Barney Frank’s Pro-War Op-Ed: Remembering Afghanistan


Barney Frank gets it. His Boston Globe piece this morning, “Afghanistan Ignored,” reinforces a point I tried to make long ago — those who have opposed Joe Lieberman’s continued tenure are “not anti-war.”
Rather, they are “anti-Iraq War.”
Barney Frank rips up the fiction that Dems are mostly pacifists, a bias carried in too many editorial boards in the country, by writing:

Their argument is that the refusal of many Democrats to support the war in Iraq shows that President Bush’s opposition is unwilling to use force against terrorism.
There is, of course, one factual refutation of this partisan distortion. Every Democratic senator and representative but one voted for the war in Afghanistan. It is this war that represented America’s reaction to the murders of thousands of Americans on Sept. 11 . It was the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that was sheltering Osama bin Laden. The reaction of the overall majority of Americans, including virtually all Democrats, was to support the Afghan war as a necessary act of self-defense.

The Massachusetts 4th Congressman rips the clothes of the emperor with his sensible kicker:

Whether or not one subscribes to the geopolitical aims that motivated the Bush administration’s intervention in Iraq, it is clearly invalid to assert that support for that war is the indispensable badge of one’s willingness to confront terrorism. Only by adopting the techniques of the big lie can the vice president make his case that those opposed to the Iraqi war fail to understand the importance of a firm response to terrorists. In fact, given the deleterious effect it has had on our effort in Afghanistan, and the enormous boost it has given to anti-American forces around the world, the big truth is that the Iraq war has damaged our ability to fight terrorism.
Americans were united in their response to the mass murders of 9/11. The war in Iraq has weakened the United States internationally and divided it domestically, while draining needed resources. It is precisely because the Iraq war is not defensible on any other terms that the Bush/Cheney approach uses the big lie to defend the war in Iraq on grounds that in fact describe the war in Afghanistan.

Barney is exactly on target.
— Steve Clemons


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