October 22, 2005

It's hard, having my state represented by a moron...

David Gelernter writes some good words:

...We often hear from Democrats that President Bush's policy in Iraq makes no sense. But how can it make sense to the Barbara Boxers of Congress if they can't understand the explanation?

Rice was defending the administration's conduct of the war when Boxer objected. The administration, Boxer noted (correctly), has changed focus on Iraq. We went to war mainly on account of weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism, she said. But WMD turned out to be a hoax on the whole world, and nowadays we are told that our Iraq mission is gigantic. We plan for a freed Iraq to inspire and stabilize the entire Middle East and to promote democracy everywhere. What kind of bait-and-switch is the administration playing with the American people?

Rice answered that this is the way the world works. For example, we did not go into World War II to build a democratic Germany…. Here Boxer interrupted. World War II, she told Rice curtly, has nothing to do with Iraq. Boxer had lost relatives in the Holocaust. No one had to tell her about World War II.

But Rice's analogy was exactly right. And by the way, using the Holocaust as a bat to beat political enemies over the head is demeaning to Jews and to human dignity. Having lost relatives in the Holocaust does not, in any case, confer expertise in U.S. history.

Democracies rarely declare war to improve the world, as Rice could have explained had she had the chance. They fight to protect themselves, sometimes to fulfill treaty obligations. But once a war is underway, free peoples tend to think things over deeply. Casualties concentrate the mind. We refuse to let our soldiers die for too little. America at war has lifted its sights again and again from danger, self-interest and self-defense to a larger, nobler goal. Same story, war after war. Iraq fits perfectly....

That's a good point about the Holocaust. Especially, it should not even be mentioned by cold-hearted people who think that projects to liberate people from genocide and concentration camps should be put on the back-burner indefinitely.

Actually, I myself feel pretty confident that among the goals of the war was always to start the transformation of the Middle East, at least to some. To neocons, and to people like me, who all along have responded to those who snivel that we might "destabilize the region" by answering "YES! That's the plan!" WMD's in the hands of killers were always a valid reason for war (and still are, and even a bluff should be met with instant forceful attack) but they were also an excuse to bring around the cold-hearted fearful creatures who couldn't even dream of making the world a better place.

But the "larger, nobler goal" has come to the fore, as it has so often in our history. And only those with shriveled souls can't feel its appeal...

Posted by John Weidner at October 22, 2005 11:36 AM
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