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Posts Tagged ‘Lies’

Distractions

Vanishing American had a good point about how we are collectively led away from clear thinking on what the problems of the age are:

I’m reminded once again of C.S. Lewis’ observation about how each age warns against the very things which are no threat to the prevailing culture: in a libertine culture, people warn against ‘puritanism’; in an age which is irreligious, we hear constant cries about how ”right-wing Christians” are trying to establish a theocracy in our midst. As our borders are obliterated and our country overrun with aliens, legal and illegal, we hear how much ”xenophobia” and ”nativism” there is. In an age in which the Minority is king, we hear about ”racism”. In an age where all manner of perversions are out in the open, we hear about how ”intolerance” is killing us. We have banished the idea of sin, and make excuses for all kinds of bad behavior, but yet we are warned against being ”too judgmental.”I’m reminded once again of C.S. Lewis’ observation about how each age warns against the very things which are no threat to the prevailing culture: in a libertine culture, people warn against ‘puritanism’; in an age which is irreligious, we hear constant cries about how ”right-wing Christians” are trying to establish a theocracy in our midst. As our borders are obliterated and our country overrun with aliens, legal and illegal, we hear how much ”xenophobia” and ”nativism” there is. In an age in which the Minority is king, we hear about ”racism”. In an age where all manner of perversions are out in the open, we hear about how ”intolerance” is killing us. We have banished the idea of sin, and make excuses for all kinds of bad behavior, but yet we are warned against being ”too judgmental.”

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Noah Sweat in the Mississippi legislature giving perhaps the most skilled “political” speech in history:

My friends,

I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey.

If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.

But;

If when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.

This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.

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General Petraeus advocated a surge. Then he, inexplicably, said it was working so well that it was time to change course again and reduce the surge. I discussed this illogic here. Andrew Bacevich–Army veteran , BU Professor, and father of deceased Army Lieutenant KIA in Iraq–explains the political roots of Petraeus’ backing down from his earlier enthusiasm for the surge in this article in the American Conservative:

If Petraeus actually believes that he can salvage something akin to success in Iraq and if he agrees with President Bush about the consequences of failure —genocidal violence, Iraq becoming a launching pad for terrorist attacks directed against the United States, the Middle East descending into chaos that consumes Israel, the oil-dependent global economy shattered beyond repair, all of this culminating in the emergence of a new Caliphate bent on destroying the West—then surely this moment of (supposed) promise is not a time for scrimping. Rather, now is the time to go all out—to insist upon a maximum effort.

There is only one plausible explanation for Petraeus’s terminating a surge that has (he says) enabled coalition forces, however tentatively, to gain the upper hand. That explanation is politics—of the wrong kind.

Given the current situation as Petraeus describes it, an incremental reduction in U.S. troop strength makes sense only in one regard: it serves to placate each of the various Washington constituencies that Petraeus has a political interest in pleasing.

A modest drawdown responds to the concerns of Petraeus’s fellow four stars, especially the Joint Chiefs, who view the stress being imposed on U.S. forces as intolerable. Ending the surge provides the Army and the Marine Corps with a modicum of relief.

A modest drawdown also comes as welcome news for moderate Republicans in Congress. Nervously eyeing the forthcoming elections, they have wanted to go before the electorate with something to offer other than being identified with Bush’s disastrous war. Now they can point to signs of change—indeed, Petraeus’s proposed withdrawal of one brigade before Christmas coincides precisely with a suggestion made just weeks ago by Sen. John Warner, the influential Republican from Virginia.

The article is worth reading in full. The idea that the Bush administration can dress up its helter skelter lack of strategy in Iraq is much more insulting to the uniform than any propaganda peddled by moveon.org and company.

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