night’s speech, excerpting the sections on Iraq:

And it’s not change when he promises to continue a policy in Iraq that asks everything of our brave men and women in uniform and nothing of Iraqi politicians – a policy where all we look for are reasons to stay in Iraq, while we spend billions of dollars a month on a war that isn’t making the American people any safer.

So I’ll say this – there are many words to describe John McCain’s attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush’s policies as bipartisan and new. But change is not one of them.

Change is a foreign policy that doesn’t begin and end with a war that should’ve never been authorized and never been waged. I won’t stand here and pretend that there are many good options left in Iraq, but what’s not an option is leaving our troops in that country for the next hundred years – especially at a time when our military is overstretched, our nation is isolated, and nearly every other threat to America is being ignored.

We must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in – but start leaving we must. It’s time for Iraqis to take responsibility for their future. It’s time to rebuild our military and give our veterans the care they need and the benefits they deserve when they come home. It’s time to refocus our efforts on al Qaeda’s leadership and Afghanistan, and rally the world against the common threats of the 21st century – terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. That’s what change is.

Categories
Iraq Politics The War on Terrorism

The Weekly Standard Jumps the Shark

Well, I only read The Weekly Standard on a weekly basis, so I missed this Dean Barnett gem from last Thursday in which he made exactly the same point I predicted and pre-ridiculed in one of my posts yesterday: that just as Reagan deserves credit for the collapse of the Soviet Union that his policies seem to have accidentally caused, so Bush deserves credit for the intra-extremist fight against Al Qaeda which his policies actually held off; not only that, but the fight was a result of Bush’s actual failures and Al Qaeda’s successes.  Ridiculous.  And apparently of exactly the quality that The Weekly Standard wants:

Since these have been George W. Bush’s wars, one would think he would receive at least a modicum of credit for any progress. Alas, if Bush is to receive credit, he’ll have to be patient just like Reagan was.

Categories
Foreign Policy Iraq Politics

The ultimate feelgood war

Simon Jenkins writing in The Guardian:

The Americans are right, that if you want something done in the world, get a nation to do it, not an inter-nation. I may be opposed to both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but there is a significant difference between them noticeable to any visitor to their capitals. In Baghdad, America is unmistakably in charge and the world follows. There is a clear line of command that leads, however misguidedly, to Washington. Things get done.

Afghanistan is the opposite, the embodiment of Tharoor’s globalism in practice. Some 30 nations piled into Kabul after 2001, under the banners of Nato and the UN. There was and remains no coherence, no agreed strategy and a perpetual feuding over rules of engagement, use of air power and policies for anti-corruption and counter-narcotics. Things do not get done.

Some 10,000 UN, Nato and NGO officials and their hangers-on fall over each other in the streets of Kabul. Command structures overlap. It is a recipe for failure. Yet because the “international community” has given Afghanistan its blessing, the intervention must be benign. It is the ultimate feelgood war.

Categories
Election 2008 Foreign Policy Humor Iraq McCain Politics The War on Terrorism

Evaluating McCain’s ‘realistic idealism’


[Photo courtesy of christhedunn.]

[digg-reddit-me]In an article in the New York Times evaluating John McCain’s foreign policy vision, Lawrence Eagleburger, secretary of state under the first President George Bush, described a fight currently being waged within the Republican party over the potential direction of McCain’s foreign policy: “It may be too strong a term to say a fight is going on over John McCain’s soul. But … there is at least going to be an attempt.” Eagleburger was referring to was the foreign policy chasm between the Republican party of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan1 , and George H. W. Bush and the Republican party of George W. Bush; between the realists and the idealists; between the paleo-cons and the neo-cons.

John McCain been playing both sides of this intra-Republican war since George W. Bush took office. In his most prominent speech on foreign policy, he described himself as a “realistic idealist.” He explained that his particular approach to the world came from his idealistic core being tempered by “hard experience.” He claims to bridge the chasm between these two approaches, and through his career he has mainly managed to assuage both sides. On the most prominent issue in recent years, Iraq, most of the pragmatists questioned, and often publicly opposed, the decision to launch a preemptive war in the Middle East; the neo-cons were the main proponents of the war. McCain managed to placate both sides by criticizing the execution of the war and the tactical decisions of the Bush administration while defending the overall strategy strongly. In this, McCain was essentially taking the neo-con side in the long-term, but allying himself for the short-term with the realists.

Though this approach has worked well for McCain as a senator, it would be impossible to continue as president because McCain would then have responsibility for both the overall strategy of the War on Terrorism and the tactics used.

