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Hullabaloo


Friday, April 23, 2004

 
Myth Takes

On TAPPED today, Matt talks about Victor Davis Hansen's lame assertion that left wing arguments about the war are "myths." In his usual convincing fashion, Matt demolishes Hansen's tired wingnut defense that while the WMD issue was put forth perhaps "erroneously" it doesn't matter because there were other good reasons for invading. And anyway, when everything comes up roses it won't matter why we did it. Matt gets to the meat of the matter and brings up the related fact that the repeated assertions of "grave and gathering" danger made majorities of the public believe until this day in what has been proven to be a complete falsehood about Saddam's WMD and ties to terrorists. He says:

I've written previously, these false beliefs correlate highly with support for the war. Now there's a case to be made that the president's done the right thing here. I can imagine an argument that the American people are just too unsophisticated to grasp the needs of American grand strategy and that, therefore, they need to be tricked into doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. But if that's the case you want to make, you need to produce an argument. Just deriding liberal arguments as myths when they are, in fact, perfectly accurate doesn't cut it.


I can imagine that argument, too, particularly coming from a bunch of phony Straussians. But it would be more than a little bit contrary to Crusader Codpiece's happy talk about liberating the Iraqi people and in total contradiction to the self-righteous Republican oratory about their commitment to freedom and democracy. Let's be clear about the real "myths" at play here.

If you look closely at the last few years you have no choice but to believe that Republicans think democracy itself is a myth. For instance, there was that little matter of impeachment over a private sexual matter -- a manipulation of the constitution to overturn the public will, to which the public, thankfully, registered its displeasure in midterm elections and polls. Not two years later there was the bizarre sight of Republicans in Florida professing that arbitrary deadlines and the mere possibility of human error were more important than the principle of making sure that all votes were duly counted --- even by judges who are charged with matters of life and death every day. Now we see Republicans slyly admitting that the public needs to be tricked into doing the right thing rather than being told the truth and being allowed to make their wishes known. It's been clear for quite a while to anyone paying attention that the GOP "reverence" for the principles of freedom and democracy is strictly a marketing device.

And this may present a little problem for Junior's Freedom Crusade because even though some Americans may be, shall we say, "biased" enough to believe that all Arab bad guys must be in cahoots and trying to kill us, I doubt that either Americans or Iraqis are gullible enough to believe that "freedom and democracy" can possibly mean this:

The Bush administration's plans for a new caretaker government in Iraq would place severe limits on its sovereignty, including only partial command over its armed forces and no authority to enact new laws, administration officials said Thursday.

[...]

The arrangement would be, I think as we are doing today, that we would do our very best to consult with that interim government and take their views into account," said Marc Grossman, under secretary of state for political affairs. But he added that American commanders will "have the right, and the power, and the obligation" to decide.


Sure, you can call a foreign military occupation "freedom" and you can say that "democracy" is a caretaker government or a handpicked governing council, but that doesn't make it so. What it does do is make a mockery of the very values we are supposedly trying to impart. A good number of Americans see it, most of the rest of the world sees it and the Iraqi people definitely see it. At this point it might be better part to have Junior just shut the hell up. His mindless blathering just draws attention to our government's rank hypocrisy.







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