October 08, 2004, 9:41 a.m.
Shame, Shame, Shame
Many of you just don’t care about this war.
by Jonah Goldberg
We should have let sanctions work longer. We should have given inspections another try. The WMDs weren't there so we shouldn't have gone to war. It's a mistake. A grand diversion. The wrong war, the wrong place, at the wrong time.
Shame on all you people.
I don't mean those of you who opposed the war at the time and I don't mean those of you who think Bush bungled the job after the fact. I mean you and you and you — and most especially John Kerry and John Edwards. Shame on you both.
You voted for this war but you voted against the peace you say is so important to win merely because you decided that toppling the tyranny of Howard Dean's high poll numbers was worth paying any price, bearing any burden.
But forget all that. I just watched John Kerry preen in front of the cameras about how "good diplomacy" would have prevented the mistake he voted for. "Good diplomacy" in John Kerry's world would have let French and Russian politicians continue to line their pockets in the name of keeping Saddam in power so he could rape and murder and torture until "good diplomacy" welcomed him back into the "international community" and gave him the weapons he sought. I suppose in John Kerry's world good diplomacy lets the boys in the back of the bar finish raping the girl for fear of causing a fuss.
Okay, that was unfair. It just seems everything old is new again. Bush "lied" because he believed the same intelligence John Kerry believed. Bush "lied" even though John Edwards called the threat from Iraq "imminent" — something Bush never did. No one bothers to ask how it could be possible that Bush lied. How could he have known there were no WMDs? No one bothers to wonder why Tony Blair isn't a liar. Indeed, no one bothers to ask whether the Great Diplomat and Alliance Builder believes our oldest and truest allies Great Britain and Australia are lead by equally contemptible liars. Of course, they can't be liars — they are merely part of the coalition of the bribed. In John Kerry's world, it's a defense to say your oldest friends aren't dishonest, they're merely whores.
Oh, one more thing no one asks. How could Bush think he could pull this thing off? I mean, knowing as he did that there were no WMDs in Iraq, how could he invade the country and think no one would notice? And if he's capable of lying to send Americans to their deaths for some nebulous petro-oedipal conspiracy no intelligent person has bothered to make even credible, why on earth didn't he just plant some WMDs on the victim after the fact? If you're willing to kill Americans for a lie, surely you'd be willing to plant some anthrax to keep your job.
And speaking of the victim, if it's in fact true that Bush offered no rationale for the war other than WMDs, why shouldn't we simply let Saddam out of his cage and put him back in office? We can even use some of the extra money from the Oil-for-Food program to compensate him for the damage to his palaces and prisons. Heck, if John Edwards weren't busy, he could represent him.
I'm serious. If this whole war was such a mistake, such a colossal blunder, based on a lie and all that, not only should John Kerry show the courage to ask once again "How do you tell the last man to die for a mistake?" but he should also promise to rectify the error. And what better, or more logically consistent, way to solve the problem Bush created? Kerry insists it was wrong to topple Saddam. Well, let's make him a Weeble instead. Bush and Saddam can walk out to the podiums and explain that his good friend merely wobbled, he didn't fall down. That would end the chaos John Kerry considers so much worse than the status quo ante. And if the murderer needs help getting back in the game, maybe the Marines can cut off a few tongues and slaughter a couple thousand Shia and Kurds until Saddam's ready for the big league again. That will calm the chaos; that will erase the crime.
Yes, yes, these are all cheap shots, low blows, unfair criticisms. I know. Good and nice liberals don't want Saddam back in power. Sweet and decent Democrats shed no tears for Uday and Qusay. These folks just care about the troops who were sent to die based on a lie. I care about the troops too. But despite John Kerry's insistence that he speaks for the American Fighting Man, some of you might consider that a sizable majority of Americans in uniform will vote for Bush, according to surveys and polls. And since the Kedwards campaign continues to tell us that men who fight and serve cannot have their judgment questioned, that should mean something. Oh, wait, I'm sorry. I forgot. Only fighting men who served for four months on the same boat with John Kerry are above reproach or recrimination. Even if you served in the next boat over, you're just a liar.
Damn, that was another cheap shot, another low blow — one more Dick Cheneyesque distortion. We soulless warmongers sometimes forget ourselves. I realize now that you forces of truth and light are nothing like me. If only Bush had justified this war in the high-flown language of liberty and justice he uses now, then you better angels of the American nature would have supported the toppling of Saddam.
Of course, Bush did exactly that. He spoke of the lantern of liberty lighting the Middle East long before the Iraqi Statue of Tyranny fell down in that Baghdad square. But he was lying then, of course. He only said that stuff to please those bloodlusting neocons who didn't care about Bush's vendetta to avenge his father and were too rich from their access to Zionist coffers to care about the Texas oil man's plot to capture the Iraqi oil fields and earn Halliburton the worst publicity any corporation has received in American history. Of course these neocons knew Bush was lying about democracy and WMDs alike, but they too didn't care that they would be found out. After all, that's a small price to pay for Mother Israel, where Jewish-American loyalties check in but don't check out.
Damn. Once again the gravity of Bush's villainy has pulled me off the trajectory of honest debate. I'm not making any sense. I'm not consistent in my "rationales." Indeed, John Kerry said it so eloquently when he noted that George W. Bush has offered 23 rationales for the war. Heaven forbid the International Grandmaster of Nuance contemplate that there could be more than a single reason to do something so simple as go to war. Let's not even contemplate that the ticket that says this administration hasn't "leveled" with the American people should have to grasp that sometimes leveling with the public requires offering more than one dumbed-down reason to do something very difficult and important.
Ah, I know. The problem isn't that Bush has offered more than one reason, it's that he's changed his reasons. That is the complaint of those who would otherwise support the war. Alas, that's not true, he's merely changed the emphasis. After all, what is he to do when he discovers there are no WMDs? Violate the "Pottery Barn rule" and simply leave a broken Iraq to fester? But let's imagine for a moment that he has "changed the rationale." Isn't that what Lincoln did when he changed the war to preserve the Union into the war to free the slaves? Isn't that what the Cold War liberals did when they changed a value-neutral stand-off into a twilight struggle between the human bondage and the last best hope of mankind?
Ah, but in the Cold War we never fought the Soviets, we merely leveled sanctions. Couldn't we have done the same to Iraq, since Saddam was no threat to America? I'm sure all of the people asking this asked it already of Bill Clinton when we toppled Slobodan Milosevic, a man who killed fewer people, threatened America less, and violated fewer U.N. sanctions than Saddam ever did.
I'm tired now. But the sad news is I could go on.
I'm not saying there are no good arguments against the war. I am saying that many of you don't care about the war. If Bill Clinton or Al Gore had conducted this war, you would be weeping joyously about Iraqi children going to school and women registering to vote. If this war had been successful rather than hard, John Kerry would be boasting today about how he supported it — much as he did every time it looked like the polls were moving in that direction. You may have forgotten Kerry's anti-Dean gloating when Saddam was captured, but many of us haven't. He would be saying the lack of WMDs are irrelevant and that Bush's lies were mistakes. And that's the point. I don't care if you hate George W. Bush; it's not like I love the guy. And I don't care if you opposed the war from day one. What disgusts me are those people who say toppling Saddam and fighting the terror war on their turf rather than ours is a mistake, not because these are bad ideas, but merely because your vanity cannot tolerate the notion that George W. Bush is right or that George W. Bush's rightness might cost John Kerry the election.
I get e-mails from you people every day and I see your candidate on TV every night. Shame on you all.