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Sunday, April 11, 2004

Bill Bennet quotes someone again, still can't make any sense

In this editorial, he makes the case for the war in Iraq by never actually making a case for it. But he quotes philosophers, so neener neener neener. Little does he know, he doesn't actually have a monopoly on quoting philosphers, and in fact, I'm gonna quote him quoting a philosopher right now:

"War," John Stuart Mill said, "is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling that thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

Be that as it may, but just because some things are worth fighting for doesn't mean that everything is worth fighting for. Bennet shoves this out there and then doesn't actually offer up what things should be cherished more than personal safety.
He also trots out the ever-loved argument that the death and destruction that is a direct result of our presence is no big deal. You see, Muslims are used to violence. He damn near says that they like it. It's interesting to note that people who make this argument are usually the first to take offense when someone points out the violence in our history and culture. It's wrong to Blame America First and when you focus on the violence you don't see the good things in American culture. But if you're talking about the Middle East, they see nothing wrong with focusing on the violence and ignoring everything else.
And here's a great contradiction right there in the essay, brought to you by the man who tells everyone else to be virtuous while gambling away millions of dollars. In one paragraph:

Because of many early victories, we cannot forget that wars are not easy and that they are not clean and, when truly meaningful, they are not short.

Well, thanks for reminding me! That war sucks is something brought up by peace activists at the beginning of this whole thing. The administration's reply was essentially that we were blowing this out of proportion, that Iraq would essentially be a cakewalk. According to Bill Bennet, that the war is turning out to be long and ugly is a good thing, it assures us that it is "meaningful". Painful, ugly, "truly meaningful" wars are fantastic things, good for character-building. But then, a few paragraphs later:

* The death toll is nowhere near Vietnam: At the height of Vietnam, we were losing up to 300 American soldiers a week and we lost 58,000 by war's end. Tragically, we have lost about 600 Americans in Iraq. But those numbers are not Vietnam numbers.

We're not losing that many soliders compared to Vietnam. Does that mean that this war is pretty much meaningless compared to Vietnam?
There is evidence that his mind is slipping. Some things that just don't make any sense at all:

We rid the world of one of the worst tyrants of our age; mass graves are being emptied, not filled; we are helping to build the first democracy in the Arab world, and we vouchsafed the region, and ourselves, from a madman intent on building weapons of mass destruction.

The insanity isn't that he repeats the lie about weapons of mass destruction--that is the same perfectly sane if nefarious strategy we've been victimized by this whole time. What is weird is the part about mass graves being emptied not filled. Does that mean we're digging up mass graves? I didn't know about this. Is he making this up?

Kennedy, knowing of Saddam Hussein's slaughter, torture, and aggression that led to the gruesome and vile deaths of hundreds of thousands of Arabs and Muslims, berates our efforts to oust Hussein.

His mind is clearly slipping. I do believe that it was the great humanitarians of this administration who were buddy-buddy with Hussein at what you might call the height of his "slaughter, torture, and aggression" on Iran. And that number would actually be more than hundreds of thousands. If I'm not mistaken, it would be over a million deaths. But I'm sure that the plan behind aiding and arming Hussein was to somehow reduce the number of people he could kill, and I'm just not smart enough to see it.

President Bush speaks with one voice on this. Clinton and Kennedy do not.

Yeah, he's lost it. Someone needs to explain to him that Bush, being one person, will naturally have one voice, but Clinton and Kennedy are two separate people with two separate voices.


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