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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Arithmetic

Despicable politician (left) and despicable politician (right).

THE LIMIT. The flashpoint was a quotation posted by Laura Lee Donoho at the Wide Awake Cafe. A conservative blog quoting a conservative columnist -- Max Boot. What's the problem? Here's how it starts:

AND THE DEMOCRATS wonder why they are considered weak on national security? It's not because anyone doubts their patriotism. It's because a lot of people doubt their judgment and toughness.

It's not because anyone doubts their patriotism. It's not because anyone doubts their patriotism. It's not because anyone doubts their patriotism. It's not because anyone doubts their patriotism. It's not because anyone doubts their patriotism. It's not because anyone doubts their patriotism. How many times do we have to write and say this to appease the traitors of the left? Well, I, for one, am done with this flavor of bullshit. Sorry, Max. This time I'm lining up with Ann Coulter.

When Democratic Rep. John Murtha called for the withdrawal of American troops in the middle of the war, Republicans immediately leapt to action by calling Murtha a war hero, a patriot and a great American.

I haven't heard Republicans issue this many encomiums to one man since Ronald Reagan died. By now, Murtha has been transformed into the greatest warrior since Alexander the Great and is probably dating Jennifer Aniston.

In response to Murtha's demand for the "immediate withdrawal of American troops" as The New York Times put it President Bush called Murtha a "fine man, a good man" who served with "honor and distinction," who "is a strong supporter of the United States military." He said he knew Murtha's "decision to call for an immediate withdrawal of our troops ... was done in a careful and thoughtful way."

Vice President Dick Cheney called Murtha "a good man, a Marine, a patriot."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Murtha is "a fine man, I know him personally ... and it's perfectly proper to have a debate over these things, and have a public debate."

National Security Adviser Steve Hadley called in his praise for Murtha from South Korea, saying Murtha was "a veteran, a veteran congressman and a great leader in the Congress."

During the House debate on Murtha's insane proposal to withdraw troops in the middle of the war, Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., said Murtha deserved an "A-plus as a truly great American," and Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., said "none of us should think of questioning his motives or desires for American troops."

Coulter think it's a pack of nonsense. So do I. She makes a point that should have been as glaringly obvious to everyone else as it was to her and to me:

One of only two American Navy aces that the Vietnam War produced, [Randy] Cunningham shot down five MiGs, three in one day, including a North Vietnamese pilot with 13 American kills. Cunningham never did something as insane as proposing that we withdraw troops in the middle of a war, but this week he did admit to taking bribes.

And yet, no Democrat breathed a word of Cunningham's unquestioned heroism before rushing to denounce him as "the latest example of the culture of corruption" in the words of Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Is it okay that he took bribes? No. He's a slimeball. He's a hero AND a slimeball. Hmmm. Work it out in your little heads, kids. The key to understanding lies in the fact that the words "hero" and "saint" are not synonyms. Not even close. Here's a useful example of the difference:

At Washington's suggestion, ______ again joined the northern army, and by a brilliant stratagem dispersed the army of St. Leger, which, in cooperation with Burgoyne, was coming down the Mohawk valley, and had laid siege to Fort Stanwix. After Schuyler had been superseded by Gates, ______ was placed in command of the left wing of the army on Bemis heights. In the battle of 19 Sept., at Freeman's farm, he frustrated Burgoyne's attempt to turn the American left, and held the enemy at bay till nightfall. If properly reinforced by Gates, he would probably have inflicted a crushing defeat upon Burgoyne. But Gates, who had already begun to dislike him as a friend of Schuyler, was enraged by his criticisms on the battle of Freeman's farm, and sought to wreak his spite by withdrawing from his division some of its best troops.

