Democracy Arsenal

« Islamic World's Views on Al Qaeda, Terrorism and the US | Main | NSN Daily Update 2/26/09 »

February 25, 2009

Getcher Partisanship Here
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

If all this calm and concord about withdrawing troops from Iraq has you missing the bad old days of conservative-progressive combat; or if, like labor pains after months of sleep deprivation, you're starting to think that maybe the whole disagreement wasn't so bad after all; or, if you're under the illusion that progressives have "won" the debate on Iraq policy and there's nothing more to do, you need to watch my bloggingheads debate with the Washington Times' Eli Lake, in which he argues that "the Left" tried its best to make the wonderful Bush Administration Iraq policy, which Barack Obama now supports, fail.  The way I remember it, of course, is that it was "the Left" in all its multifariousness that actually made the Bush Administration change strategies to the one that has empowered Iraqis and our military both to get us where we are today -- not Valhalla, but not 2005 either.

As tiresome as it is -- and normally I really like debating Eli and respect his thought process -- progressives should recognize that we still have a narrative to contest.  (Also true, by the way, on Gitmo and the other due process executive orders.)


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Getcher Partisanship Here:


Is there a difference between "contesting the narrative" and "making stuff up"?

Unless the expression "the Left" is meant to include people like Gen. Keane and Gen. Petraeus, it doesn't look to me as if it had much impact at all on Bush administration policy in Iraq.

It was a bit heated on Iraq. My point however is fairly narrow. Arab media in 2007 became obsessed with what might be called the war over the war in Washington. In early 2007 when our soldiers were seeking to persuade the population to provide intelligence on the whereabouts of Qaeda, JAM and other assorted death cults, Iraqis had to make their own calculations about what military force would be sticking around. When democratic leaders would make stern and earnest speeches against the depravity of "refereeing a civil war," it made the basics of counterinsurgency--earning the trust of the local population--harder. Iraqis had to determine how long the Americans would be staying as the leadership of Congress was insisting the Americans would leave. In April and May of 2007, when I was in Iraq, I sat in on a meeting when my embedded MiTT team leader assured neighborhood leaders in Hatin for example that the broadcasts about Democratic leaders regarding the troop withdrawal were incorrect and that they could count on the American military to protect the blocks to which his team was assigned. Aside from seeing this myself in Iraq, a number of officers from the Iraqi and the American side have told me similar stories. Thankfully this obstacle was surmountable. I guess I would put this up against the progressive narrative which as I understand it, says: liberal opposition to a successful Iraq strategy is responsible for that strategy's success.

Heather I think you're an intelligent and honest person, but I can't see how you've convinced yourself that the Democratic opposition to the war did not hurt our troops morale, boost the terrorists' morale, and make the possibility of a democratic Iraq much harder. If you think you can turn history on it's head and say that Joe Biden, Rahm Emanuel, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller, etc. etc. etc. - all the people that voted for or supported the war and then ran for the tall grass once things got tough - did not hurt our troops or contribute to the casualties we suffered, you are just engaging in sophistry.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account

I had a similar experience, Good luck!

Wow ... so many people comment ah!

Hi there,
Ugh, I liked! So clear and positively.
Have a nice day

CHEAP rs gold
MY lotro gold
CHEAPEST aion gold

Greatest info for democracy.

Sulumits Retsambew

Congress should create an independent blue-ribbon panel or similar body to investigate a host of previously unreviewable activities of the Bush administration, including its detention, interrogation and surveillance programs. Only by chronicling and confronting the past in a comprehensive, bipartisan fashion can we reclaim our moral authority and establish a credible path forward to meet the complex challenges of a post-Sept. 11 world. replica rolex
Rolex Watches
Tag Heuer Watches

Amazing article! It’s just what i needed to understand. Happy Day’s

If you are looking for a watch to buy,tag hauer come to solve the problem of the not-so-rich category of people. A tag hauer watches can be purchased by many of us, due to the accessible price it can have. A fake rolex daytona will always cost only a few hundred dollars.

It's so lucky for me to find your blog! So shocking and great! Just one suggestion: It will be better and easier to follow if your blog can offer rrs subscription service.

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.

Guest Contributors
Sign-up to receive a weekly digest of the latest posts from Democracy Arsenal.
Powered by TypePad


The opinions voiced on Democracy Arsenal are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of any other organization or institution with which any author may be affiliated.
Read Terms of Use