Saturday, May 26, 2007

Andrew Bacevich

An articulate foreign policy/international relations theorist who I've quoted before. He has been a scathing critique of this administration---not some moonbat lefty.

He sadly lost his son in Iraq (age 27) this month. In this WashingtonPost op-ed which is deeply tragic, he discusses receiving (2) letters from individuals who maintain that his son's death was the direct result of his opposition to the war. He gave aid and comfort to the enemy.

This is a difficult piece to read for a lot of reasons. I don't agree with all of it by any means, but it is a voice, an important voice that is often neglected in the debates surrounding the issue on all sides.

I can imagine the last paragraph being ripped out of context and used for other purposes. Bacevich writes:
I know that my son did his best to serve our country. Through my own opposition to a profoundly misguided war, I thought I was doing the same. In fact, while was he was giving all, I was doing nothing. In this way, I failed him.
The nothing that he did however is clear from the rest of the article. It is not that he literally did nothing but that all he has done he realized is worthless in the current political climate.

He states (my emphasis):
Not for a second did I expect my own efforts to make a difference. But I did nurse the hope that my voice might combine with those of others -- teachers, writers, activists and ordinary folks -- to educate the public about the folly of the course on which the nation has embarked. I hoped that those efforts might produce a political climate conducive to change. I genuinely believed that if the people spoke, our leaders in Washington would listen and respond. This, I can now see, was an illusion. The people have spoken, and nothing of substance has changed.
There is a valid argument as to whether nothing has changed. Bacevich is right from the point of the election until now and up until at least September.

Bush and Crew, however, are already working on Plan B (basically Hamilton-Baker redux). Secs. Rice and Gates plus the Joint Chiefs are behind the new plan to reduce significantly in '08. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader stated after the recent supplemental vote that the writing was on the wall for a course change in September. Meaning the Republicans will bolt if Bush stays this course come September. Meaning everyone knows that they already thinking past the surge.

A cynical side of me wonders whether that the line about how I have done nothing will be spun in the right blogosphere to mean exactly the opposite of what Bacevich meant. Namely that the initial letters (aid and comfort to the enemy) were while vile in a sense right. That opposition is doing nothing.


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