Monday, November 28, 2005

Time to Go

Michael Kinsley takes apart the arguments of Dick Cheney:

We are now very close to that point of general agreement in the Iraq war. Do you believe that if Bush,Cheney, and company could turn back the clock, they would do this again? And now, thanks to Rep. John Murtha, it is permissible to say, or at least to ask, "Why not just get out now? Or at least soon, on a fixed schedule?" There are arguments against this--some good, some bad--but the worst is the one delivered by Cheney and others with their most withering scorn. It is the argument that it is wrong to tell American soldiers risking their lives in a foreign desert that they are fighting for a mistake.

One strength of this argument is that it doesn't require defending the war itself. The logic applies equally whether the war is justified or not. Another strength is that the argument is true, in a way: It is a terrible thing to tell someone he or she is risking death in a mistaken cause. But it is more terrible actually to die in that mistaken cause.

On a related matter, Glenn Reynolds is flogging the notion that the Iraq War is a "reverse Vietnam" in the sense that we are getting more positive reports from troops on the ground than we are from the media. Ironically he buttresses his argument with a link to a Christian Science Monitor article. The Monitor report has lots of heartwarming stories involving cute little girls and kindly old gentlemen in Iraq. What the positive reports from the troops fail to do is counter the notion that Iraq is a country coming apart at the seams due to terrorism, and religious and ethnic strife; or that the US occupation is pouring fuel on the fire instead of putting it out.

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