Saturday, March 03, 2007

If That Is What You Believe, Then Say So

The weekly Thursday peace vigil at noon in front of San Francisco's Federal Building continues to grow.

Meanwhile, we are treated to the craven journalistic idiocies of writers like Carolyn Lochhead of the "San Francisco Chronicle."
(02-25) 04:00 PST Washington -- While Democrats on Capitol Hill are denouncing President Bush for sending 21,500 more troops to Iraq, both parties are skirting the question of what comes next...

If violence resumes, or a high-profile assassination triggers upheaval, as the National Intelligence Estimate warns, U.S. public pressure for a withdrawal likely will increase.

But none of the diplomatic or military groundwork to mitigate the attendant dangers has been laid.

"At that point you're not drawing down as part of a phased and carefully worked out policy," said Steven Simon of the Council on Foreign Relations. "You're drawing down because your domestic politics really shove you in that direction. And that's not a position in which the U.S. should be."

In the same Sunday "Chronicle," there was an essay by Anna Badkhen with a truly absurd headline: "IRAQ WITHOUT WAR: Would things be better, or worse, in Baghdad four years later if the United States had not invaded?"

At Chris Floyd's great leftist polemical site, "Empire Burlesque," he quotes a writer named Arthur Silber about what all this rhetoric evades, and it's a doozy of an essay (click here to read the whole thing).

Floyd writes:
"Arthur Silber, as always, talks good and damning sense about the maddening moral idiocy of the entire American establishment and the whole "national debate" about the Iraq war. He limns with brutal accuracy the inability of our movers and shakers -- and most of the public they manipulate so thoroughly -- to comprehend the true nature of this bloodsoaked hell: that it is a monstrous crime, conceived in evil, steeped in murder, breeding death, brutality and corruption in everything it touches."

"Silber's penetrating ire is sparked off by the witless flap over John McCain's remark about the "waste" of American lives in shoddy execution of the war...From the pathetic little media spit-up over the remarks of McCain and Obama, Silber moves on to a more sweeping look at the many malign effects the war crime is inflicting on America and the world, as well as examining some of the unspoken assumptions that drive the bipartisan arrogance and ignorance of U.S. foreign policy."

"Here's a brief glimpse at one of Silber's insights: Moreover, this catastrophe without end has severely damaged our nation's military, making us more vulnerable to actual threats we might face in the future. And no, Mr. Bush, Senator Reid, and assorted "major liberal bloggers," the answer is not to enthusiastically and very expensively create a still "bigger military." We already spend more on defense than most of the rest of the world combined. Why in God's name should our military, in the words of Chalmers Johnson, regularly "deploy[] well over half a million soldiers, spies, technicians, teachers, dependents, and civilian contractors in other nations" -- and why should we have over 700 bases in 130 countries around the globe? There is only one reason for insanity of this kind: we are absolutely convinced we are "entitled" to rule the world, by military force on a scale never before seen in all of world history. If that is what you believe, then say so -- and be damned."

Floyd continues:
"That last line says it all. It's time to stop all the baby talk, time to strip off the sugar-coating over the reality of what these policies really mean, and have always meant. And it's time -- way past time -- to damn the authoritarians, the imperialists, and the silk-suited murderers for what they are, and drive them out of office, out of public life, and into the prisons where they belong."

Between Mr. Floyd and Mr. Silber, they pretty much say it all.

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