Wednesday, March 12, 2003

The Buchanan factor. One of the problems with being antiwar is that you have to hop into bed with anti-American hate groups like International ANSWER. Another is that Pat Buchanan agrees with you. Buchanan's not anti-Semitic. No, really, he's not. Some of his best friends are Jews. Just ask him!

Fortunately, the antiwar movement is picking up more-respectable allies every day. Slate's Mickey Kaus has been keeping a list of what he calls the "Balking Hawks" -- pundits who were leaning toward war as recently as a few weeks ago, but who are now backing off, mainly because of how George W. Bush has botched it.

It's a group that I almost count myself among. I never favored war, but there were moments when I thought it might be the least-bad alternative in terms of disarming Saddam Hussein and liberating the Iraqi people from one of the world's most vicious tyrants.

But, as "Balking Hawk" Thomas Friedman observes in this morning's New York Times, you just can't invade a country and topple a government without international support. Hardly a controversial argument, but one that the White House just doesn't seem to get.

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