There are two kinds of liberals nowadays: liberals who want America to fail in Iraq and the Middle East because they’re anti-American and/or they obsessively hate Bush and liberals who are patriotic and want America to succeed even if Bush gets the credit.
The number of liberals who fall into the latter category is extremely small. As a matter of fact, the only prominent Democrat I know of who really wants Bush to succeed in the Middle East is, I believe, Tom Friedman of the New York Times. Friedman really cares about that unhappy region which he demonstrated on today’s Meet the Press program.
He also observed that it would be politically disastrous for the Democrats to pursue their pacifist instincts and obstruct Bush’s efforts. At the same time, Friedman praised Joe Biden for being constructive in his criticism of the war. Joe Lieberman, yes. Biden? I don’t think so.
One reason I was happy Kerry lost is the rumor that he would appoint Biden secretary of state. It’s bad enough to have to listen to this windbag as the ranking memmber of the foreign relations committee; he would have been insufferable as secretary of state. Besides, it seems to me, Biden is preparing for a presidential run and so is positioning himself to the left of Hillary on the war, since Hillary figures she already has the left wing in her pocket and so can be a hawk on Iraq to pick up conservative votes.
Biden’s so-called constructive criticism of the war that Friedman finds praiseworthy is just second guessing. Biden, like John McCain (another presidential candidate), says more troops would have brought about a better outcome in Iraq, but more troops could just as easily have made things worse. Fewer Americans on the ground seem less like an army of occupation, and the critics who hate Bush and want us to fail would be screaming even more (if that’s possible) about a large American army of occupation proving Bush’s imperialistic designs.
A short while ago, New York Magazine columnist Kurt Anderson wrote an interesting article<a / on this subject.