Monday, April 19, 2004

All that remains is the proper application of overwhelming ignorance

An article in Slate talks about the recent proliferation of Vietnam analogies. Most of the article is decent, but then as an aside the author loses connection with reality. He says:

"(What does genuinely echo Vietnam, however, is the barrage of scurrilous attacks against those who question the occupation. Richard Nixon used to argue, in a textbook case of black-is-white newspeak, that protesters who demanded an immediate end to the war were actually prolonging it—rather like saying that Martin Luther King Jr. was prolonging segregation. Now, sadly, that twisted logic is being revived to try to disparage administration critics.)"

It's "twisted logic" to say that demanding the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces DOESN'T play into our enemies hands. That doesn't necessarily make it wrong (it's important to examine whether or not what we're doing is worth it), but no thinking person can deny that the terrorists want us to leave. This was also true for Nixon in Vietnam, it was part of Vietnamese strategy to try and convince the American public that it was not worth it, and it wasn't until Nixon made it clear by intensifying the bombing in the Linebacker I and II campaigns in 1972 despite protests, that the Vietnamese were willing to make a deal (even if it didn't end up being the best deal in the world for us, we did leave). The author might want to look up the word "paradox" in the dictionary. For the record, the first definition over at is:

"A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true"

It seems contradictory to say that working to shorten the war only lengthens it, but IT IS TRUE.

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