Don Lambro of the Washington Times points to poll results showing that close to 80 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. was justified in toppling the Iraqi regime without any evidence that Iraq had WMD. I believe that this is a function of the relative ease with which we won the war. The humanitarian case for deposing Saddam was always powerful and has become more so with every mass grave that is unearthed. However, before the war, when it seemed possible that thousands of American lives would be lost, the American public, reasonably enough, was not willing to embrace the humanitarian case as sufficient cause to go to war. That has changed, reasonably enough, now that the cost of the war is known.
Oddly this kind of calculus seems lost on supposedly sophisticated liberals, especially those in the media. Ever since the Vietnamese War, liberals have demanded that the government present a simple, single rationale for military action. Whenever multiple reasons are presented, they accuse the government of equivocating. Fortunately, the public understands that decisions over war and peace are more complicated than this, and they are capable of performing a cost-benefit analysis involving multiple considerations. Thus, as the Pew Research Center pollster quoted by Lambro says, “If I were a Democratic candidate, I don’t think I would be pushing this issue.”
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