There's something that's bothering me about these new-found confessions by Democratic Senators that "if we knew then what we know now, we would never have voted for this war."
The most recent admittance to this club is West Virginia's Rockefeller, who also happens to be the ranking member of the Senate "Intelligence" Committee. But others such as John Kerry and Tom Daschle have also come out of the closet with post-war-debacle statements of regret.
The case these Democrats have been making, if I understand them correctly, is that they got fooled by the bad intelligence, or by the Administration's spin of that intelligence.
But I don't think the "intelligence" was really responsible for us invading Baghdad. It was conducive of the propaganda and hysteria that was circulating at the time. But it wasn't the main element.
The truth is our Senators authorized the war out of fear. Not a fear of Baghdad (after all, lots of countries have WMD and not all of them like us either) but a fear of a public that had been whipped into a frenzy by Fox News, Clear Channel, hate radio, and the neocon "cabal".
On tonight's Hardball, Chris Matthews alluded to this factor when he was challenging Tucker Carlson on the administration's "Iraq was involved in 911" claims. Tucker, I think correctly, pointed out that few officials or leading political figures made any direct connection between Iraq and 911 (links between Al Qaeda and Iraq, yes, but very few direct connections between Iraq and 911). But Matthews responded by citing as an example of the public mood and the state of public misinformation, the country music song written in the lead-up to the war that did make such a link between Iraq and 911 ("we will not forget") or words to that effect. And certainly the Administration's lumping of 911, Iraq, and the Global War on Terrorism together made the connection implicit, if not explicit.
So, while I'm thankful for whatever change of heart Democrats feel free to muster two and a half years after the fact, and am hopeful that the debacle in Iraq will serve to dissuade the country and its most militant members from launching any further like minded endeavors, the fact remains that the country was scared into attacking Iraq, not out of a fear of what that country could do, but out of fear from our own citizens, goaded by Fox/Clear Channel propagandists, and armed with dubious information and misapplied "patriotic" zeal, the kind of which I hope not to see again.