For the moment, both the realist camps and the neo-conservative camps believe McCain is on their side at heart. But he can’t be on both sides. If we are to try to figure out what a McCain foreign policy would look like, it is unhelpful to list the specific policies and attitudes he has stated he will adopt towards particular nations. Foreign policy is a constantly shifting, adjusting use of power – and the single area of policy most directly and completely within the control of the executive. What is useful in trying to figure out what a McCain foreign policy would look like is an understanding of the basic assumptions McCain has about foreign policy.

  1. A focus, first and foremost, on the overriding and existential threat of “radical Islamist extremism.”
    McCain considers problems such as China’s rise, Russia’s increasing belligerence, and global climate change as far less important than the defining “national security challenge of our time.” I posited in an earlier post that it is because of the importance of the fight against Islamist extremism that McCain has flip-flopped on so many other domestic and national security issues: “After September 11, McCain had found a new enemy that was greater than the corruption of the political process and he was willing to put aside all of his domestic agenda to focus on the new enemy.”
  2. A demand for moral clarity.
    McCain has, throughout his career, sought enemies to fight. His personal sense of his self seems to demand that he be the white knight and those opposing him be the forces of evil itself. This is an exaggeration certainly2 , but this demand for absolute clarity leads to a poor understanding of the world, especially of our enemies. For example, McCain does not merely lack an understanding of the Muslim world; his positions indicate he has imposed a particular ideological framework on his understanding – a framework which does not allow for distinctions among radical groups.3 While many on the right praise McCain’s moral clarity for condemning radical Islamist extremists as the evil-doers they are, it seems an unquestionably poor strategy in a War on Terrorism to unite our enemies instead of attempting to divide them. It is notable that McCain does not mention the clear and tactically vital divisions among our enemies and among our allies in the Middle East. The words “Sunni” or “Shia” are not mentioned in either of McCain’s two attempts to lay out his entire foreign policy. In this way, McCain is continuing the tradition of George W. Bush.
  3. Iraq as the central front in the War on Terrorism.
    McCain cites Al Qaeda as proof that Iraq is a central front in the War on Terrorism. But Sun Tzu, ancient and wise author of The Art of War, has said that one of the first steps to winning a war is to choose the battlefield that gives you the most advantages. Al Qaeda apparently feels that Iraq plays to their advantages. In many ways, they are right. In an extraordinary article in The New Republic, Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank write of the “jihadist revolt against Bin Laden.” They cite a range of Muslim religious leaders, former and current terrorists, and a man described the “the ideological father of Al Qaeda” who were sympathetic to Bin Laden, even after September 11, who have all publicly broken from Al Qaeda in the past several years4 . Bergen and Cruickshank caution that:

    Most of these clerics and former militants, of course, have not suddenly switched to particularly progressive forms of Islam or fallen in love with the United States (all those we talked to saw the Iraqi insurgency as a defensive jihad)

    But Bergen and Cruickshank still believe that the anti-Al Qaeda positions of these radicals are making Americans safer. John McCain refuses to differentiate between the insurgency and the forces of Al Qaeda in Iraq – an enormous tactical blunder. And it is mainly because of this confusion that he has declared that Iraq is the central front of the War on Terrorism, when in fact, it is one of the few areas that unite jihadists opposed to Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda itself. 5

