Martyrology 101—an elective course

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Aug. 14 2006 3:15 AM

Martyrology 101

It's an elective course.

(Continued from Page 2)

ShanCan similarly demands evidence of this radical left-wing contingent: "By evidence I mean something besides our lack of support for Bush's failed policies in the middle east, and our utter disgust at his exploitation of the fears of ordinary citizens in order to gain support for his policies that do nothing to make us safer (policies which arguably make us less safe) while simultaneously ignoring or blocking activities and policies that might actually improve the security of our nation?"

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For his part, ElFool picks apart the false dichotomy in Weisberg's characterization of the Lamont camp: "seeing Iraq as a politicized right-wing response is not mutually exclusive with taking terrorism seriously."

In Byron_Raum's formulation, the "anti-war" label applies in earnest only to a very small pacifist minority that does not include the Lamont faction. Instead, there are really "two war camps":

One is, by far, the most belligerent. It's a war against anyone who happens to look like an Arab or a Muslim. It's run by people who are unable to distinguish between bin Laden, a terrorist religious fanatic, and Saddam Hussein, a secular, anti-religion fascist dictator. Hey, they are all Arabs, right?

These are not exactly neocons themselves, but these are the neocons' "useful idiots." In this camp also fall the pro-Israelis, who as a people suffer from the paranoid delusion that anyone who criticizes them has the ultimate goal of exterminating every Jew. In other words, only an anti-Semite would criticize a Jew.

To some extent, given their history, I can sympathize, but indulging them fully is far too expensive and destructive of other human lives. Eventually, if they are left unfettered, this means the extermination of everyone who is not a Jew, because every Jew is a human being, and therefore imperfect.

Quite obviously, a lot of people do not take this war seriously because it is assinine in the extreme.

We are the "other" war lobby, believing that we need to have a war of extermination with terrorists and fanatics. The difference is that we are extremely specific about who we paint with this brush, realizing that people are all pretty much the same; give someone a chance to live a dignified life in peace, and they will live a dignified life in peace. This means a pansy-like worrying about the sensitivites of Muslims, because we want them to feel that we care about them, and that it's a good idea for them to be moderate. It means respecting their dignities and freedoms, treating them and everyone else with decency, in order to get at the terrorists that hide in their midst. We are not willing to sacrifice our freedoms, the freedoms that our fathers paid for in blood. We believe that a competent Administration would be capable of finding terrorists without needing to pry into everything and having the ability to detain anyone at random.

The bottom line is, our war is much less expensive than theirs, and more importantly, it does not leave the world in ruin and the Constitution in tatters. We support the war on terror. We are just not willing to accept your broad definitions of what a terrorist is.

Metacom criticizes the Beltway establishment's reading of the tea leaves: 

What we have in Connecticut is that the more liberal party in a liberal state has decided that it doesn't like the way Lieberman has behaved. This doesn't translate to a national movement. Look at what happened to Cynthia McKinney in Georgia.
She has two things in common with Joe Lieberman, a sense of entitlement, and a primary loss. Other than that, they are quite different. McKinney has been far to the left and an outspoken critic of President Bush's foreign policy.
Lieberman is closer to the center on many issues and he has been a defender and facilitator of Bush's foreign policy.
Yet they both lost. Why? Because politics and political views are local.
If Tuesday says anything about the national mood, it's that incumbents are in trouble.

DeanC offers the opposite diagnosis (from Weisberg) of the election's significance for the country:

similar to what was supposed to happen when we invaded Iraq, Americans across the country have seen an outbreak of democracy in Connecticut and are going to be energized by this act of anti-incumbent, anti-Bush success and be inspired to do the same-- in short, causing a domino effect across the United States.

By contrast, Classicsman diminishes the importance of Connecticut as "after all a very small place, and perhaps the bluest of the blue states. To accept as an axiom that what happened there in a primary hijacked (and maybe hacked as well) by extreme anti-war elements is somehow a harbinger of things to come nationwide is laughably sophomoric."

USARST, rejecting the prediction of doom for the Democrats, blames Lieberman's loss on his "inching his way away from the core democratic party values for some time now":

His membership and high profile stance in the DLC, for example, tell us much about his democratic credentials. To explain and then forecast his defeat as some larger march towards political obscurity for Democrats ignores the fact that Joe was out of touch with his constituents and their views. An increasingly anti-war constituency is understanding that our ability to do much of anything, be it domestic or international, has been sidetracked by the disaster that is Iraq. The reasons for going in were disingenuous and the "plan" for victory is non-existant. It is time for some payback for those that continue to support this nonsense and Joe is most deserving of this for his support for the President on this and other issues.