I formed my political views on national security in the confident glow of Reaganism. For me, it was a fact of life that Republicans were strong, capable and confident, and Democrats were weak, vacillating and incompetent (Carter's failed hostage rescue mission was the template).He concludes with this.
When Bush led us into the Iraq War, I thought the liberals who predicted doom -- and, crucially, the conservatives (like Buchanan) who did as well -- were either fools, cowards or unpatriotic. But now I see that I was the fool. In the NPR piece, I wrote about how I sat there watching Bush's speech and thought that when they get old enough to understand these things, I have got to teach my children never, ever to take the word of presidents or generals at face value. To question authority, because the government will send you off to kill and die for noble-sounding rot (e.g., crusading for democracy in the Middle East). And it hit me that this is precisely the message that so many of those who lived through the Vietnam experience tried to tell my generation -- in my case, and in the case of so many other Gen X Reagan Youth, in vain.
covered a massive antiwar march in NYC in 2002. It was a madhouse, like they'd opened the doors on all the asylums and told the loons to converge on Manhattan. In retrospect, that, to me, was the antiwar movement. Seeing those people and their blind fury was emotionally powerful: it made it far too easy to assume that anyone who opposed the war was someone like that, or a fellow traveler. That is, that there was no good case against it. That doesn't excuse people like me our error in judgment, but that was part of what created the mindset that wanted to believe and stand with Bush.I said a few days ago that it is my belief that anti-war protests not only don't shorten wars but make them go on longer. I still believe that was the case in Vietnam. The majority of people look at the protesters and not the war, just like Mr Dreher.