Saturday, December 10, 2005

Let's Not Talk About Bush's Optional War . . .

Various of the right wingers have hit upon a new tactic in defending Bush's Optional War in Iraq. Instead, they are now discussing it as WWII, the Revolutionary War, or even the Civil War (ours, not theirs . . .).

I can understand the temptation this past week - the anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor - to talk about WWII, the last "good" war. And, for some, the temptation was too much to bear, and they displayed their silliness with questions about whether those of us who oppose Bush's post 9-11 invasion of Iraq would have proposed "cutting and running" from Hitler and Tojo after Pearl Harbor. The problem with the analogy, however, was pointed out by John Kerry - the post 9-11 war in Iraq is more analogous to Roosevelt invading Mexico after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Well, since that one didn't work out so well, how about we go back to the war that got us started? Norman Podhoretz prefers the Revolutionary War, and compares those of us who oppose Bush's Optional War to Tom Paine's "times that try men's souls" such that "the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot" become so disheartened that they "shrink from the service of [their] country." Umm, sorry, Norm, but that one doesn't work, either. This war has never been about the creation or survival of democracy in America. This war is about WMDs in Iraq, right? No? Well, please, tell me why we're there, and please make it an excuse you'll stick with, okay?

The laugh-out-loud funniest analogy, though, is the comparison that William Stuntz, a Harvard Law professor makes. Believe it or not, this war is analogous to the American Civil War, not because it looks like it is going to kick of a long and bloody conflict among the various sects within Iraqi society, but, get this, because, as summarized by my colleague Anti-Media:
Stuntz points out that the Civil War began for very mundane reasons (an American fort was attacked) but ended up being prosecuted for the highest of all reasons "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom" and that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

The result of that war, as horrible as its devastation was, was the establishment of the greatest nation on the face of the earth.

The Iraq war was begun for mundane reasons - to remove a brutal dictator and to destroy his ability to produce WMD and provide them to terrorists.
You can't make this stuff up. The Civil War began because somebody fired a cannon at Fort Sumter? The fact that the some on the right wing are reduced to this intellectual debasement is a sign of just how desperately they want to avoid discussing the national embarrassment Iraq is.


Blogger antimedia said...

Now really, Dan, who's being silly? The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the triggering event just as the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand began the first World War. Neither event negates the fact that much more complex forces were at work in either case.

I expect better of you, my friend. Before you criticize Stuntz, you should read his entire article and take on his arguments directly rather than sidestepping them by cherrypicking your arguments.

12/10/2005 7:08 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I did read the article, and it was one of the most ridiculous pieces of crap I've ever read. His arguments are too specious to waste space on, beyond pointing out the fact that he wants to dodge the issue of Bush's incompetence and dishonesty.

12/10/2005 7:15 PM  
Blogger The Unsomnambulist said...

Actually, as much as I disdain Bush and do, indeed, feel the American public was deceived into going to war... I think some of these comparisons are rather good, or, at the very least, intriguing.
The civil war was about states rights, and the attempt to secede. And the South may have won, but Lincoln spun it into being about human rights, and thus gave it a moral purpose.
With Iraq, it may have started for the wrong reasons, but maybe (heavy emphasis on maybe) now it could be won for the right ones.

12/12/2005 2:08 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home