Sunday, May 27, 2007

of note: sunday edition -- two very worthy opinions -- bacevich/dowd. . .


the first comes via a
hat-tip to thinkprogress.

the second, via a hat tip
to talkingpointsmemo.

if you click the wordmark for
each newspaper, you will be able
to read the full opinion, in each
case -- and you should do just that.

these are the poignant bits, though.

andrew bacevich -- a father, and professor:



. . .Money maintains the Republican/Democratic duopoly of trivialized politics. It confines the debate over U.S. policy to well-hewn channels. It preserves intact the cliches of 1933-45 about isolationism, appeasement and the nation's call to "global leadership." It inhibits any serious accounting of exactly how much our misadventure in Iraq is costing. It ignores completely the question of who actually pays. It negates democracy, rendering free speech little more than a means of recording dissent. [. . .By comparison, the lives of U.S. soldiers figure as an afterthought. . .] [ed. note: the soldiers are "who actually pay", according to his earlier remarks in this piece, so i've set that sentence here.]

This is not some great conspiracy. It's the way our system works.

In joining the Army, my son was following in his father's footsteps: Before he was born, I had served in Vietnam. As military officers, we shared an ironic kinship of sorts, each of us demonstrating a peculiar knack for picking the wrong war at the wrong time. Yet he was the better soldier -- brave and steadfast and irrepressible.

I know that my son did his best to serve our country. Through my own opposition to a profoundly misguided war, I thought I was doing the same. In fact, while he was giving his all, I was doing nothing. In this way, I failed him.

[Andrew J. Bacevich teaches history and international relations at Boston University. His son died May 13 after a suicide bomb explosion in Salah al-Din province. ed. note: the last paragraph, below, was actually his first:]

. . .Among the hundreds of messages that my wife and I have received, two bore directly on this question. Both held me personally culpable, insisting that my public opposition to the war had provided aid and comfort to the enemy. Each said that my son's death came as a direct result of my antiwar writings.

This may seem a vile accusation to lay against a grieving father. But in fact, it has become a staple of American political discourse, repeated endlessly by those keen to allow President Bush a free hand in waging his war. . .

just immensely sad.

and now, maureen dowd, via the n.y.t.:


. . .The president is on a continuous loop of sophistry: We have to push on in Iraq because Al Qaeda is there, even though Al Qaeda is there because we pushed into Iraq. Our troops have to keep dying there because our troops have been dying there. We have to stay so the enemy doesn’t know we’re leaving. Osama hasn’t been found because he’s hiding. . .

The terrorists moved into George Bush’s Iraq, not Saddam Hussein’s. W.’s ranting about Al Qaeda there is like planting fleurs du mal and then complaining your garden is toxic. . .

there are so many ways to say these
same things, but these were two of
the best i've seen, in months and
months of looking. . . so, do go read
each opinion in full. . .

me? -- i am going out into
the sunshine -- right now. . .

3 comments:

Liberality said...

I heard on NPR that the family was informed of their son's death on Mother's day which is just incredibly sad. It's like rubbing salt into an already festering wound IMHO. Morons who have the nerve to say that if you won't be a cheerleader for bush and so your son deserves to die as a result are so incredibly stupid it's hard to know where to begin to refute them. I just keep telling the republicans who live around here that if they are so much for the war why aren't they over there fighting it? They don't want to go that far huh. But they want to bitch at anybody else who is unhappy about our troops over there in harms way and for little or no purpose (except to further enrich oil companies that is).
Well, that's my rant for the day!
Peace.

Liberality said...

Oh, another thing. Our Sunday paper had an article about Memorial day and it noted that about 1000 more troops have died since last year!

nolo said...

hey lib -- oh.my.goodness. . .

i did not know that -- about the
disclosure arriving on mother's day. . .

just awful.

my bike ride, in the sunshine, did
improve my mood -- but the overall
sadness remains. . .