Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Down the Memory Hole

Hillary's not the only Iraq revisionist. Shockingly, a huge percentage of Americans "misremember" their original view on the war, as Will Franklin of WILLisms explains:
Since late 2003 or so, there has been a concerted effort to re-write the history of the beginning of the Iraq war. The leader of the effort, Howard Dean, as Governor of Vermont, very well may have been against the invasion all along. John Kerry and John Edwards, however, were in the Senate. And they not only voted to go to war, they spoke about Saddam Hussein, his desire for weapons of mass destruction, his perpetration of genocide, and so forth. They were on board. . .

By late 2005, when American casualties continued and chaos seemed indefinite, the anti-war movement started to go much more mainstream.

Something else happened heading into the 2006 midterms. More and more people began misremembering their own support for invasion.

Gary C. Jacobson, of the University of California (San Diego), published an article in the Spring of 2007, analyzing what happened in the 2006 elections. Although the article made a slight splash for its hit on Fox News viewers (asserting they were essentially uninformed religious zealots) and Republicans in general, I found this bit of information very interesting (.pdf):

source: Gary Jacobson, The War, the President, and the 2006 Midterm Congressional Elections at 24 (Apr. 2007), annotated by WILLisms


Interestingly, 9 percent MORE Republicans in 2006 recalled supporting the war in 2003 than actually did, while 8 percent fewer independents and 25 percent fewer Democrats remembered correctly.

As far as WMD are concerned, this is where a stunning 46 percent of Democrats misremembered. . .

The history of the Iraq war is still being written. And rewritten. As far as I am concerned, people can misremember all they want to the extent that we win this thing, but if that misremembering leads to a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, just as tangible progress is seemingly being achieved there, it will be shameful and dangerous. And when Iraq becomes a haven for terrorists much like Afghanistan was before 2001, many of those same misrememberers will assuredly further misremember and whine that we didn't finish the job like we should have.

People, you're on record. It's fine to change your mind about the war, but don't act like you didn't flip-flop.

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