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December 08, 2004

It's the cognitive dissonance, stupid

Orcinus settles the anti-war marginalization battle with this paragraph [found through Atrios]:

So really, what doesn't help matters is evading the issue by implying the people who opposed the Iraq war -- that is, the people who were right -- not only are unqualified to contribute, but must be evicted from the ranks of liberalism. That, in fact, is the opposite of an honest conversation.

040324_clarkeIndeed the whole discussion is more of the blame-liberals-first, self-hating-Beltway-Democrat garbage that The New Republic has been pushing for ages. The problem we've had -- and that the nation as a whole has -- is that we don't realize the degree to which the Bush administration has felt free to be dishonest and divisive with this issue. We have a history of honest stewardship in our government, especially when it came to matters of national security. Even the Senate is utterly dependent on the good faith and competence of those in the executive branch. And guess what? It's not there anymore, and 51% just doesn't realize it, or doesn't want to. Forget about Michael Moore -- read Richard Clarke, and you'll see just how incompetent and dishonest this administration has been from the get-go.

So, considering that we don't have the luxury or desire to purge MoveOn and the folks who dare criticize utterly inappropriate and ineffective terror policies: Where do we go from here? If liberals and Democrats don't honestly feel in their heart of hearts that we can do a better job of fighting terrorism (Islamofascism, if you will), then we don't deserve to win anything anyway. But if we do have a reality-based strategy, then what is it? (Calling Mr. Clarke... calling Ed Markey...)

Let's get to it. Get it right and tell the truth.

 

Posted by Charley on the MTA at 10:02 AM in National | Permalink

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Comments

Orcinus is making a show of disagreeing with Beinart, but he agrees with Beinart's main point: ending terrorism needs to be central, and people who aren't willing to be obvious about that aren't welcome.

Beinart doesn't go so far as to say that liberals ought to have supported invading Iraq. He says that they should have opposed the invasion on the grounds that it would be ineffective in controlling terrorism, not on the grounds that opposing terrorism was less important than domestic issues. Certainly many did take this position, but not all did. (I don't see Beinart disputing that the Iraq invasion was, in fact, ineffective on those grounds. As well as disgraceful in other ways.)

But I want to know: are Michael Moore and Move On, who Beinart singles out, actually opposed to making ending terrorism a central cause? I haven't seen Fahrenheit 9/11, or seen Move On's ads. To say the Bush administration misled the public to justify going to war against Iraq is not to say that the importance of terrorism itself is being overstated. There are people out there arguing that the entire terrorist threat is a government / media-manufactured reality. Are MM among them? I thought MMs were crunchy, not soft.

Beinart does, as Orcinus complains, equate "terrorism" with "totalitarian Islam." And this is a fair point: we identify terrorists by their actions, not the specific beliefs that motivate them. But this is a minor point: 9/11, Madrid, Theo van Gogh and the second murder a few weeks later, and the new bombing in Spain establish, I think, that totalitarian Islam is the current threat to beat.

Posted by: Jim Blandy | Dec 15, 2004 11:35:41 AM

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