Left the house early, got back late, so it was after 7 p.m. that I looked at the Boston Globe (“Owned by Moguls; Written by Interns TM”). Kevin Cullen’s column in City/Region beckoned. Cullen is the latest of the phony dirt-under-the-fingernails columnists that the Globe has tried to push for decades. His screed today, “What I’d Rather Read,” starts out with what is fast becoming the obligatory put-down of Scott McClellan’s book. Cullen prefers the wisdom of one Michael Baumgartner, an Iraq contractor.
What follows is important because it will be a major element in the right wing apologists for Iraq in the coming months. The legion of foofs who cheer-led the war are both scrambling for justification of their actions and for projecting themselves as good guys.
Baumgartner’s point: “Refighting the 2003 battles does little to address the essential questions surrounding how we now get Iraq far enough down the path of stability so that we can withdraw.” What “2003 battles?” The Bushies scared the hell out of the public – a huge majority believed that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks. Congress was mowed down with lies about WMD. The “battles” were foregone conclusions. The war was on. But let’s just forget about this unfortunate episode.
Cullen approvingly quotes Baumgartner: ” When my convoy took an IED last week in Sadr City, we were on our way to help the Iraqi Government get clean drinking water and food to its citizens. Evidence about WMDs and Dick Cheney once being the CEO of Haliburton had nothing to do with it.”” Get that–“Nothing to do with it.” Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al. Could hardly have put it better.
This is the emerging right-wing mantra. Let’s forget about the past. Let’s erase the decisions that got us here. Note that they are NOT saying that “mistakes were made.” Following W they must never admit that. Their whine it that it’s cruelly unfair to focus on how we got into this gigantic mess. That’s “in the past.”
McCain has used this gambit frequently. Questioned about why Iraq had not met the latest set of “benchmarks,” his response was, “That’s in the past; I want to focus on the future.”
So Kevin Cullen, City/Region columnist, joins the pack that will push for political absolution for all the politicians that created the Iraq disaster. Baumgartner, good intentions akimbo, will continue to push the line that if we could only get clean water into Sadr City all will be well (no pun). Halliburton’s very profitable efforts will be celebrated and vindicated. And those few dead-enders who explode bombs in front of his convey will be won over
perhaps in 100 years. But how meanspirited it is to question the decisions made in 2003.