Thursday, August 23, 2007

Well-said

From Andrew Sullivan ...

To place all the troops into the position of favoring one strategy ahead of us rather than another, and to accuse political opponents of trying to "pull the rug out from under them," is a, yes, fascistic tactic designed to corral political debate into only one possible patriotic course. It's beneath a president to adopt this role, beneath him to coopt the armed services for partisan purposes. It should be possible for a president to make an impassioned case for continuing his own policy in Iraq, without accusing his critics of wanting to attack and betray the troops. But that would require class and confidence. The president has neither.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any argument that invokes the word "fascist" in description of politically conservative adversary is immediately and irretrievably lost on me. It is juvenile, sophomoric, and a clear signal for me to end--politely if possible, abruptly if necessary--any discussion with the person using the word. It is a signal that I am involved in discourse with a fool, and I take seriously Mark Twain's admonition about arguing with fools.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I don't think too much about Iraq any more. I don't think we are ever going to get out of there. All the politicians think they look tough by keeping us sitting there. I just hope my Nephew doesn't get deployed.

I once was called a "Nazi" for arguing on-line that Coke machines should be taken out of public middle schools, so even though I agree with the premise of Sullivan's argument (that the bully pulpit is being used in a manipulative way), I think anonymous is on to something.

4:02 AM  
Blogger Jmac said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Jmac said...

Any argument that invokes the word "fascist" in description of politically conservative adversary ...

Of course, Andrew Sullivan, the author, is a conservative, but no matter.

But, sure, I can concede that. Over-the-top arguments such as those are silly, and, based on your position, I trust then that you wouldn't trot out the 'socialist' line of argument when arguing with someone with more political progressive views than your own.

Of course, the remainder of Sullivan's argument is about as dead-on as anything I've read critiquing this line of argument from the administration.

I think I've been rather fair, perhaps too fair in my critiques of the president. I've always focused them on my disagreements with his policy out of respect for not merely the office, but also the person. However, time and time again, he's chosen to not return the courtesy to me and others who disagree with his policies and ideological views, and the speech to the VFW was more than over-the-top (aside from being historically flawed).

After spending months, even years, saying he really wasn't challenging the patriotism of those who disagreed with him ... he gives a speech where he does just that.

In one element of his argument, Sullivan might have gone over-the-top ... but it was in response to another over-the-top line of argument as well.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with the first anonymous: the best and fastest way to be completely dismissed by me is to use a "fascist" or "nazi" reference re conservatives. It's foolish, not to mention historically inaccurate.

7:52 AM  
Blogger Jmac said...

It's foolish, not to mention historically inaccurate.

The president's speech, right?

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, the President's speech was dead-on.

We spent a bit better than a decade in Vietnam and lost 54k soldiers. We pulled out, and 3 million people were slaughtered.

That's blood on the hands of every Vietnam war protestor, and the President was right to call them on it. "It's hard to imagine the lives of these people getting worse after we pull out," the President quoted a lefty Senator as saying.

Not so hard now, is it?

The Killing Fields? The direct and inarguable result of an America that shirked its responsibility, as some would have us do now.

The President called you folks on your shameful record of appeasement and surrender, and now you're calling him a Nazi.

Where I come from, we put it this way: the hit dog barks.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Jmac said...

While I've addressed other concerns elsewhere, 'The Killing Fields' occurred in Cambodia - an entirely different country - and the rise of the Khmer Rouge regime began when there was still a U.S. military presence in Vietnam.

It wasn't until Communist Vietnam intervened in 1979 that the killings ended. To blame a U.S. withdrawal from an entirely different country - a country which ultimately turned out to be the one which ended the genocide - is a stretch at best.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word "fascist" was not used in reference to a "politically conservative adversary", but rather in in reference to the Bush Administration's practice of tarring their opponents as traitors.

Any argument that invokes the word "conservative" to describe the administration of George W. Bush is lost on me. It is a clear signal to me that I am involved in discourse with a fool.

DECON

10:52 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

JMAC, save your response. He aint listening. You and I know that after 4 years of trying to talk to people like that.

Defenders of the Bush war under the age of 41 should head to the nearest recruiting station post haste. The soldiers in Iraq have done their time. Go get in the humvee yourself or shut up.

10:25 AM  

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