Saturday, August 27, 2005

Offensive Enough?


I’ve received a few comments lately expressing offense at the idea that I would compare Nazi propaganda with some of the rhetoric coming from the anti-war movement these days.

I stand by what I wrote!

Further, I am proud to support our work in Iraq and the wider war on terror.

For those who don’t know me, or for those who think they do, let me say categorically that I am not a George Bush apologist. I am a Democrat and I have the votes to prove it. I voted for Lyndon Johnson in 1964, Hubert Humphrey in 1968, George McGovern in 1972, Jimmy Carter in 1976 (I actually worked on the campaign), Ronald Reagan in 1980, Walter Mondale in 1984, Michael Dukakis in 1988, Bill Clinton in 1992, a write-in candidate in 1996, George Bush in 2000, and George Bush in 2004.

I would have supported a Democratic ticket against George Bush in the last two elections if there was a candidate I believed in. Neither Al Gore nor John Kerry were candidates I could believe in. I would have gladly voted for Joe Lieberman if he had been the presidential candidate. But, he wasn’t, so I voted based on my convictions.

I understand the rhetoric is supercharged right now. But I can honestly say that it is not politics, but principle that guides my thinking. You may not agree with those principles, but try as you will, they can not be marginalized, nor will I abandon them.

I also understand that much of what is motivating the current “debate” is politics. It was the same way in the nineties when Bill Clinton committed American troops to end the slaughter in the Balkans. Democrats, my Democrats, supported the effort and Republicans by and large opposed it. So much for principle! I believed that we should have intervened in Rwanda and believe that we as a nation committed a grave sin by not doing so. The blood of hundreds of thousands of Rwandans is as much on our hands as anyone else’s. We had the power and the obligation to do something, but we shrank from our responsibility.

Do you want to know what I find offensive? I find it offensive to hear people say that while Saddam was a tyrant we had no right to intervene. I find it offensive when people call terrorists, who murder innocent men, women, children to advance a world-wide ideology propped up by hatred, freedom fighters. I find it offensive when people who live in world of freedom and the free exchange of ideas would deny those rights to others because of their hatred for one man. I find it offensive when people say that by speaking as I do I’m infringing on someone else’s right to free speech. I have put my life on the line (Vietnam 1965-1966) to ensure that they had that right, and to be honest with you I don’t believe, that if push came to shove, they’d be willing to lay their lives on the line to support my freedom. The obligation and the duty resides with me. I must, by principle, be prepared to lay my life down, and they can, by national identity, demand it of me. But I honestly do not believe that they feel that same sense of obligation or duty to me. I find that offensive.

At the introduction to this piece there is a pamphlet handed out to all who attended a meeting recently held at San Francisco State University. One of the speakers at that event was Cindy Sheehan. I find it offensive that a mother who has lost a son in this conflict would align herself with such evil. I understand grief, but what she had to say at that meeting had little to do with grief. It had to do with hatred. The old adage says that a person is known by the company he or she keeps. I find that offensive!

I rest my case.

I cannot say for sure how this cosmic conflict will end. But I can say that I know which side I am on. Christopher Hitchens said what I feel more eloquently than I ever could:

“Coexistence with aggressive regimes or expansionist, theocratic, and totalitarian ideologies is not in fact possible. One should welcome this conclusion for the additional reason that such coexistence is not desirable, either. If the great effort to remake Iraq as a demilitarized federal and secular democracy should fail or be defeated, I shall lose sleep for the rest of my life in reproaching myself for doing too little. But at least I shall have the comfort of not having offered, so far as I can recall, any word or deed that contributed to a defeat.”

I am proud to sit on the moral high ground in this conflict. I will not yield it. If that offends you, then all I can say is that you be offended.

16 comments:

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The Private intellectual. said...

Sadly both sides in the debate over the Iraqi war may be compared with Nazi propaganda. The one for siding - apparently - with the insurgents, and the other for invading a neutral country.

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dog1net said...

Bravo!

"This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England, now a-bed,
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here;
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."
Shakespeare, Henry the Fifth

Phil Dillon, Prairie Apologist said...

Scot

Thanks! I'm proud to be doing battle with you!

AubreyJ said...

You’re a great American Mr. Dillon.
Thanks for the wonderful- heartfelt reads.
AubreyJ……..

James Fletcher Baxter said...

