Tuesday, September 28

Dissent IS responsible


Right-wing radio has been full of condemnation for John Kerry's "irresponsible criticism" of Bush's war over the past couple of days. Yesterday Greg Knapp of Dallas' KLIF went on for almost an HOUR, saying it was Kerry's right to criticize the president's policy, that's his right, BUT...BUT...he should have been doing it in a "responsible way" that would not HELP THE TERRORISTS AND DEMORALIZE OUR TROOPS.

Excuse me, how exactly does one do that? How do you criticize Bush's policy without pointing out what the real situation on the ground is? And if our troops are "demoralized" by one's doing so, is that less preferable than their BEING KILLED? Knapp protested that families of slain soldiers would be doubly grief-stricken if their child lost his/her life for no good reason, i.e., our not "winning" the war. This nonsense was peddled during the Vietnam conflict, and it didn't make any more sense than it does now. Taken to its logical conclusion, this viewpoint would have us continue a war indefinitely simply to keep up the spirits of the troops and their families. Of course, the fact that such a policy would ensure additional loss of life ad nauseum is another inconvenient "fact" that the right is so good at ignoring.

Via Suburban Guerilla, this L.A. Times editorial gets it right:

Kerry's position on Iraq is not a model of clarity and consistency. His critique of the Bush policy has the tang of opportunism. But he is more right than wrong, certainly more right than Bush, and in any event more within his rights to make the argument than Bush is in trying to suppress it. And, as with Vietnam, the nation's policy is gradually shifting Kerry's way. Would Bush have made even the halfhearted efforts of recent weeks to share the burden and direction of the war with the United Nations if he hadn't been looking over his shoulder at the Democratic candidate for his job? To accuse Kerry of aiding the enemy while taking his advice is despicable. [emphasis mine]

Compared with Kerry, George W. Bush is a coward. This is not a reference to their respective activities during Vietnam. It refers to the current election campaign. Bush happily benefits from the slime his supporters are spreading but refuses to take responsibility for it or to call point-blank for it to stop. He got away with this when the prime mover was the shadowy Swift boats group. Will he get away with it when the accusers are his own vice president, high officials of his own administration (Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage) and members of Congress from his own party (House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert or Sen. Orrin Hatch)? The answer is yes: Based on recent experience, he probably will get away with it.

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