If I could have one companion in a time of war, would it be a dove or a hawk? I don't know any hawks willing to deploy with me - there was always room on the C130 next to me, and I would have helped them chute up. They always seemed to have "other priorities." Or they were busy defending Texas from the Viet Cong.
The Iraq war sought to effect staggering social change in Iraq through the application of military violence. If the neoconservatives were simply seeking to head up a liberal Lincoln Brigade to fight tyranny across the globe, they have my moral support and well wishes. But the U.S. military is not a Lincoln Brigade. It exists to defend the country from threats. The problem is that invading and occupying Iraq was never in America's interest. Unfortunately, the cautionary notes sounded by many before the war went unheeded.
Realists asked, "Will invading Iraq hurt us or help us in the war on terrorism?" As Saddam Hussein sits in a jail cell, Osama bin Laden's whereabouts are unknown. Meanwhile, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah warn that anti-Americanism has never been so high - in the very region we seek to transform.
Realists asked, "Is Iraq so severe a threat to national security that it warrants the expenditure of U.S. lives, treasure, and allies?" After the deaths of 1,000 coalition soldiers, hundreds of billions spent, no meaningful links to al Qaeda determined, and no stockpiles of WMD uncovered, the answer seems clear.
Realists asked, "What will be the consequences of deposing Saddam?" Iran, its strategic position strengthened by the removal of its worst enemy, now accelerates its nuclear program with relative impunity. North Korea, flying under the radar while the United States was preoccupied with Iraq, now negotiates from a position of strength. As widely disparate forces in Iraq jockey for power and influence, Iraq has become inherently unstable and threatens to become a haven for terrorists.
I think I prefer the dove - and that dove is ready, willing, and able to fight al Quaeda. He just doesn't want to take on the rest of the world if he doesn't have to.
(I cut and pasted most of this from the CATO institute. Check it out at http://www.cato.org/dailys/07-26-04.html).