Don’t kick the strange bedfellows out of bed

Howard Owens and Glenn Reynolds note that Hillary Clinton supported the war in Iraq, and Owens thinks the discourtesy she was shown when she visited the Coalition Provisional Authority headquarters was bad judgment as well as bad manners. Good for them. This is sure to be a surprise to Hillary-haters nationwide.

I wish that Owens were willing to acknowledge that even some of the people who opposed the war did so because they thought there were better ways of fighting terrorism. It’s even possible they were right. But his willingness to acknowledge when someone on the other side of the partisan divide has taken what he thinks is the right position is praiseworthy, and so is Reynolds’s.

Perhaps while they’re in a good mood, they might want to mention another politician named Clinton who backed the war at a crucial moment.

Bill Clinton is still a widely respected figure, not just in the United States but around the world. He supported the war in Iraq. That fact could have — should have — been exploited, both domestically and internationally.

The unwillingness of the people around Bush to make use of Clinton is the strongest indication I know of their unseriousness about fighting the war on terrorism. The first step is always to consolidate the home front. But they’d rather have an enemy they can use in fundraising.

Disgusting. Unpatriotic, too.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com