Monday, November 28, 2005

Weekend at Uday's

Via The Corner is this gem from the actor John Cusack:

On being attacked from the right as a Hollywood liberal: "So maybe I'm smug, and maybe the Democrats are petty. Maybe you're right. But you're ordering people to their deaths. How are those two things comparable?"

Well, in the spirit of reaching for common ground I won't argue against his points on smug and petty.

With that warm glow of 67% consensus behind me, just what the heck is Cusack talking about when he says the right orders people to their deaths?

So American troops ordered to war are being sent to their deaths?

Well, yes, troops are dying. I never forget that for a minute. But Congress granted permission for that order with many reasons stated for doing so.

Further, Cusack makes the assumption that if only our troops came home, the deaths would stop. The total lack of linear thinking capability is astounding. The orders that sent our troops to Iraq and Afghanistan under the authority of Congress simply changed who would be dying, and certainly the scale of dying.

Yes, more than 2,300 Americans have died in both countries. And civilians die--though not that many at our hands--in the crossfire. On the plus side, the enemy dies in large numbers, too, as we fight back. And I include Iraqis and Afghans in the "we" designation since people who were once victims of cruel and gruesome deaths on the whim of Saddam or his sons or minions on a mass scale are now dying as they fight back to build a free country rather than a torture chamber with a UN seat.

But most importantly, there are tens of thousands who have not died since we overthrew the thugs of Iraq and Afghanistan and who will not die in the future. Afghans, Iraqis, New Yorkers, Pentagon staff, East African, Israelis,and airline passengers, to name just some, have all been casualties before we set foot in Iraq or Afghanistan. And since our enemy hates us, more will die in the future.

So the fact that people die has not changed. Just who is dying. And our troops suffer in battle to protect far more people--Americans and the rest of the world--than will ever die in battle.

Smug, petty, and blind. Not a pretty combination.