"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Iraq and Walter Cronkite

(Hugh Hewitt's full-time guest blogger, the exquisite Dean Barnett, provides a link to Fox News' Shepard Smith going a bit Cronkite on the Iraq War. I was moved to post a fragment of my thoughts about it there, and did, but this was the whole of them:)

Dean, well observed. Such things will happen as each of our hearts grow fainter.

Paul Harvey's opening today was nothing but bad news on the Iraq butchery front as well, bad news on re-enlistments and bad news that the administration asked three retired 4-star generals to return to active duty and help straighten out this mess. (They declined.)

If there's a Cronkite still around, wouldn't it be Paul Harvey?

Most of our nation has lost faith in President Bush, let's face it. So be it. If one consumes only mainstream news, and most folks do, no other opinion is possible.

But I think what's beginning to happen is that the decent people in the United States are losing their faith that there is still a critical mass of decent people left in Iraq. We're growing disgusted. Day by day, person by person, Americans stand up for themselves. The Iraqi people are not.

So we're starting to question whether we should continue to support and encourage our brave military men and women who are willing to risk their lives to save theirs.

Did I say brave? No, that's too faint of praise. Heroic, and we weaker folk should never stand in the way of heroes.

The moment I perceive that these heroes have come to see themselves as the unwilling led by the incompetent to do the unnecessary for the ungrateful, as they put it in the days of the Vietnam War, conscience requires us all to pull a Cronkite, too.

The "incompetent" part has support virtually across the left-right board. We shoulda done this (more troops), shouldna done that (disband the Ba'athist army). Can't say the criticism is off---there's always more incompetence than brilliance in any war. That's how human events tend to work.

But the "ungrateful" part is getting more plausible by the day. And should America's first heroes of the 21st Century become unwilling, the unnecessary part will become moot. You can't give anyone a gift they don't want, whether it's their freedom or even their lives. (I mean you can, but they'll return it, stick it in a closet, or simply throw it away.)

I'll continue to listen as best as I can hear, and trust their judgment. I'm having a great moral dilemma about abandoning the good people in Iraq to the butchers, and our heroes are, too.

2 comments:

James F. Elliott said...

"So we're starting to question whether we should continue to support and encourage our brave military men and women who are willing to risk their lives to save theirs."

Wouldn't it be more accurate and reasonable to state that the question is whether those men and women should be asked to risk their lives any further?

Tom Van Dyke said...

No.