Monday, January 03, 2005

Dalton Trumbo's Rolling In His Grave

This is why people shake their heads at liberals and get away with making the outrageous allegation that we have no moral compass (although not in those tactful words). Matt Yglesias, for whom I have great respect and who has a fabulous writer for a father, points out that The Weekly Standard is rattling sabers at the world:

“…Reuel Marc Gerecht’s call in the current print issue of the Standard for ‘a preemptive military strike’ against Iran…Bill Kristol arguing that we should ‘bomb Syrian military facilities’ and ‘occupy the town of Abu Kamal in eastern Syria’… Nicholas Eberstadt {making the case} for ‘readying the nondiplomatic instruments for North Korea threat reduction,’ also known as ‘the deliberate use of nonconsensual, non-diplomatic options…’“
Nothing terribly new there…cowardly “men” in not the slightest danger of finding themselves drafted into harm’s way who spout bloodthirsty bushwa and ante up the lives of the unscrubbed expendables to die for them. He could have stopped a moment to point out this obvious but too-seldom voiced sentiment, but instead he goes on to say this:

“Now there's nothing especially unusual about a magazine's writers disagreeing with one another. But if this is disagreement (and it's hard to tell that it is; no one explicitly says that in the course of bombing one country we might want to lay off bombing another) it's disagreement of a strange sort -- everywhere you turn the answer is the same: Diplomatic isolation followed by air strikes. As I think should be obvious, this simply can't be the way we solve every foreign policy problem lest we find ourself (sic) fighting a nine-front war. There's always a certain appeal to military options. As the song says, bombing's "nice and quick and clean and gets things done" and lets us preserve our cherished moral clarity. But with the country already fighting one war (plus a semi-war in Afghanistan), endless reiteration of the same theme isn't a very serious approach to the world. Unfortunately, the right doesn't seem to have anything else to offer.”
Granted, he does cite the Dead Kennedys, but even that doesn’t make up for his puzzling lack of outrage. The move to war is a terrible evil, only excusable when there is no other recourse. This is a lesson we continue to flunk as a species, and then when people we love start to die, the economy crashes, the world’s alliances crumble, pictures of shredded flesh and dying kids come down the pipeline, or the price becomes all-too-apparent in other gruesome ways, suddenly we gape wide-eyed at what we have once more so blithely wrought and act (to paraphrase Gomer Pyle) “surprised, surprised, surprised!” Wouldn’t this be a good time to reiterate that Iraq is a liar’s bloodbath, an illegal and un-necessary abbatoir, and that the concept of pre-emptive attack is an immoral horror that doesn’t become palatable just because the U.S. is the aggressor?

If the worst we can muster when faced with the bloodthirsty Kristols of the world is that fighting more than one war at a time is hard and expensive, then maybe we deserve the sidelining we got in the last election.

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