Andrew Sullivan, of course, was a cheerleader for the Iraq war and an enthusiastic participant in the demagoguery that suffocated American political debate during the run-up to the invasion. But his role as perhaps the most prominent intellectual of a certain peculiar school of American conservatism (one might call it the "Interesting!" school, in the Michael Kinsley sense) makes him somebody worth reading nonetheless. If I find occasion to praise him, don't think I've forgotten or forgiven his sins.
Is it not possible to make, you know, empirical distinctions between various threats? To see that Islamism does indeed fuel Sunni and Shia violence, but that these forces are also fundamentally at war with one another? To see a distinction between Ahmadinejad's Shiite apocalyptics and Bin Laden's Wahhabist caliphate - a distinction any halfway competent war strategy would exploit, not deny?Emphasis mine. I pledge my vote to the first Democratic presidential candidate to repeat the bolded parts of Sullivan's post verbatim. And to repeat it often.
When you see how evidence-resistant a propagandist like Hewitt can be, you begin to realize how important it is to keep these people away from power. They are much less interested in defeating al Qaeda than they are in using al Qaeda to defeat Democrats. This is what Hewitt really cares about: the GOP. Look what damage his ilk have done to the West's security since 9/11 because of their pathological partisanship. Look at how their refusal or inability to see any nuance, complexity or variety in the many threats we face makes our defeat more likely. We just cannot afford to tolerate these Republican propagandists any longer. There is a war on. And they simply aren't serious about fighting it.