One thing which has long puzzled me is why Afghanistan wasn't enough for all the "liberal hawks" ... The Beinarts of the world wanted a war and a grand humanitarian mission. They had one. It was Afghanistan. It was justifiable. We went and kicked some ass. And then we abandoned the grand humanitarian mission and went chasing after a shiny new war.
...We had a chance to do all the things the Quiet Americans wanted us to do. Invade a country, get rid of their bad leaders, pave the streets with gold, and create a wonderful paradise which could be an example for the world.
Why couldn't we do that in Afghanistan?
Um, because Afghanistan didn't give the "liberal hawks" the exquisite satisfaction of bashing sandal-wearing hippies? Because too many of us actually supported the mission in Afghanistan, and thus the "liberal hawks" needed a different war that would give them the chance to turn on us and impress the right-wingers whose "manliness" they so envy?
This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.