  4. Premised on the exclusive power of nation-states.
    In contrast to Richard Haas, editor of Foreign Affairs magazine, who believes we are in an age of non-polarity with non-state forces multiplying and state power dispersing, McCain premises his foreign policy on the power of nation-states – both America’s power and that of other nations – to affect virtually every area of policy. As McCain sets forth his foreign policy vision, he describes his policy country by country; for those issues he considered global, he describes how he will get other countries to act with us. While his aims here are clearly worthy, he seems to misunderstand how the world has been developing since the end of the Cold War. This assumption also underlies his focus on Iraq in the War on Terrorism. Even as Al Qaeda did much of the planning for it’s attacks in the lawless areas of Pakistan and within the free societies of Berlin, London, and New York City, McCain, like Bush, has focused on the role of states in assisting terrorism. Although this is certainly one component of any War Against Terrorism, it clearly should not be the main focus. One of the achievements of four years of a McCain presidency would be, according to a speech given by the candidate two weeks ago, that “There is no longer any place in the world al Qaeda can consider a safe haven.” Certainly a worthy goal – but it is belied by the fact that Al Qaeda can function within the freedoms offered by a Western democracy. The theory underpinning this claim, this hope, of McCain’s is that Al Qaeda can only function with some form of state sponsorship – which does not seem to be a supportable assumption.
  5. Demonstrations of toughness.
    Since John F. Kennedy suffered through his meeting with Kruschev in Vienna6 , presidents have been trying to prove their toughness to the world. The Cuban Missile Crisis was mainly a demonstration of toughness on the part of Kennedy; Lyndon Johnson pushed the line in Vietnam to show he was tough; Ronald Reagan invaded Grenada to demonstrate his toughness after retreating when attacked by Muslim extremists in Lebanon; Bill Clinton bombed countries to show his toughness; George W. Bush invaded Iraq and authorized torture. In the current campaign, each of the remaining candidates has tried to demonstrate their toughness in revealing ways. Hillary Clinton threatened to obliterate Iran; Barack Obama vowed to take out Bin Laden or a top Al Qaeda operative with or without Pakistan’s permission; John McCain has promised to continue the War in Iraq. The lesson I take from the historical examples is that “demonstrations of toughness” provide a boost domestically for a short time but rarely make the desired impression internationally, and are an exceptionally bad basis for a policy. McCain, by promising not to back down from Al Qaeda in Iraq, is buying into the Bush doctrine of replacing a genuine strategy to combat terrorism with “demonstrations of toughness”.
  6. Acting as “good global citizens.”
    This is the central difference between John McCain’s foreign policy vision and George W. Bush’s. He believes it is important that America act as a “good global citizen” and a good ally. For McCain, this means working internationally to combat global climate change, being open to persuasion by our allies, ending the policy of military torture of detainees7 , and numerous goodwill gestures. The Bush administration has begun to move in this direction in his second term already. McCain would be able to move further along, and could make genuine progress on global climate change.
  7. Inherent American exceptionalism.
    This idea is directly related to McCain’s demand for moral clarity. Just as he sees himself as essentially incorruptible, so he sees America. This idealization of America is what made his opposition to torture so inspiring. He was calling on the ideal conception of America to combat a corrupting evil which had been introduced into our system. In a similar way, he used his ideal conception of America to argue for the reform of our political process in his 2000 campaign. His foreign policy though demonstrates how this can be a very bad assumption to make. It is one thing to point to American history and to say that we have been an exceptional nation – as Obama regularly does. McCain implies an inherence to America’s goodness, one that exists irrespective of our actions. This assumption underlies McCain’s insistence that the decision to invade Iraq was right8 ; that the Bush administration’s strategy in the War on Terrorism is essentially sound; that a change in tone is what is mainly needed to rally our allies; that we remain the world’s “only monument of human rights” in spite of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, secret prisons, torture, and Iraq; that we must still “protect and promote” democracy to the Middle East; and that America offers a “unique form of leadership – the antithesis of empire – [which] gives us moral credibility, which is more powerful than any show of arms9 .” This is a dangerous idea in a large part because it is not shared by most of the world. For example, although we can declare we are the “antithesis of empire”, we will still be treated as one as long as we are projecting our military, economic, and political power around the world and occupying a sovereign nation.

Some questions remain about McCain’s basic views on foreign policy – many stemming from his triangulation between the neo-cons and realists for the past decade. I’ll be posting some of them later.

  1. One could argue that Ronald Reagan was not a pragmatist, but many of his administration were, and his foreign policy was essentially pragmatism wedded to extreme rhetoric. []
  2. Hopefully. []
  3. As his comments in Iraq made clear. Those who would defend McCain as having “mis-spoke” can look to at least three instances when he expressed the same idea. []
  4. Most since 2005. []
  5. The distinction here should be a bit more subtle as the jihadists referenced by Bergen and Cruickshank oppose Al Qaeda’s tactics in Iraq, so they are not totally united on that issue. []
  6. And probably before. []
  7. Torture by the CIA is apparently still a deliberately gray area. []
  8. For if America is inherently good, it cannot be ill-motivated. []
  9. One of McCain’s top foreign policy advisors, Niall Ferguson, wrote a book explaining that by virtually any definition, America is an empire. []
Categories
Domestic issues Election 2008 Foreign Policy History Humor Iraq Life McCain Obama Politics The War on Terrorism Videos

McCain: Puppies for everyone!

[digg-reddit-me]In February, John McCain observed that:

To encourage a country with only rhetoric…is not a promise of hope. It is a platitude.

He has repeatedly criticized Senator Barack Obama for looking at the world with rose-colored lenses, for being naive, and for promising more than he could deliver

Let’s look McCain’s pie-in-the-sky projections released today:

After four years of a McCain administration, America will be more secure and working with its allies and partners around the world to make us safer. In 2013:

The Iraq War has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy, violence is much reduced, and America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure.

There is a functioning League of Democracies that has effectively applied pressure on Sudan to agree to a multinational peacekeeping force to stop the genocide.

There is no longer any place in the world al Qaeda can consider a safe haven. An increase in actionable intelligence leads to the capture or death of Osama Bin Laden and his lieutenants.

After four years of a McCain administration, the economy is stronger, Americans once again have confidence in their economic future and businesses are empowered to thrive. In 2013:

The economy is growing and Americans again have confidence in their economic future…

A top to bottom review of government and reforms yield great reductions in spending.

