Lefties Cross Over Declarations of Victory in Iraq
Critics say Friedman, others, are whitewashing the war
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2010 11:38 AM CST
A woman dips her finger in purple ink after casting her vote in the Iraq elections, Friday, March 5, 2010, at a polling station in Arlington, Va.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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(Newser) – Scribes all over the place are using Sunday's election in Iraq to declare a victory in the US war there, and that has critics seething that they're just trying to justify their original support for a misguided and costly adventure. Several take aim at Tom Friedman for the column today in which he argues that while the war "should have and could have" been better executed, "George W. Bush's gut instinct that this region craved and needed democracy was always right." The price was high, he writes in the New York Times, but "democracy was never going to have a virgin birth in a place like Iraq."

  • Glenn Greenwald, Salon: Friedman "did as much as any single individual" to drum up support for the invasion. "It was only a matter of time before American elites abandoned their faux regret over Iraq. For tribalists and nationalists, America can err in its execution but never in its motives."
  • Michael Hastings, True/Slant: Friedman uses the "whatever-the-cost" argument, and Hastings (who last week predicted a spate of these columns) has loved ones who died paying that price. "I know the cost. It's never going to be worth it. No need to wait for the historians to figure that one out."