Deep Thoughts with Dan Riehl

Dan Riehl: Wartime Strawman manufacturer

Everywhere you look, some punk kid is trying to take Doug Feith’s title away from him. Riehl takes his shot:

Are there similarities in how we fight wars less effectively today and how we discuss them, similarities that might ultimately undermine the war effort itself?

If someone didn’t whole-heartedly support America’s cause in World War II, odds are they would have been called a traitor, a coward, or at least a weakling, etc. Today, just as we see collateral damage as an argument for not fighting a war, as opposed to an unfortunate by product of one, the conventional wisdom is that we shouldn’t be too hard on war critics, less we run the risk of looking like unhinged war mongers.

Recently the term disproportion has been in the news as regards fighting a war. Think about proportionality as regards the current debate of the Iraq War. Young men and women, good young American men and women are off in a foreign land fighting for what America defined as her cause when she went to war. They are fighting, being severely and often permanently injured and even dying everyday.

Now, last I checked “disproportionate” was being applied to Israel invading Lebanon, slaughtering civilians and destroying Lebanon’s infrastructure in order to retrieve some kidnapped soldiers. Whereas the word applied to America invading Iraq was “unnecessary” or maybe it was “quagmire”…no, no, it was “fake war created to pump up George Bush’s election chances and deflect from his inability to find the one person who did attack America”. Okay, that was more than one word, but you get the point, which is that, at least Israel was provoked into making their “disproportionate” response. We were just bored and distracted and lied to.

But Dan is on a roll, so never mind that:

Yet, as purveyors of what some might call pro-war rhetoric, how do we respond to the people we see daily undermining the very effort required to fight that war and adequately support our troops?

Isn’t the tendency to go soft on them? To not actually say what we believe to be true in our hearts – that, ultimately, their short-sighted reasoning, or lack of resolve weakens America’s prospects in what is an increasingly dangerous world as a result of the rise of radical Islam?

Isn’t it disproportionate to give anti-war folks like that a pass when they sit safe and protected pumping out un-war-supportive prose, while better men and women than all of us fight and die? I’m starting to think that it is.

And lesser men and women sit safe and protected pumping out more-war-please prose intended to send others off to the aforementioned fighting and dying.

What I do know is that, if we are to defeat Islamofascism, many more innocents will die. And even more innocents will die if we don’t defeat it. With stakes that high, is it really such a crime to call certain individuals cowards, or traitors, or somehow un-American, or dangerously misguided Americans, at best?

If America and perhaps now Israel find themselves in a position where they can no longer effectively let slip the dogs of war for just cause, isn’t it, at least in part, because the rhetoric of war has been ceded to those who will always oppose it, no matter how right the cause?

Q: What did you do in the war Daddy?

A: Well, I tried to be as polite and careful as I could be when arguing about it.

…and what I didn’t do was enlist because I was too busy fighting the War of the Proses.

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