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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


By Anotmo
Guest Contributor

Yesterday I heard a caller on a local radio talk show, with the full concurrence of the host, resurrect one of the shallowest ‘arguments’ the Left has contrived regarding the war in Iraq. It was the one that says something like, ‘while we have now invaded Iraq, deposed Saddam Hussein and continue to lose American life’s in that conflict, in the past we supported him to the point of supplying him with weapons and munitions, some of which may ultimately have been used against us’. The point is left unclear but apparently the Left sees it as somehow reflecting poorly on our foreign policy and, by extension, on the current proprietor of that policy, one G. W. Bush. This, despite one half of the argument having occurred long before G. W. Bush was President.

I don’t get it. We fought the British in our American Revolution and again in the War of 1812 but had them as allies in WWI and WWII. We were allied with China in WWII but soon after China became a U.S. antagonist. So what? All of those position were taken in the context of world affairs at the time and none is exasperated nor ameliorated by the other.

We supported Saddam Hussein in the past because he presented opposition to Iran, which was then considered to be a greater more immediate threat than was he. We came later to oppose Saddam because his actions since then showed him to be a more immediate threat; his atrocious mistreatment of his own people, his aggression against Kuwait and the ambitions it portended, his use of and continued posturing as having WMD’s and his refusal to comply with a myriad of U.N. resolutions to dispose of them, provide evidence to that effect and to give U.N. inspectors the freedom to confirm that it had been done.

It can be and often is argued that it was wrong to support Saddam in the past and it can be and often is concurrently argued that it was wrong to invade his country now, but it can not be argued that because we supported him in the past it somehow reflects unfavorably on our opposition to him now or vice versa. That is simply specious. The propriety of a decision in the one case is unrelated to and independent of the propriety of a decision in the other. It may well be ironic but it is in no way revealing of improper policy.

Perhaps it is the appearance of inconsistency and the resulting suggestion of hypocrisy in our saying that, while it was right to support Saddam in the past it is also right to oppose him now, that troubles the Left. If that is the case, then what of the inconsistency and the resulting suggestion of hypocrisy in saying that while it is wrong to oppose Saddam now it was also wrong to support him in the past? That, I expect, is the position most on the Left would adopt. If the validity of the one is to be disqualified on the bases of inconsistency and hypocrisy then the validity of the other must also be disqualified on the same basis.

That leaves the two remaining possible combinations; that it was right to support him in the past and so wrong to oppose him now and that it was wrong to support him in the past and so right to oppose him now as the only qualified positions to take. Both of which suffer from the discomforting implication that whatever initial posture we take toward another nation we must then stick with that posture for ever after.

I apologize for requiring the reader to muddle through this confusing double negative thought process but it need not be so. It only comes from the initial invalid assumption inherent in the Lefts implication that there is some connection and relationship between the propriety of disparate historical policies involving a single nation to which we must somehow remain true. Remove that and judge each independently on the intrinsic state of affairs at the time and such confusion dissolves.

This is just another of the Lefts superficial sound bite pronouncements that comprise so much of their arsenal but which can not survive the most elementary analysis. Their leaders condense the arguments down to some quick and easy talking point phrase’s that, in and of themselves offer no substance, but which reflect negatively on their opposition. The talking points then become the sum total of their arguments. Repeat them often enough in a venue which disallows or ignores redirect and they have the desired effect. And they call us overly simplistic mind-numbed robots. That is why it is so easy to argue with Liberals; they have never gotten beneath the superficiality of their sound bite analysis. Take them under and they drown.

It all reminds me of an old joke. A stranger walks into a local watering hole and orders a beer. About half way through the beer, a local stands up and shouts “23”, which is followed by uproarious laughter from the other patrons. A short time later another local stands up and hollers “17” and again the place erupts into laughter. After still another such instance, the stranger turns to the bartender and inquires as to what is going on. Oh”, the bartender replies, “you need to understand that this is a local bar with pretty much the same people coming in day after day repeating the same old jokes. We finally decided it would be a lot easier and save time to just number the jokes. When a patron wants to retell an old joke all that person needs to do is shout out the number.”

That is how the Left seems to operate. It is not necessary nor productive to slog ones way through the actual argument; just evoke the presumed point by shouting out the catch phrase with which it is associated. Over time there remain few who have ever worked their way back from the catch phrase through to a substantive point or who could actually articulate it if, in fact, it even exists. So enamored are they with their own superior intelligence and righteousness that whatever it is their side is saying must be true and substantive.

Having made that point, I shouldn’t leave any who are not familiar with the above joke hanging short of the punch line. The stranger decides to join in the fun and gets up and offers “12”. The subsequent silence is deafening. Embarrassed, he turns back to the bartender and suggests that ‘12’ must not be a very funny joke. “Not so”, says the bartender, “12 is a great joke, but you have to know how to tell it.”

The Left needs to learn how to tell their arguments least their arguments be perceived as sophomoric jokes. That alone would do much to raise political discourse in this country to a level at which it has at least some chance of being productive.


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