Human knowledge is a fraction of the whole universe.
The balance is a vast void of human ignorance. Human
reason cannot fully function in such a void; thus, the
intellect can rise no higher than its criteria.

Humanism makes man his own standard of measure.
However, as with all measuring systems, a standard
must be greater than the value measured. Based on
preponderant ignorance and an egocentric carnal
nature, humanism demotes reason to the simpleton
task of excuse-making in behalf of the rule of appe-
tites, desires, feelings, emotions, and glands.

Because man, hobbled in an ego-centric predicament,
cannot invent criteria greater than himself (care to try?), the liberal humanist
lacks a predictive capability. Duh!

Without instinct or trans-
cendent criteria, humanism cannot evaluate options with
foresight and vision for progression and survival. Lack-
ing foresight, man is blind to potential consequence and
is unwittingly committed to mediocrity, collectivism,
averages, and regression - and worse. Humanism is an
unworthy worship.

The void of human ignorance can easily be filled with
a functional faith while not-so-patiently awaiting the
foot-dragging growth of human knowledge and behav-
ior. Faith, initiated by the Creator and revealed and
validated in His Word, the Bible, brings a transcend-
ent standard to man the choice-maker. Other philo-
sophies and religions are man-made, humanism, and
thereby lack what only the Bible has:

1.Transcendent Criteria and
2.Fulfilled Prophetic Validation.

The vision of faith in God and His Word is survival
equipment for today and the future.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by
nature and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of
Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive
characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural
foundation of his environments, institutions, and re-
spectful relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is orien-
ted to a Freedom whose roots are in the Order of the
universe. selah

"Got Criteria?" See Psalm 119:1-176
semper fidelis

P.S. The liberal humanist doesn't even have a substitute alternative!
Patty cake?

parated2k said...

First of all, Thank you for your service to our great nation!

Secondly, thank you for having the guts to vote your conscience. Too many voters allow others to decide who their who will get their vote by blindly following party lines.

The questions I have for those who refer to the terrorist bacteria in Iraq as "Freedom Fighters" are... How much have your "Freedom Fighters" done for the reconstruction of Iraq (other than just put bombs near hospitals, schools and police stations)? and, If we 'Bring the Troops Home, NOW!' as you would like us to do, what are we leaving behind for the Iraqi people to face alone?

Like you, I am offended. I am offended by the inhuman attitude of those, like Cindy Sheehan, who have taken the side of those who want nothing more than to kill Coalition servicemembers.

Even when I was a career Army (and Army National Guard) NCO, I maintained that it is just as Constitutional to protest any war as to fight in it. If those who are against this war feel the need to protest, I would kill or die to defend their right to do so. However, if you are against the war, that means you are against all sides. If you take the side of the enemy of the United States, you are no longer a war protestor, you are a participant in their war effort.

~~~

Great article!!

Gone Away said...

Great article indeed. And I am glad that your reasoned and reasonable articles are beginning to receive the recognition they deserve. It is the continuing presence of voices such as yours that will keep America great, not the unthinking repetition of slogans that issue from both political extremes.

indj said...

i digress for my own leftist tendencies, and agree about the nature of the anti-war poster --- something's wrong. though i disagree with the premise of the war, i am by no means sympathetic to despotic regimes. your arguments are well-written, well-reasoned and respectable, even if i can't come to agree with the bulk of your opinions. well done.

jamal said...

I am of the opinion that we should not be supporting the USA/UK armies in Iraq as they were the invaders based on a lies. We do not have to accept the Iraqi resistance, but we must acknowledge that it is reasonable that a nation defends itself from foreign invaders.

I would say that there is some level of propaganda on both sides to some extent.

The Commentator said...

Iraq wasn't a neutral country. Pigeonholing that the war is/was based on lies is also dubious. If Iraq succeeds, do you think they will care for posterity? Once again, we beat around short-term musings without seeing the big picture. One part of that big picture is what happened today when Iraq drafted a Constitution. They move forward against great odds and we continue to debate things that have long ceased to be relevant. I agree with the writer on this one.

ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

Yet does this "great swelling pride" of yours get you off of the couch to put your own old bones in motion to do anything? I suppse you prefer seeing the younger generation take the bullets for you.

Since you obviously delete comments that don't agree with you (thus to make yourself seem more like "everyone agrees with the old hick man"), hope you had fun with this; you can delete it but shall never forget the words.