American Samizdat

Thursday, May 03, 2007. *
The left is the major voice criticizing the war on terror, while the right, much to my dismay, has enlisted in ways I could not have imagined back in the 1990s. The right has led the call for war abroad, and called for speech controls, domestic spying, and more power to the president to arrest, jail, and even convict people in military courts without the slightest concern for human rights and liberties. Countless times I've had to explain to people who otherwise are suspicious of government that it is not a good thing to give the US government the power to overthrow any government in the world or torture people abroad or pass out trillions in reconstruction aid.

When the left makes a case for total government management at home and yet nonintervention abroad, while the right argues for free markets at home and a global war on terror abroad, there is some sort of political schizophrenia alive in the land. People who have doubted the power of government to do much at home seem to take leave of their senses when it comes to war abroad. And it is hardly a surprise that they have been proven wrong.

Four years ago, Bill O'Reilly said: "I will bet you the best dinner in the gas-light district of San Diego that military action will not last more than a week." Tony Snow said: "The three week swing through Iraq has utterly shattered skeptic's complaints." Morton Kondrake said: "All the naysayers have been humiliated so far…the final word on this is, hooray." Fred Barnes said: "The war was the hard part…and it gets easier."

Well, it hasn't gotten easier. Bush says that we should stay in Iraq as long as necessary. A poll that came out today says that only 23 percent of soldiers in Iraq agree with him. Seventy-two percent say that the US should leave completely within a year. Nearly a third say that all troops should leave immediately. When the troops themselves are willing to tell pollsters this sort of thing, a war is completely doomed.

[Article continues at link. Recommended for pointing out that no political stance is a 'package deal.' Just because you are X does not mean you will also be Y. Are atheists capitalists or communists? Are vegans anti-choice or pro-choice? Is the left for more government or less government? The answer is 'depends,' and for that we can be thankful. Piecemeal social change does more good than revolution or stasis.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 2:47 PM
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