Sunday, February 11, 2007

I think I'm going to be ill

If I hear one more pseudo-patriotic American contend that the U.S. military adventure in Iraq must continue so as to prevent the chaos that surely would follow withdrawal of our troops, I'm going to wretch.

There is no logic in such an argument. There is only "double-think," as Retired Army General William E. Odom puts it in this column in The Washington Post.

Odom writes:

Undoubtedly we will leave a mess -- the mess we created, which has become worse each year we have remained. Lawmakers gravely proclaim their opposition to the war, but in the next breath express fear that quitting it will leave a blood bath, a civil war, a terrorist haven, a "failed state," or some other horror. But this "aftermath" is already upon us; a prolonged U.S. occupation cannot prevent what already exists.

Ah, but Odom's point has no appeal to the flag-wavers who insist that anything but full support for the Bush administration's ill-conceived war policy is tantamount to disloyalty to our troops.

Nonsense. Our troops don't make policy. They just follow orders. This war wasn't their idea. Continued support for a policy that only gets more of these young men and women killed or injured -- and to no good end -- is the ultimate disloyalty to them.

Of course, the rankest sort of disloyalty is exhibited by those Americans of military age who fully support this war but can't muster the courage to volunteer to serve in it themselves. Creatures of this specimen are called chickenhawks. That's what George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were during the Vietnam conflict. They were supportive of that war, lest anybody question their patriotism, but not brave enough to fight in it.

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