Liberal Won't Support War...except for, umm, let's see, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Great War, World War II, the Korean War, Gulf War I, the Afghanistan Action, ...
Peter Beinart's idea that "liberals" don't or won't support a "war on terror" or any use of American military power is horseshit, despite Matthew Yglesias attempt to extend his experience with Harvard's limited liberal community into a universal truth.
In between episodes of almost 30 years saluting the flag at dawn and dusk (and graduating a Chief Warrant Officer with several decades of experience in various military intelligence and psycholigal operations fields), I spent more than a decade as a liberal talk show host and political operative and party official. I stretch from Vietnam to Gulf I and then some, so I've had ample opportunity to both support and participate in the use of American military power.
But Iraq is not about the "war on terror." It's the example that it's possible to create a situation that has no good solutions.
It's as if we are in an automobile driving over an Afghan mountain road, all of us in agreement that we need to get down the mountain. Suddenly, the driver makes a sharp turn toward Iraq and we go over the cliff. We scream as we fall, "You idiot, what have you done?" "Well", says the driver, "If you've got a better plan, why don't you take the wheel. As for me, I think the shortest and fastest way to the bottom is the best way. And as long as I'm sitting in the driver's seat, this is the way we're going."
And as we hurtle to our doom, we hear Peter Beinert pipe up from the back seat and say to the other helpless passengers, "You know, you have a very negative attitude about this. So far, so good. And in any event, if we don't support the driver's decision, we'll just look negative about all shortcuts."