Now that domestic support for the war has headed into Vietnam-like numbers, we're about to find out if Hoffman was right in claiming you can't send a million soldiers to the other side of the globe to fight an unpopular war. As I've said repeatedly, the Iraq War is nothing like Vietnam in terms of the political rights and wrongs of the local or global dispute -- but it's very much like the Vietnam War in terms of its domestic American political significance.
In the nineteen-sixties, apartheid was driven our of America. Legal segregation -- Jim Crow -- ended. We didn't end racism, but we ended legal segeration. We ended the idea that you can send a million soldiers ten thousand miles away to fight in a war the people do not support. We ended the idea that women are second-class citizens.
Now, it doesn't matter who sits in the Oval Office. The big battles that were won that period of civil war and strife you cannot reverse. We were young, we were reckless, arrogant, silly, headstrong -- and we were right.
I regret nothing.
As has been quoted to death, this White House believes very much that "it matters who sits in the Oval Office." They believe that the notion of responding to the will of the people -- or any other inconvenient factoid -- is "not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality." Well, Scooter, we'll see, we'll see.
Moreover, don't forget that this regime is interested in "creating its own reality" not just (in fact, not even mainly) in Iraq, but also (mainly) in reversing all the other historic "realities" created by the cultural advances of the 1960s that Hoffman was so smug about a decade and a half ago.