Friday, April 16, 2004

Conservatives and their Problem with Treason

Morton Kondracke tries to stifle Democrats from comparing Iraq to Vietnam by saying it demoralizes the troops. Kondracke anticipates criticism by claiming he's not questioning Democratic loyalty, just timing, discretion, and judgment. To Kondracke, criticism of U.S. policy and actions gives succor to the enemy, at least as long as troops are in combat.

Other conservatives, I'm sure, would not be as delicate with Democratic sensibilities. Kondracke leaves to others the obvious inference that Democrats are treasonous. Since combat hasn't ended, criticism can't possibly start. Endless combat therefore means endless suspension of debate. Mission Accomplished, indeed!

I don't buy Kondracke's Nixonian (Ciceronian actually) evasions. I, for one, will not stop criticizing U.S. policy or actions, whether troops are in combat or not. The troops themselves can't fulfill that civic duty as long as they are in uniform: it's up to people like me.

John McCain does make some points that Iraq is not like Vietnam, in the sense that there aren't off-limit sanctuaries and there isn't a sponsoring superpower. On the other hand, there may be no need for a distant superpower if a neighboring regional power (e.g., Iran) is available, and there are plenty of human shields around for a variety of ad hoc off-limits sanctuaries in Iraqi cities.

As far as I care, Kondracke can take his jackboots and play Fuhrer in Nasiriya. I will state my opinions as I please.

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