Saturday, October 21, 2006

Jonah Goldberg

Justin Raimondo and Matt Barganier both have at Jonah Golberg for his latest column.

There are several problems with his article. First, and onw that both Matt and Justin pointed out, is that despite his claims, a lot of the "pro-war side" are abstractly pro-war. They think war is good for the American people, to give them meaning or to show off their power. In fact, Jonah Goldberg himself had an article where he talked about how war has advanced technology and science.

Another point where he is off is in suggesting that all of the natiwar people are for non-American-interest related humanitarian interventions such as Somalia or Darfur. Not only were and are a lot of antiwar people against thsoe interventions, it was Goldberg who suggested a U.S.-interest-free invasion of Africa, not some antiwarrior.

I will agree that a lot of the Democrats criticizing the war who had previously voted for it are being cowardly. The Kerry types, who refuse to take responsibility for the fact that they made a bad decision in authorizing Bush to go to war, are little more than sniveling fairweather friends. Murtha, of course, is not such an one, because he had the courage to say "I made a mistake. I was wrong, and I am sorry." Agree or disagree, he at least is willing to take responsibility for what he has done.

I also find it unconvincing his attempt to lay all of the problems of Iraq at the door of "intelligence failures."

B.S. No one who thought seriously about Iraq thought that there would not be a low-grade civil war and insurgency. That was a possibility that the administration either lied about or at the very least deliberately ignored because it would not fit with what they wanted to believe.

This, however, is something that no one that I have read has brought up:

Says Jonah: According to the goofy parameters of the current debate, I'm now supposed to call for withdrawing from Iraq. If it was a mistake to go in, we should get out, some argue.

Well, no. The arguments for withdrawing from Iraq are not based on the idea that "it was a mistake to go in, so regardless of anything else, we must get out." The arguments are alos based on the idea that we are unlikely to accomplish anything positive by staying in Iraq. That we were mistaken to go in is simply a supporting issue. No one, or nearly no one, who thinks we need to get out think that we are accomplishing good in Ira and yet need to get out anyway. This is as false as the idea that thinking we should get out is equivalent to wanting us to lose. It assumes that the antiwar people see the benefits of the war that the pro-war people are claiming.

This is another area where Jonah's thinking is murky:

Of course it's the central front in the war on terror. That it has become so is a valid criticism of Bush, but it's also strong reason for seeing our Iraqi intervention through.

This seems to assume that even though U.S. intervention has, in Jonah's opinion, created a bad situation in Iraq, that there is a way for our intervention to fix the problem. There is the possibility, even probability, that "seeing our intervention thorough" will only create more of the same.

He also defends democracy promotion, even if not an early rationale for the war (I actually believe that it was the primary motivation for the war, although very few other people remember it as such):

Jonah apparently believes that: "promoting a liberal society in the heart of the Arab and Muslim world" would "be in our interest and consistent with our ideals."

This, of course, ignores the fundamental issue of whether or not it is possible to successfully insstall a liberal democratic society in the Arab and Muslim world, which had always been the real concern of the realists on the antiwar side.

Finally, Jonah suggests that we ought to hold referendum and let the Iraqis tell us what to do. Other than the fact that leaves out the idea of the American citizenry having any say in our being there (apparently we ought to be, in his opinion, slaves to the Iraqis), he also has a little more barbarity in there than is apparent at first glance:

" If Iraqis voted "stay," we'd have a mandate to do what's necessary to win, and our ideals would be reaffirmed. "

In other words, if we could get 50% of Iraqi to ask us to stay, we could raze the villages of the other <50% of Iraqis to bring them to heel.

Sigh.

So clueless, so stupid, so...Jonah.

That is all.

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