Friday, August 31, 2007


Peggy Noonan today, almost getting it, but not quite:

...From the pro-war forces, the surge supporters and those who supported the Iraq invasion from the beginning, what is needed is a new modesty of approach, a willingness to admit it hasn't quite gone according to plan. A moral humility....

What we often see instead, lately, is the last refuge of the adolescent: defiance. An attitude of
Oh yeah? We're Lincoln, you're McClellan. We care about the troops and you don't. We care about the good Iraqis who cast their lot with us. You'd just as soon they hang from the skids of the last helicopter off the embassy roof. They have been called thuggish. Is this wholly unfair?

The antiwar forces, the surge opponents, the "I was against it from the beginning" people are, some of them, indulging in grim, and mindless, triumphalism.... Their great interest is that Bushism be laid low and the president humiliated. They make lists of those who supported Iraq and who must be read out of polite society. Might these attitudes be called thuggish also?

Er, no, Peggy.

President Bush laid himself low -- by killing 3,700+ Americans for no goddamn reason and with no way out, while also flipping off Michael Schiavo and everyone in New Orleans. And the people on our "lists of those ... who must be read out of polite society" are the likes of Pollack/O'Hanlon and Joe Lieberman -- people who get far more respect in the Beltway than we do -- so if we're thuggin' on them, we're doing a piss-poor job of it.

No one is dying because of the war opponents' stance, and the opponents' opposition has had exactly zero effect on America's Iraq policy. The supporters, on the other hand, are literally responsible for tens of thousands of needless deaths and the displacement of millions; furthermore, the supporters have forced the country to remain at war in Iraq despite the fact that this is supposed to be a democracy and most of this country's citizens want to get the hell out.

Therefore, the thugs are on one side only. Obviously.


Oh, and I edited out this bit from Noonan about the thuggish lefties:

They show a smirk of pleasure at bad news that has been brought by the other team. Some have a terrible quaking fear that something good might happen in Iraq, that the situation might be redeemed.

No -- we emphasize the bad-news stories for the same reason that the friend of a battered wife emphasizes the beatings: they're the salient point in this situation. If we "have a terrible quaking fear" with regard to the good news, it's that the good news will continue to be overvalued by those who decide what what we do in Iraq (the White House, the supine Congress, the media), just as a battered wife's friend will fear that the batterer's apologies and hearts and flowers will keep her in the relationship -- and just lead to more beatings.

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