24 January 2006

He's so Wrong, He's Right.

Joel Stein pulls the veil of hypocrisy from the Left's opposition to the Iraq War and reveals what it's really about.

The Left hates the military. Period.

All wars are unjust wars. Lest we forget, before the President rushed us into Afghanistan (which we are still quagmired) many on the left opposed attacking the Taliban simply because a few Al Qaeda managed to do some harm to symbols of U.S. capitalism and imperialism. Also don't forget that Afghanistan was the graveyard of imperial armies, from Britain at the seeming height of its power, to the Soviet Empire when it too seemed like it was a serious challenge to our own imperial ambition.

(typing that above paragraph hurt my brain)

Hating the use of the military for legitimate geopolitical goals, and claiming to still support 'our troops' is rank hypocrisy and the height of 'wussy'ness as Joel Stein puts it.

Go ahead, hate our current government, AND hate our troops, it's the only honest thing the left can do.

UPDATE: Others (Insty, LGF, Malkin), with real traffic have noticed this OpEd, we'll see what sort of reaction this causes for or against the L.A. Times, and what sort of backpedaling they, or Joel Stein, will do when the inevitable backlash builds.

I perused the usual suspects on the left (HuffPo, Kos, Eschaton, Oliver Willis, etc.). This OpEd didn't happen, or at least they haven't decided how to spin it.

But Chris Matthews is getting all sorts of love. (Kos, Eschaton)

UPDATE, TOO: Suddenly a surge in traffic, I have Pooh to thank for that (or rather, Pooh's comment in the thread for this post in Balloon Juice). Does Joel Stein speak for all of the left, no. Do the ideas he tries to present in a (failed) attempt at humor represent the thinking espoused by the left, from my perspective, yes. From everything I've heard the likes of DNC Chair Howard Dean, Michael Moore, Pres. James Earl Carter, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and just about every 'Mid East' Studies professor on any campus the conclusion that is obvious is that they hate the military, they hate the very concept of the use of force, and if they were in control since Sept 11, 2001 not only would we have not invaded Iraq, we wouldn't have invaded Afghanistan either. Only half-assed diplomatic measures would have been attempted at controlling Al Qaeda.

What would be different now, Iraq would still be under Saddam's control, and the sanctions would have been lifted giving him full rein to reconstitute WMD programs if only to keep up with his neighbor and enemy to the east. Libya wouldn't have unilaterally capitulated and given up their WMD programs. Lebanon would not have enjoyed their recent taste of freedom.

Joel Stein doesn't speak for the left, but by choosing to put his OpEd on this subject in their paper the LA Times does reflect a viewpoint that the ideas he expresses are within the mainstream of political thought. The lack of attention paid to this article (so far anyway) from the left suggests that they are in agreement or they are embarrassed.

So far I haven't seen anyone on the left say they disagree with what Joel Stein said, just that nobody should take him seriously. That says it all.

(and Pooh and I seem to agree to disagree)


Pooh said...

I'm confused. Is that why this post make me so angry? (In other words, this is horseshit and you know it, or should know it.)

There's very little point to this kind of meme aside from pissing people off.

XWL said...

Did you read the article?

I didn't publish the original article in the LA 'effin' Times.

There is legitimate opposition to certain uses of the military, but MOST of the hard LEFT's opposition to the current conflicts is reflexive anti-militarism.

That's what I am highlighting, any anger you feel is a reflection of your own suspicions at the root causes of your own opposition (I suspect).

Let me make myself crystal clear, the HARD LEFT HATES THE MILITARY, PASSIONATELY.

Occaisonally they pretend otherwise, but that's only in the hopes to elect candidates they can manipulate, now that they are growing more hopeless their fantasies and screeds get more fevered, more disgusting, and more honest.

Sometimes pissing people off is the only way to get them to look at their own assumptions.

W.B. Reeves said...

Joel Stein sounds like an ass but claiming that he represents "the left" rather than his own pathetic egotism is more than a leap. It's a light year.

Otto Man said...

Since when does a sitcom writer for "The Crumbs" get to become the grand spokesman for The Left™?

Sheesh. Lighten up, Francis.

Pooh said...

No X, my anger is not "a reflection of my suspicions", my anger is two fold. First, you're implicitly calling me a wanker (which I can generally live with, but I woke up on the wrong side this morning.) Second, you're using a cheap cop-out to avoid addressing meaningful criticism, and you know better, but because the criticism is about your 'guy', you don't want to hear it, so you allow your attention to be deflected.

Tell me how this whole thing hasn't been a giant clusterfuck from the start? (And people who said as much beforehand were fired for offering what turned out to be realistic opinions.) If you are going to engage in a war of choice, (or even to accept your premise, a war of neccesity) you still have a responsibility to do it right. And they haven't, and they won't because they are fighting over there in lieu of fighting their political battles over here.

I'm baffled that somewhat as smart as you can actually buy into the "objectively pro-terrorist" smears. Yes, Chris Matthews should be pilloried for what he said. Do you honestly believe that I (or other left of center types) is on Osama's side? Or are you saying, ostrich-like that that wasn't Matthews implication. Who is this "hard-left" of which you speak?

And who the fuck is Joel Stein and how does he speak for me.


Otto Man said...

they hate the very concept of the use of force, and if they were in control since Sept 11, 2001 not only would we have not invaded Iraq, we wouldn't have invaded Afghanistan either.

What's the weather like on Bizarro World? Support for the war in Afghanistan was consistently in the high 80s. Everyone except for head-in-the-sand isolationists and pacifists supported that one.

Let me make myself crystal clear, the HARD LEFT HATES THE MILITARY, PASSIONATELY.

You know, just because you've typed it in all caps doesn't make it true.

You know who hates the military? Republicans. How else can you explain their support for massive cuts in military pay, health care, housing, and education while the country's at war?

Supporting the troops means doing more than slapping a yellow ribbon on your SUV. It means providing them actual, tangible support.

Davebo said...

Wow, this certainly forces me to rethink things.

Am I part of the "hard left" or just the left or just a moderate?

If I am part of the "hard left" was it my hatred for the military that caused me to serve five years?

And if I didn't really hate the military, as supported by my voluntary service in the military, does that mean anyone who didn't serve must have hated the military?

So many questions. So little relevence.

RonB said...

Pb says "Who is this hard left of which you speak?"

Anyone who doesn't agree with a right winger.

Pooh said...

Easy guys. I think XWL is vastly mistaken in this instance, but he's not Darrell.

And truth be told there is a certain subset of the "Hard Left" that is anti-military. But that hard left is the Churchill's and whoever the dingleberry that wrote OBL's new favorite book, not Dean, Pelosi, etc.

But claiming that Paul Hackett (or DaveBo) are "objectively anti-military" is wrong as a factual matter.

Davebo said...

I'm sorry Pooh but I have to take issue with the "update".

"Do the ideas he tries to present in a (failed) attempt at humor represent the thinking espoused by the left, from my perspective, yes."

Good to see your perspective of the thinking of others.

I generally find that the perspective of the person actually doing the thinking is worthless.