Bobbi at politX makes an interesting point:

Like others, I’m increasingly baffled by the actions and protests of the Stop the War Coalition.


What do the Stoppers want? All coalition troops to immediately pull out of Iraq? That would leave the country in a bigger hole than ever, prone to bandits, civil war and wannabe dictators. Surely only an agenda-driven fool could support such action?

A progressive, pragmatic left must realise that what’s done is done. Stamping feet and throwing tantrums is no good now: what will most help the people of Iraq is if we take this chance to help mould and foster democracy in the country–take this chance to be part of the process, not outside it.

Indeed. Conservatives made this same mistake during the Clinton years, (for example, demanding that we pull out of Bosnia once committed) as well, so this isn’t a unique feature of the Left. But at some point one has to recognize a fait accompli and deal with the realities on the ground.

FILED UNDER: Democracy, Iraq War, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. James, you make the mistake of thinking that the far left actually cares about Iraqis or other wogs. They don’t, not in the slightest. The only thing they care about is frustrating American power and America’s objectives, no matter what. That’s it. Nothing else – and no one else – matters a whit.

  2. JadeGold says:

    No, Mullah Sensing, you’re misrepresenting the views of the Stop the War Coalition. In misrepresenting the aims of this British group, you are demonstrating you don’t care for reality or the truth–not a whit.

    The Coalition recognizes the illegitimate and illegal invasion of Iraq has occurred; it’s a sunk cost. What the Coalition no objects to is the lack of a plan to rebuild Iraq–or at least a plan that doesn’t involve the systematic looting of the country.

    Of course, the longer term goal is to prevent wars from being waged solely for political expediency or gain.

  3. Ross Judson says:

    And recognize it we do. What we’re after at this point is a change in leadership, not strategy in the Middle East. The country has been committed. It’s simply false to say that “the Left” wants to pull out, or some such nonsense. It’s America’s bed, it’s made, and now we have to lie in it. But there are a lot of people who don’t like being deceived, misdirected, or whatever word you’d like to apply to describe the sales job this Administration did before the war. Just like the S+L crisis, this is going to cost a huge pile of money to get out of, and the taxpayer is footing the bill the whole way.
    Somehow the ultra-rich benefactors of the Bush campaign never seem to pay the price of the policies they buy; that’s left to middle class America, whose jobs are rapidly being “globalized” overseas…

  4. Jimbo says:

    Jade – What different plan, in general terms of course, do you propose? Rebuilding infrastructure, establishing order, fostering democracy and freedom would presumably be a big part of ANY plan I would think. And as for “systematically looting” the country?? Heck, we’re getting ready to GIVE Iraq a good portion of the $87B. A case could made that we are looting OUR treasury, but certainly not Iraq’s.

    Ross – You simply don’t make sense. You agree with the strategy, but want only to change the leadership? That seems a little childish. If you agree with what the strategy is, but don’t LIKE who is in charge of that strategy, why change to someone you like better who may or may not adopt a strategy you prefer. What’s broken except for your hatred of the Administration? The rest of your arguement is just “Bush-lied” and Halliburton allusions ad nauseum.

  5. JadeGold says:


    Presumably, a rebuilding effort would, or should, be part of any war plan and aftermath. In the case of Iraq–it wasn’t. The NeoCons all told us that once Saddam had been removed, a grateful Iraqi populace would greet our troops with honey and flowers and democracy would bloom.

    Didn’t quite work out that way.

    A large part of the problem is that this action is quite correctly seen as a unilateral action by the US and it doesn’t help when the only public building protected by US forces after the fall of Baghdad was the Oil ministry.

    And it smells when Richard Perle is running an Iraqi franchise business out of the Pentagon and Joe Allbaugh, a lifelong political campaign worker, has hung out his shingle as the uber-Iraqi business consultant.

    Generally, we’ve got to get the governance of Iraq back into the hands of Iraqis as soon as possible. It may well be that we don’t get a friendly Iraqi Govt. in Iraq but unsatisfactory results often come from a failure to plan.

  6. Paul says:

    What we’re after at this point is a change in leadership, not strategy in the Middle East

    So basically the argument of the left is:




    And that shows that your party is far more qualified to lead the free world.

    And you WONDER why you keep losing elections.


  7. JadeGold says:

    And you WONDER why you keep losing elections

    We win them, Paul. 600,000 more Americans preferred Al Gore to little Lord Crawfordboy. And Gray Davis mopped the deck with Bill Simon.

    I will concede Repugs are far better at stealing elections and overturning democracy than we are.

    As to Bush hatred, don’t make me laugh. Nothing compares Repug hatemongering directed at our last democratically-elected President. You folks levelled just about every charge from drug-running to murder against Bill Clinton and nothing was true. Yet, you’re willing to excuse the fact your boy lied about WMD and is now compromising CIA agents.

    Essentially, Paul, you have to ask yourself this very fundamental question: if Dubya refuses to personally and forcefully pursue a national security risk on his own staff, how can we trust him to keep this country safe?

  8. Meezer says:

    Jadegold, what planet have you been on that you don’t know that it’s the DEMS that have the big money contributors? And they’re the ones that got bit in the behind by their own campaign finance strategy? The Repubs are people like me with my $50 bucks donation. And those that be with us are more than those that be with ye.

  9. Excuse me, Jade: Governor Low-Beam “mopped the deck” with Bill Simon? The Guv was the incumbent, and had the name recognition. Simon was an unknown, and too far right for the mainstream populace of California. Davis *should* have mopped the deck with Simon, who ran an incompetent campaign.

    Instead, it was a very close race. Because most California Democrats know, in their heart of hearts, that Davis is incompetent, corrupt, and a liar.

    After all, 40% or better of those who voted for the recall out here were Democrats.

  10. Pauly says:

    I don’t think you can point to Gray Davis as a model for anything, really. That’s like pointing to Enron as a model for how to run a business.

  11. Hey. Jade seemed to think he was a shining example of Democratic victory. Most of us out here in CA just think he’s a buffoon–whether we’re Dems or members of the GOP or whatever.