Quote from LA Times article on Republican Rep. Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones and his growing anxiety about the Iraq war:
Jones "was right to go after the administration," said retired Marine Col. Jim Van Riper, a veteran of Vietnam and Desert Storm who supported the U.S. presence in Iraq but faulted the war plan. "Rumsfeld and the neo-cons have fouled it up from the beginning."
Damn straight. And that's the angle we needed to be pushing all along. We need to learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. The followers from the leaders. I mean, when we criticize the Iraq war, we need to not sound like we're criticizing its supporters too. The more we're confrontational about this stuff and trying to lay blame, and wishing that the supporters of the war "eat it", the less they'll be willing to face facts and change course. But wrong is wrong, and these people will slowly see that, if we let them do it on their own.
And that's the thing. The Bush Admin suckered them bigtime. They should be angry at Bush. And the Bush Admin's incompetence is even worse. This war was a bad idea from the start, and while things turned out much better than they might have, they could have turned out much better, had the Bush administration not hired so many ideologically blind people.
But again, if we focused more on what is happening in Iraq, and not on laying blame on Republicans and Bush, the typical Republican supporter would be far more willing to consider the truth. But the moment we start tossing invectives and accusations, they close off immediately. An abused woman will defend her abusive husband. The first step is getting them to want to see the truth and to know that what happened is wrong.
And overall, it would have always been better for us to portray Bush as a well-meaning, but sadly incompetent boob who was in over his head and denying reality. After the successful Nice-Guy Bush marketing, it was just too much for people to believe that he's some neo-con mastermind who's out to steal oil and rule the world. Cognative dissonance forced them to scoff at us. They just couldn't imagine our dopey nice guy President as a ruthless tyrant.
We can't mind-read Bush, so we shouldn't have doubted his motives. We should have doubted his judgment; his ability. Because, whether or not Bush meant for good things to happen, they certainly did not happen. He wrongly started something that he couldn't finish, and if we can get enough of his former supporters to see that; he will be finished.