Neocon Lexicon

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Conservatives
emulating liberals:

Jonah Goldberg of National Review writes
:

Rich
Lowry received a note from the father of a Marine fighting in
Fallujah. In it the proud father recounted what his son had told
him. Many residents of that besieged town left bedding for the
Marines and soldiers, along with notes thanking them for liberating
their town from the terrorists and inviting them to sleep in their
homes if necessary.

Every
day, I receive wonderful, uplifting, heart-wrenching e-mails from
Marines and soldiers or their families with similar stories of
Iraqis' expressing their gratitude and relief that the Americans
are doing the hard work of democracy and decency (the latter being
vastly more important than the former).

See,
see – it's all worthwhile!!! Why are you opposing this wonderful
war?

It's
amazing how much conservatives have adopted the ways of liberals
– now that the conservatives are in power.

Do
you remember how, in Bill Clinton's State of the Union speeches,
he would always call attention to some child or family in the audience
who had benefited from some Clinton program? Clinton never mentioned
the family whose taxes were increased, or whose access to market
resources were reduced, or who had to pay higher prices because
of the Clinton program. Just point to a few beneficiaries and make
us think that the program is an unqualified success in making life
better for Americans.

In
the same way, conservatives point to the success stories that "we
hear so very little of from the media" in order to make us
think the Iraq war is a great endeavor – one we shouldn't be criticizing.

But,
in passing on his "success stories," Goldberg neglects
to mention the tens of billions of dollars that have been drained
from our pockets, the 1,000+ Americans who have died, the thousands
of Americans who have been maimed, the tens of thousands of Iraqi
soldiers and resisters who have died, the
tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians
(men, women, and
children) who have died, the tens of thousands of homes that have
been destroyed, and the tens of millions of people around the world
who have learned to hate America because the U.S. military invaded
Iraq without provocation and without any provable excuse.

Are
a handful of emails and tales of gratitude worth all that?

Bill
Clinton as President was a demagogue. And conservatives have learned
to imitate him.

Understanding the words:
And supporting the demagoguery concerning Iraq are the media (you
know, the "liberal media" that Rush Limbaugh and other
Republicans love to hold up as a threat to truth and the American
way). TV reporters utter many empty statements in defense of the
Bush rule-the-world policies in Iraq and elsewhere.

We
really need a translating dictionary in order to understand what
these empty statements are supposed to mean.

I'll
do my part by contributing a few entries to start off the lexicon:

Support
our troops = Don't say anything bad about the Bush war in Iraq
because that might demoralize the soldiers fighting there. So just
let them continue to die, rather than suggest that they might be
dying in vain.

The
French are weak and cowardly = They may have been right about
Iraq, but when was the last time they invaded a country without
provocation?

Pat
Tillman (the professional football player who gave up a lucrative
career to enlist, go to Iraq, and die) is an example for us all
= Aren't you ashamed of yourself for ignobly focusing on earning
a living for yourself and your family, rather than laying down your
life for a promise that the world's problems will be solved once
Iraq is completely destroyed? And don't ask me why I haven't
enlisted.

America
has the best-trained military in the world = I can't think of
anything intelligent to say, and I have no idea how well-trained
our soldiers are, but this always makes people feel good and earns
me some brownie points.

We
need to involve the international community, so that American troops
can come home = Face it – we're never going to leave Iraq, so
learn to live with it.

More
emptiness in the conservative media:

Incidentally, if you want to see just how empty conservative writing
can be these days, read
Jonah Goldberg's entire article
for examples of muddled thinking
in support of a bad war.

Note
that he cites the U.S. Marines' "good works" in Fallujah
as evidence that America is a "wonderful, decent nation, brimming
with millions of people who take people as they find them and do
what is right because that is their character" – neglecting
to mention that America is "helping" people in Fallujah
because our government has coercively confiscated the resources
from us, not because it's in the character of the American people
to voluntarily give up their earnings and their lives to change
a government halfway around the world.

He
talks of the self-correcting nature of our way of life, saying:
"Not all criticisms are fair or accurate, and some are just
plain silly. But when an idea is valid we adopt and nurture it."
But now that every excuse for invading Iraq has proven to be wrong,
why aren't "we" correcting the mistake? Could it be because
a conservative government admits of no error and cares little what
has proven to be true?

And
he says: "For every politician who takes a bribe, every journalist
who plagiarizes, every husband who hits his wife, every child who
cheats, there are multitudes who do none of these things, . . ."
And for every President who confiscates $2.4 trillion of our money,
sends Americans to their deaths, locks up people without trials,
and alienates almost the entire non-American world, there are hundreds
of millions of Americans who don't steal, don't murder, don't kidnap,
and don't make America look bad.

November
30, 2004

Harry Browne [send
him mail
], the author of Why
Government Doesn’t Work

and many other books, was the Libertarian presidential candidate
in 1996 and 2000. See his website.

Harry
Browne Archives

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