This gave rise to a fierce quarrel. ______ asked permission to return to Philadelphia, and Gates granted it. But many officers, knowing that a decisive battle was imminent, and feeling no confidence in Gates, entreated ______ to remain, and he did so. Gates issued no order directly superseding him, but took command of the left wing in person, giving the right wing to Lincoln. At the critical moment of the decisive battle of 7 Oct., ______ rushed upon the field without orders, and in a series of magnificent charges broke through the British lines and put them to flight. The credit of this great victory, which secured for us the alliance with France, is due chiefly to ______, and in a less degree to Morgan. Gates was not on the field, and deserves no credit whatever. Just at the close of the battle ______ was severely wounded in the leg that had been hurt at Quebec. He was carried on a litter to Albany, and remained there disabled until spring.

Who is the great hero this passage is delineating? His name is Benedict Arnold. A hero and a traitor of the American Revolution.

I don't really care why John Murtha is a traitor. He just is. Here's his latest, culled from Drudge today:

Most U.S. troops will leave Iraq within a year because the Army is "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth," Rep. John Murtha told a civic group. Two weeks ago, Murtha created a storm of comment when he called for U.S. troops to leave Iraq now. The Democratic congressman spoke to a group of community and business leaders in Latrobe on Wednesday, the same day President Bush said troops would be withdrawn when they've achieved victory, not under an artificial deadline set by politicians.

Murtha predicted most troops will be out of Iraq within a year.

"I predict he'll make it look like we're staying the course," Murtha said, referring to Bush. "Staying the course is not a policy."

What does this do for the troops in the field? It gives their enemies hope. It suggests that the United States military is so pitiful, weak, and cowardly that 2,000 battlefield deaths can break their spirit utterly. It suggests to the insurgents terrorists who are trying to kill our troops every day that they should try harder. It suggests to the millions of Iraqis who are trying to build a democratic nation with our help that they can't count on our help and should therefore stop taking risks for their freedom. It frightens and disheartens our allies, and it emboldens our enemies. That's treason.

And what is this all about anyway? Ostensibly it's about the dread number 2,000. (If you need proof, here's an uproariously ridiculous column by the ancient moron who calls himself Jimmy Breslin. The dread number is so awful that it even has the power to make lockstep Clinton ass-kissers turn on their beloved godhead -- send Chelsea to Iraq! -- you gotta love it.)

If 2,000 American dead are sufficient to require immediate cessation of the policy that caused the deaths, regardless of the short and long term costs and consequences, then we have a whole lot of rethinking to do as a nation. Automobiles must be outlawed immediately because while 2,000 professional soldiers were dying in Iraq, more than 100,000 American civilians were dying in their cars. All hospitals must be closed immediately, because while 2,000 were dying in Iraq, approximately 300,000 Americans were being killed by negligence, erroneous prescriptions, and surgical mistakes. All cities must be shut down immediately, because the concentration of human beings in urban centers results in homicide, and while 2,000 were dying in Iraq, upwards of 100,000 Americans were being murdered by relatives, friends, and strangers. And while we're at it, we'd best demolish the Lincoln Memorial and rip Abe's face off the $5 bill, because he misled the nation into a war that killed 600,000 Americans (corrected for population growth since 1860, that's the equivalent of 5 million of today's more sophisticated Pussy-Americans). Come to think of it, tear down the Washington and the Jefferson memorials too, because those sick bastards misled this country into a war that killed more than 7,000 Americans. And get that lying S.O.B. FDR off the dime; he said he'd keep us out of WWII and wound up killing more than 400,000 Americans. Nothing is worth this kind of loss of life.

Or so certain kinds of hero veterans would have us believe. Why? Because serving in the military in a democracy can be done by almost anyone, including fools and knaves and ambitious politicians. And if you're a canny ambitious politician, you are especially anxious to serve because then your opinions about foreign policy are automatically sanctified by your service. You become immune to criticism from chickenhawks like Dick Cheney and split-tails like Ann Coulter. You are free to pioneer a new species of vermin called Eaglepussies, who put on a raft of medals and patriotically assert that the best policy for their nation is to surrender unconditionally to those who have done her harm.

Consider it a new kind of arithmetic. Veteran + Treason = Patriotism. As long as you're a goddam Democrat.








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