The parade of commentaries looking at the Iraq War 10 years after “shock and awe” include Peggy Noonan’s blunt take on the wounds it inflicted on her Republican Party. Among her conclusions: “It ruined the party’s hard-earned reputation for foreign-affairs probity.” “It muddied up the meaning of conservatism and bloodied up its reputation.” “It ended the Republican political ascendance that had begun in 1980.” And “it undermined respect for Republican economic stewardship.” Noonan also writes that the war was bad for GOP debate: “The high stakes and high drama of the wars – and the sense within the Bush White House that it was fighting for our very life after 9/11 – stoked an atmosphere in which doubters and critics were dismissed as weak, unpatriotic, disloyal.” Meanwhile, she wonders, where are the Democrats’ self-examination and self-criticism about their foreign policy?
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