Democrats & Liberals Archives

If you don't agree with the Iraq War, it's your fault we're losing

It used to be that I’d read things out of The Onion and believe them to be so outrageously absurd that they’re clearly parody.

Then today I read this from the online periodical The American Thinker and am wondering if the masthead is supposed to be ironic:

A Question of Attitude

I’m not writing to argue with your judgment about the war in Iraq. Rather, I am writing to protest your attitude toward the war. And the point I want to make is this: sometimes, you have to choose between proving yourself to have been right, or helping make a project succeed despite your opposition to it.

Since all our tempers are boiling over, it might be best to try and cool things down by using a non-political example to illustrate my point: Imagine that a husband and wife are planning their vacation. One wants to spend it on the beach at Puerto Vallarta, and the other wants to go traipsing around Europe’s battlefields. They cannot do both, and it makes no sense to try and split the difference geographically by spending two weeks in, say, Baltimore. So one spouse wins, and the other loses. If you are the winner, it’s a good idea to avoid gloating. But if you are the loser, you have a difficult choice to make. You can prove yourself to have been right by making the vacation as miserable as possible – by whining about the food, the weather, the lack of a DSL line in your hotel room, and by generally being a pill. Or, you can recognize that the vacation isn’t nearly as important as the marriage itself – in which case you swallow your defeat gracefully, look cheerful even if you aren’t, and do whatever you can to make the vacation a success. If it’s a disaster anyway – well, next time your spouse may take your advice. But if you give it your best shot despite your misgivings, you will at least preserve the marriage. And – I speak from experience – it’s even possible the vacation itself will turn out better than you had expected.

It’s the same in politics. When a policy is adopted that you don’t like, sometimes – not always, but sometimes—you must choose between fighting it in hopes of proving you were right, or pitching in to make it work, despite your misgivings, for the good of the country.

The Iraq War is analagous to a botched vacation?

This latest Republican excuse to get people to sit down and shut up in their dissent of the war has got to be the most desperate...not to mention the most insulting.

I'm not just annoyed about the way we invaded and are occupying Iraq. I'm fundamentally alarmed and dismayed by the actions of our government in this matter. And yet Mr. Herbert E. Meyer, formerly of the Reagan era CIA, says that my duty as a citizen is to clam up and pretend that waving the red, white and blue will fix it all.

Previous to reading this online equivalent of Charmin, I had thought that the Republican claims of "traitor!" were bred of their political desperation to hold on to power. Now I'm not so sure. Mr. Meyer seems to really believe that dissent is a very bad and dangerous thing for the United States.

His attitude is completely appalling, not to mention antithetical to most of the tenets this nation was founded upon. Its incumbent upon me as a citizen to be vocal in my expressions of dismay at my government. Its my job to let our elected leaders know, especially when they're doing something that costs people their lives, my thoughts and beliefs in these matters.

I'm curious if Mr. Meyer has ever stepped outside the myopic box of conservative thinktankery to try to understand how those of us on the left approach this issue. I doubt its crossed his mind. Most conservatives I've encountered can't be bothered with such pursuits. Understanding fundamental philosphical and ideological differences requires a mind open enough to attempt it. In my experience this is hardly the forte of conservatives.

This leaves Meyer with no alternative than to blame the left for "hurting the cause". Good. This is a cause that I strongly disagree with. If in my own small way I'm doing something that ends what we're doing then I'm doing the right thing. Which is not the same as being "proved right".

Posted by Carla Ryan at November 23, 2005 6:53 PM