But not everyone is like you. Take Robert Kaplan. An avowed pro-war liberal, Kaplan is a national correspondent for Atlantic Monthly and the author of, among many books, "Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground" and "The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War." In an op-ed column in today's Los Angeles Times entitled "Haunted by Hussein, humbled by events," he admits some reservations about the use of large-scale military operations but also describes an Iraq where incremental but important change is happening.
Kaplan has been there, while overwhelmingly most Americans have not. He has seen first-hand what Republican and Democrat strategists have only read about before they spin it into the fabric of overheated rhetoric. Kaplan writes, in part:
"I expected, as should anyone who supports going to war, that there would be a certain amount of bureaucratic incompetence in executing the invasion. The conflict in Kosovo in 1999 was marked by such a level of incompetence, with a NATO alliance that assumed that target lists were a legitimate subject for diplomatic committees. Still, the Clinton administration maintained a reasonable amount of political-military unity at the top, and the State and Defense departments were not at each other's throats. ...
"As for myself, because of the way the WMD argument intersected with the humanitarian one — buttressed, in turn, by my own memories of Iraq — there was never any chance that I would not have supported the war. Because Hussein's misrule was beyond normal dictatorship, even someone like me, skeptical about spreading democracy, felt it justified to remove him."
Kaplan's essay is not complex, but his thought processes are. For anyone who believes that being a registered Democrat means you must oppose the war and wish a hateful end for George Bush ... or that being a registered Republican means you must blindly support the war and attack dissenters as traitors ... well, that's merely close-minded and shallow.
We're complex animals, we humans. Only our need for air, food and water is common to each of us. As for politics, Kaplan shows it comes in many sizes, shapes and colors, often mixing them all together in some unique bit of art.