Sunday, April 11, 2004

History lessons 

Sully has this to say about Condi's testimony:

What is there to say? We have a frigging war on and the major networks all run this? I have nothing to add. Except to say: we have a war on. We used to win them before we engaged in elaborate blame-games as to who was asleep at the wheel when they broke out.

Ok, first of all, what should the major networks have been running? Would Sully really have preferred it if they'd been running continuous coverage of the current bloody battles? In fact, I can virtually guarantee that Sullivan would have been crowing about liberal bias if the networks hadn't run Condi's testimony, after all the coverage they gave to Clarke. Of course they should run it.
Secondly, Sully needs a history lesson. While it is true that Roosevelt largely (though not entirely) escaped criticism for failing to prevent Pearl Harbor (until after the war, anyway), the same cannot be said of Wilson in World War I, McKinley in the Spanish-American War ("Remember the Maine!"), and Lincoln in the Civil War. Wilson and Lincoln were attacked for taking the U.S. into an unncessary war; McKinley was attacked for failing to get into a war soon enough.
And finally, for the last time (regrettably, probably not), this does not have to be a blame game. The issue here shouldn't be whether we should "blame" Bush, or Clinton, or Clarke, or whomever, for the attacks. The issue should be: how did they happen, and how can we use our understanding of how they happened to prevent them from happening in the future? Or should we just sit here and wait for another attack?

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