Public education is much improved due to measures that lead to increased competition, higher quality teachers, a revolution in teaching methods, higher graduation rates and higher test scores.

Health care is more accessible to more Americans than at any other time in history.

Medicare’s solvency has been extended and both parties have worked together to fix Social Security without reducing benefits to those near retirement.

The United States is on its way to independence from foreign sources of oil

Border state governors have certified and the American people recognize that after tremendous improvements, our southern border is now secure. Illegal immigration is under control, and the American people accept the practical necessity to institute a temporary worker program and deal humanely with illegal immigrants. [My emphases.]

McCain’s speech in Ohio is here. I’m not sure what the appropriate response is to this. All of these are fine goals, although most of them are significantly outside the control of the president. What McCain doesn’t do here is get into the specifics he so harshly criticized Obama for avoiding (unfairly I might add.)

McCain’s rosy projections are the very model of misleading rhetoric. Why else mention capturing or killing Bin Laden? Does he think that George W. Bush hasn’t tried? Or is he just assuring us that he will get lucky? And does he really think it will be that easy to “win” Iraq? Does “winning” require Iraq to become a democracy as he suggests once again here? Does he really think he’ll be able to stop the genocide in Darfur, secure the Mexican-American border, solve America’s entitlement crises, revolutionize education, and democratize Iraq all at the same time?

Barack Obama – for all of his soaring rhetoric – focuses on what he will do, and what we together can do. To his credit, Obama focuses on how he will change the processes and he promises to address the serious issues we face. But Obama has not shown that he has a messiah complex that would lead him to believe that, with his election, all the world’s problems would be fixed within four years.

And isn’t it planning for the best-case scenario that got us into the whole Iraq fiasco in the first place?

This whole episode reminds me of Al Gore’s SNL skit, except Gore was being ironic:

McCain clearly was not promising to accomplish all of these things. And we all know he (and the rest of the Right) would be attacking Obama for being naive and having a messiah complex if Obama had had the poor judgment to give a speech like this.

But the real problem is that he is making the case for his presidency here by assuming the best-case scenario in every single area of policy. That’s irresponsible. That’s naive. That’s empty rhetoric.

Categories
Domestic issues Election 2008 Foreign Policy Iraq Law McCain Obama Politics

The curmudgeonly conservative columnist questions McCain

George Will, curmudgeonly conservative columnist, pointedly asks John McCain a few worthwhile questions in yesterday’s column:

  1. You say you are not “ready to go to war with Iran,” but you also say the “one thing worse” than “exercising the military option” is “a nuclear-armed Iran.” Because strenuous diplomacy has not dented Iran’s nuclear ambitions, is not a vote for you a vote for war with Iran?
  2. You vow to nominate judges who “take as their sole responsibility the enforcement of laws made by the people’s elected representatives.” Their sole responsibility? Do you oppose judicial review that invalidates laws that pure-hearted representatives of the saintly people have enacted that happen to violate the Constitution? Does your dogmatic deference to popular sovereignty put you at odds with the first Republican president, who nobly insisted that there are some things the majority should not be permitted to do—hence his opposition to allowing popular sovereignty to determine the status of slavery in the territories? Do you also reject Justice Antonin Scalia’s belief that the Constitution’s purpose is “to embed certain rights in such a manner that future generations cannot readily take them away”? Does this explain your enthusiasm for McCain-Feingold’s restrictions on political speech, and your dismissive reference to, “quote, First Amendment rights”? Would you nominate judges who, because they think those are more than “quote … rights,” doubt McCain-Feingold’s constitutionality?
  3. Having raised $95 million in February and March, Barack Obama is reconsidering whether to rely on taxpayer funding in the general election, which would limit him to spending only $84.1 million. You denounce Obama for this, but your adviser Charles Black says, “We could sit down in July or August and say, ‘Hey, we’re raising a lot of money and maybe we should forgo [taxpayer financing].’ We don’t have enough data.” Really, how does your position differ from Obama’s?1
  1. The numbering is my own. []
Categories
Iraq Politics The War on Terrorism Videos

Confronting the architects of war

[digg-reddit-me]Jon Stewart to Douglas Feith:

Just because your intentions are good and noble and you believe it to be the right move for the country doesn’t make this honesty. And I’ll why i think why – because you remove the ability for the American public to make an informed decision.

And once you have removed that then you no longer have the authority, because what you have done is you have told us what part of the argument you think it is appropriate for us to know about.

(Begins at about the 5:55 mark in the video.)

Thank God for Jon Stewart. I’m not sure what other media outlet would broadcast such a respectful yet challenging interview with one of the architects of this war, this national nightmare.

I’m not sure if it should be so cathartic to see one of the planners of this misbegotten gamble scolded by a comedian. But it was.

Now what’s next?