I was giving a speech at Williams College on the future of democracy in the Middle East on the day Saddam's statue was torn down in central Baghdad. I had the opportunity afterward to talk to a very bright anti-war student activist. He told me that the main reason he still couldn't support the war -- even though he conceded the brutality of Saddam Hussein and acknowledged the joy of the Iraqi people -- was that he simply didn't trust George W. Bush.
I suspect this is the case with many anti-war folks. It certainly seems to be, judging from the e-mail I get or from reading the drek one sees at the more rabid Web sites, like the hilariously deluded Democraticunderground.com.
And that's fine; distrust of politicians is one of the things that make America great. But dislike for a president shouldn't eclipse love of country or adherence to principle. The anti-warriors claim they aren't anti-American. I believe that's true of the vast majority of them, though some of them clearly think America is a force for evil in the world (and I think these people should be ashamed for being so asinine).
Regardless, all of them claimed they cared deeply about the fate of the Iraqi people. Well, 99.99 percent of the Iraqis will still be in Iraq when the war is over. Presumably, the anti-war crowd wants the Iraqi people to have the same rights and freedoms that we have here. If they do, they should be prepared to support the president when he works to make that happen, and they should feel free to criticize him when he doesn't.
But if the anti-war activists start from the position that Bush is wrong no matter what he does now simply because they disagreed with him back then, well, then these people aren't serious people at all. They're just the fools so many of us take them for.
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