Thursday, August 24, 2006

My dear penguins, we stand upon a great threshold! It's alright to be scared; most of you won't be coming back.

It's difficult to come up with a word that succinctly describes this silly bit of wingnut dead-ender logic. The one word that comes immediately to mind is "inane." I'm sure you could come up with a better descriptor.

To try and wrap your brain about where he's coming from you really should read the Boston Globe piece he links that he's so unsuccessfully trying to riff on. He's basically taken the original opinion piece by Joan Vennochi and inserted Harry Truman's name wherever George Bush appeared in the original. Hey, nobody ever accused conservatives of originality.

This ongoing pattern of attempting to conflate the war in Iraq with WW 2 has quickly moved from cute but wrong-headed to downright sad. It's one thing to formulate an analogy only to have it collapse under the weight of it's own internal logic. It's quite another thing entirely to stick with that analogy after said collapse.

It should be more than obvious to anyone with even a smathering of understanding of world history that the current conflict against fundamentalist extremists is nowhere near the scale, nor poses nowhere near the threat, as the conflict against global tyranny that was the Second World War. Our enemy has no standing army. No navy. No air force. All they have is anger and intent. Hardly much of a threat to the world's last superpower, particularly if it remains vigilant and aware.

But what really elevates such screeds to the realm of pathetic is invariably the author won't be typing out their global call to arms from a tent in Baghdad or an aircraft carrier off the Gulf, but from the safety of a keyboard a half a world away. In the case of the above article the author, DJ Drummond, is a grad student. He is not fighting in this war.

I'm sure Drummond would have some excuse or another as to why he's not in uniform patrolling the streets of Baghdad but the long and the short of it is that, whatever his excuse, his argument in support of the war comes across thusly:

We are fighting WW III in Iraq. Our enemies threaten our lives, our faith, our very way of life. But don't ask me to fight because I have better things to do like finish college.


Don Snabulus said...

But the current conflict has many similarities to World War II...Reichstag, Enabling Act, lying about the threat of a country so it can be invaded, persecution of people of a paticular religion, etc.

That dude just got the sides mixed up, that's all. However, like all historical comparisons, there are flaws...such as a much larger percentage of Americans than Germans weren't fooled by the lies of their false leader and we have contained the xenophobes much better than the Germans did.

There will never be another WWII because the technology has changed and so have the methods, means, and rationales of war.

Dean Wormer said...


So true about the similarities. It's fascinating how powerful Xenophobia can be and what a powerful weapon it is for unscrupulous leaders.

There may never be another WW II but there's obviously a big group of people who WISH there were. Things were a lot easier back then. The lines were so clear.

We have leaders who are trying a 15th century problem with 20th century solutions when what we really need are 21st century answers.

Anonymous said...

I want my cold fusion and hydrogen cars. When will the nanotechnology make me immortal and indestructable. I am so ready for meta-humanity. Hey - the morning after pill was released in the states, that should reduce the birth rates of idiots. Right?

DJ Drummond said...

A few comments, to clarify:

1. Yes, I am technically a "grad student". But I am also 46 years old, and in far from the physical condition necessary to engage in combat operations. I happen to be, however, in regular contact with people who have fought and are fighting this war, and much of my perspective has been shaped by the men who have carried out the orders. That said, it is a classic and ludicrous fallacy to suggest that someone cannot understand war without direct and personal participation in it. I suspect that you supported President Clinton in his various directions to the military, as I did. If so, your claim here would prove you an hypocrite, while I respected his election as his qualification to issue such orders. And the United States has long emphasized the supremacy of civilian command, or have you forgotten why it is, that President Truman fired General MacArthur?

2. I further note that your rebuttal completely missed any attempt to address the historical similarities between the post-WW2 occupations of Germany and Japan and the present conflict. It seems perhaps to be beyond your grasp to address the underlying forces at work in both instances, or to accept a valid comparison even if you disagree with the opinion.

3. Sneering derision and personal insults from your homepage hardly advance the debate. Is this the limit of your intellectual prowess?

You could have approached this from any number of avenues. You could have emailed me about my perspective, asking on what basis it was formed and to what degree. You could have elevated the discussion by examining the similarities and differences between Europe 1946 and the Middle East 2006, with thoughts on the various strategies and agreements fashioned to shape the growth and development of the respective nations concerned. You could have begun a reasoned debate as has occurred throughout History on numerous issues of the moment, presenting your arguments and supporting them with evidence and allowing for a measured and civil response. Yet you chose this fashion and character of response.

Unfortunate, that. As a courtesy, I will note that just in case you decide – as happens so often these days in leftist blogs – to simply delete my comment rather than face it, I am cross-posting this over at my personal blog, Stolen Thunder. You are quite welcome to post your comments there, though I warn you in advance that my readers do not countenance childish tantrums; they will expect something more substantial. But a mature debate on this issue would be worthwhile, should you prove equal to the challenge. I await your response.

Don Snabulus said...

I feel so childish...

Nonetheless, I know friends of mine in the 40+ category working for Blackwater security, etc. and those who have been in theater working for peanuts in the standard military. They have a variety of views. None of them seem to feel the need to conflate the current situation to fit World War II. Even the most ardent admirer of Bush knows this situation is more complicated than that.

We don't expect our leadership to be former generals, but we do expect them to have at least a nodding acquaintance with the complexities of negotiation and war and some awareness of what that means. Bu$hCo has neither. It isn't a a Democrat vs. Republican issue. Plenty of Republicans "get it." The ones in charge do not.

Age is not a limiting factor for providing a role in Iraq for those willing to sign on with a private company, so Dean Wormer's criticism holds. Put up or shut up. Pleanty of folks have put their vacations on hold to help the cause (some are now dead). If Drummond feels so strongly, then the opportunity awaits to put his reality where his keyboard is.