August 28, 2007

"We Can't Want It For Them More Then They Want It For Themselves"

Don't miss the plaintive "Please bring my husband home. Please bring our brave troops home. We're tired". Outside of cloistered mondo think-tank, there is real anger in the land. Anger which is driving the Republican Party off a cliff. And to think some want to expand the theater to Syria and Iran. Folly.

Posted by Gregory at August 28, 2007 09:19 PM

This aired a few months ago and certainly made an impression. Washington Journal gets what would generously be called a wide variety of callers - it must be on air when Hugh Hewitt is not - but within the steaming pile is the occasional gem.

Posted by: FGF at August 28, 2007 10:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'm not sure what people could be angry about. They got Mission Accomplished in Iraq, they got honor back in the White House, they got smaller government. What more do they want? Ungrateful bastards. Why do Americans hate America?

Posted by: LL at August 29, 2007 04:39 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

it's worse than that--the troops hate the troops.
liberals, that's what they are.

Posted by: kid bitzer at August 29, 2007 06:05 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The hurt, pain and anguish in that lady's voice is palpable. Pity, really. But no one, obviously, enjoys the sufferings of others in battle or at arm's length from the battle. I don't mind her chiding Kristol for the ideological lobotomy that he's undergone, but she does need to accept independently that her husband's service is a) voluntary and b) part of the Faustian bargain that he alone-with her consent, no doubt-ok'd.

As to whether his mission is "that important," to use her words, no one can suitably answer. Not now. Clearly, we are in a new-age war, and Iraq as a dispositive battleground, as a front to combat the illusive terror brigades today, may or may not prove sensible.

Finally, her suggestion of reinstituting the draft hardly solves her more sentimental grievance, which asks for relief from fighting ill-conceived wars. A draft would only expose more hearts to the same heartache. What she needs to ask for is for more ratiocination within the minds of men.

Posted by: reshufflex at August 29, 2007 06:35 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

She makes a great point though - if the occupation of Iraq is this vital, epic battle that the NeoCons say it is, then we SHOULD instate the draft. But it isn't so they won't because they can't.

So instead we weaken the Army and Marines by loosening up the enlistment standards to anyone who can put their pants on correctly in the mornimg.

Posted by: RobertSeattle at August 29, 2007 06:38 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I just actually watched the clip (right to where Kristol starts talking, then I stopped it, 'cause, why bother, I know what he's gonna say). I never watch the screamfests, but they really have separate call-in lines for R, D and Independents? What is the point of that, exactly? To allegedly get an even mix (as if that's possible anyway) of political viewpoints?

Aside from that, really kinda heartbreaking, esp. the part about the kids freaking out every time the doorbell rings. This is what war is, people. Not "slam dunk" or Mission Accomplished, but the govt people coming to tell you your husband (or wife) is dead and your kids have only one parent now. Why do Americans have to experience this personally to get it? This all could have been avoided in 2003 if anyone other than the few in Congress who voted against this ill-advised cluster**** had pulled their heads out of Bush's colon long enough to think that anything the Republicans wanted so fervently couldn't be all that good. Even if Democrats didn't have enough votes to win, they'd at least be on record as having been against it from the beginning. Now most of them look like idiots and/or hypocrites for criticizing it now. As do all the "regular" Americans who called people against the war traitors/terrorist symps/scumbags in 2003 and are now boo-hooing about the awful cost of war, which has been obvious to anyone with a functioning brain for thousands of years now.

This woman (and all the other military people) must know there's never gonna be a draft for this war. If it wasn't vital enough to draft for in 2003 at the height of its popularity, it sure as hell isn't gonna happen now that most people are against it. The lesson here for military personnel and their families is that just because the Republicans mention the military every chance they get doesn't mean they give a damn about them.

Posted by: LL at August 29, 2007 06:48 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kudos to greg for taking the smack back to Kirchick, that wet-behind the ears, neocon apologiste.

Posted by: Jamie's Crying at August 29, 2007 06:59 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Also don't miss the deal-military-family part, in which the husband and wife haven't lived together since the war began.

I do wonder whether Kirchick's campaign to discredit Sullivan's blog will force Sullivan to come home (virtually) early.

Posted by: Warren Terra at August 29, 2007 07:20 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Oh no--Jamie-pooh's got more grit in his teeth, with copious quoting from yet another one of his Krauthammer-lite buddies who complains of the softness of us Americans from the safe confines of some wifi-hooked latte shoppe.

If it weren't for Clemons, gd, and hilzoy, I would've been watching clips of John Cleese playing with lemurs all week. In fact, that makes for far more educational and entertainment value than a single one of Kirchick's sniveling whines. He says on his latest in Sullivan's blog that he doesn't understand the vitriol his grit post invited. Hmm, maybe it's because a lot of people who read these particular blogs regularly think that the smug self-importance (e.g.--Be Sure to Check Out The Plank--the Best Political Blog in the Known Universe(TM)), combined with an obvious naivete borne of misspent youth (e.g.--I wasn't lucky enough to be around during Clinton's first Administration, but...) and an astounding lack of un-self-consciousness, denotes a lack of credibility? Experience? Depth? Seriousness?

Really, if this is the level that Peretz has taken TNR to, I'm afraid the new leadership is running a fool's errand.

Posted by: Jamie's Crying at August 29, 2007 08:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Don't miss the plaintive 'Please bring my husband home. Please bring our brave troops home. We're tired'."

This phenomenon of the jingo-defeatists, the erstwhile loud cheerleaders for war who quickly became strident defeatists after we actually went to war, are one of the more interesting outcomes of this adventure. Djerejian, Sullivan, and pretty much the entire staff at TNR are prime examples. It's probably not unique to this war; perhaps just more obvious than in wars past. For example, referring, no doubt, to WWI, no less an expert on human psychology than Adolf the Awful himself remarked of the public intellectuals, "Sie sind nicht standhaft in Zeiten der Not!" (They are not steadfast in the hour of decision.) We should keep this in mind the next time they assure us that rushing off to war would be a peachy idea.

Beyond that, it seems to me that the lesson here is that we are not as intelligent as a species as we like to think. Yes, I know, we created something as sublime as the atom bomb from particles we couldn't even see, and landed on the moon, but both these feats were accomplished by taking small steps based on the result of repeatable experiments. Political pundits don't have that luxury. Their bottom lines are based on vast, shimmering spider webs of intellectual speculation that are liable to be swept away by the impassive broom of reality. That, however, isn't the problem. The problem is that they have a hard time admitting their own fallibility. As a result, they have much more in common with the soothsayers of old than modern scientists. In spite of the inevitability, given their human limitations, of their constantly wandering off the straight and narrow path into intellectual swamps, they pretend to an a level of reliability they can't possibly have. In a word, they lack humility.

Oh, I know, Djerejian has admitted, with an ever increasing baggage of caveats, that he was wrong to support the war in the first place. However, at this point he can't very well avoid it, can he? What's the lesson? That we are not as smart as we think we are, starting with me.

Posted by: Helian at August 30, 2007 11:31 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

So, changing one's mind is a sign of intellectual inferiority? I see. Bill Kristol is a genius by that standard... Y'all fill in your own punch line.

Posted by: FGF at August 30, 2007 04:41 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

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Gregory Djerejian comments intermittently on global politics, finance & diplomacy at this site. The views expressed herein are solely his own and do not represent those of any organization.

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