Monday, June 26, 2006

Why Conservatives Can't Be Trusted to Defend America

Diane West's latest article provides one clue as to why Conservatives can't be trusted, exhibiting a willful blindness to what America is trying to accomplish in the Middle East. She begins by noting that the Allies tactics in World War II were not considered moral by the standards of the day (without noting that the Nazis had already gone much further away from the old ways of fighting wars).
But if this argument continues to carry the day, it's because we still view that historic period from its own perspective: namely, as one in which Allied lives -- our fathers, husbands, brothers and sons -- counted for more than Axis lives, even those of women and children.

How quaint. That is, this is not at all how we think any more. If we still valued our own men more than the enemy's and the "civilians" he hides among -- and now I'm talking about the war in Iraq -- our tactics would be totally different, and, not incidentally, infinitely more successful. We would drop bombs on city blocks, for example, not waste men in dangerous house-to-house searches. We would destroy enemy sanctuaries in Syria and Iran, not disarm "insurgents" at perilous checkpoints in hostile Iraqi strongholds.
Conservatives believe that if we kill enough Iraqis we will win this war. And Diane West makes it clear that our refusal to kill civilians is hurting our ability to win over the Iraqi people. Because if we replicated Haditha on a national level, the Iraqi people would love us. Apparently.

But that seems crazy doesn't it? How exactly is killing Iraqi civilians going to win them over to our side? Unless, perhaps, you believe that the Iraqi people are sub-human somehow - that they have no pride and no love for their fellow citizens; but can only be reached by the fear of destruction and death.

But, once again that's crazy. And that's not the sort of philosophy one wants guiding this nation.

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