Friday, June 16, 2006

Andrew Sullivan keeps shifting to the left

Why do I think so ? Especially given that Andrew repeatedly claims his positions haven't changed on issues relating to the Iraq war i.e that he was always a supporter of removing Saddam, bringing stability to Iraq, but strongly against the use of torture.

Whilst he defends his fierce opposition to torture as being consistent with a conservative ideology, the extent to which he has pursued this issue and his placement of it as the most important issue (well second only to gay marriage) leads me to believe he has shifted strongly to the left, where the focus has relentlessly been on highlighting and exaggerating all American abuses of civil rights, all instances of abuse or punishment of suspected terrorists, civilian casualties of the war and other blemishes. The sole focus of the left is to show Iraq is such a failure that the troops should be pulled out, and the war on terror is such an abomination that it should be abandoned. The extreme left openly confess they want the troops out, some of the more extreme voices say they want America and the allies to lose in Iraq and be humiliated.

But Andrew, in a shallow effort to distance himself from the ultra-left and prove himself a conservative, says he still supports the war and success in Iraq. Yet, he cannot bring himself to live with the consequences of fighting a war and imprisoning suspected terrorists. Not only does he highlight every instance of cruel punishment in American prisons, he attempts to show that torture is the current administrations policy, and that every example of a prison guard beating a suspected terrorist is President Bush's fault.

In a recent post on his Andrew Sullivan's widely read blog, he posts a letter which I believe goes beyond being radical to being plain nuts. I don't think that supporters of the Iraq war would every publish a letter, or even sympathise with the following defeatist position:

I cannot support the war in Iraq. Not because I think Saddam was a good leader. Not because I think Iraqis don’t deserve a chance. Not because I think this war we-shouldn’t-have-started has not morphed into the war we-can’t-afford-to-lose.

I cannot support the war in Iraq because after all the lies, the mistakes, the hubris, the Constitution shredding, the cover-ups, the undercover outings and, most importantly, the torture, if we win this war during the Bush presidency, he and his like will take it as a vindication of their actions and they will be emboldened to further damage my country.

This is not Bush bashing. This isn't hyperbole. I truly believe that President Bush is a danger to my country. And winning the Iraq war while he is in office would be the true end of the United States as we know it.

Let’s get Bush out of office. Let’s put in place an administration that will wage this war within the bounds of the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions and has the will to do what it takes to win. Let’s put in place an administration that asks the American public for the sacrifices of war time and deals openly and plainly with the public on the successes and failures at the front.

Now conservative ideology does not advocate torture. Nor the death of innocent civilians. Nor the abuse of civil rights. But, how can a war with hundreds of thousands of ground troops, several US prisons scattered through Iraq, possibly be fought with no blemishes ?

For the left, each blemish is used to prove that we should have never gone to war in Iraq in the first place (doesn't mean all leftists are anti-war, they are quite fond of going to war when a Democrat is president). At least they have been consistent.

But Andrew claims to supports the war whilst simultaneously posting defeatist letters and opinions on his blog ? I'm starting to think that a democratic Iraq isn't his #1 priority then.