Have a Beer as You Watch the Video of the Iraq War

Newt Gingrich on Meet the Press Sunday after Tim Russert brought up Imperial Hubris:

If you read the whole book, he says this is harder–and I think this is the key point that you were driving at a minute ago, Tim. This is a mess, but somebody has to stand up and say, “You know, this a real war.” This is not just some game on television where the good guys get to go in and clean out the bad guys and it’s all done in 30 minutes and we all go home and have a beer. This is a real war with real enemies who genuinely want to kill us. They want to kill us in Saudi Arabia where they’re working. They want to kill us in Turkey. They want to kill us in Pakistan. They want to kill us in Afghanistan. They want to kill us in Iraq. And as they proved on 9/11, if they can find a way to get here, they’re going to try to kill us in the United States.

It’s not it’s all done in 30 minutes and we all go home and have a beer? Insightful or obvious? Maybe not so obvious to some conservatives. Read this Fred Barnes essay and Brad DeLong’s take on what Barnes seems to be saying.

He is writing not about taking part in a war, but about watching one on TV: sitting in one’s living room drinking beer and watching people die 10,000 miles away, rather than standing on the dusty plains of Ilium watching Akhilleus approach with bloody spear.

Of course, Barnes’s Weekly Standard colleague Bill Kristol predicted that the Iraq War might cost between $10 and $20 billion. As Newt seemed to defend the Bush Administration’s decision to invade Iraq earlier during the Meet the Press interview, his comments here really should have been directed at the same Administration before the Iraq invasion, which the White House literally did say would be quickly over so we could just go have a beer. Who was Newt directing his comments to if not the Bush Administration and its defenders at the Weekly Standard?