2.15.2005

Jonah, Get Thee to Nineveh

Chickenhawk and all around nincompoop Jonah Goldberg is upset because folks have been filling up his e-mail box with virtual white feathers. In a testy post at National Review Online, Goldberg tries his darndest to put his uppity critics in their place. Alas, like his namesake, poor Jonah is simply lost at sea. Being rather fond of banging my head against walls, I've written to Goldberg trying to point out the flaw in his reasoning:
Mr. Goldberg,

I've just finished reading your attempted retort to the torrent of white feathers that have evidently been filling up your in-box. Your argument is, to put it as politely as possible, rubbish.

Resorting to the "I am rubber, you are glue" strategy, you sneer:
"Recently many on the left took great umbrage at Peter Beinart’s suggestion that much of the left opposed the Afghanistan war. No we didn’t! They declared. Well, okay. But if they didn’t oppose it, why didn’t they sign up? What about for the first Gulf War? Or Bosnia?"

Do you really not recognize the difference between your position regarding the Iraq war and the position of anonymous persons "on the left" regarding those other interventions? Speaking strictly for myself, I emphatically supported U.S. military intervention to stop the slaughter in Bosnia (and, more recently, ardently hoped for U.S. military intervention in Liberia, Darfur, and elsewhere in war-torn Africa); yet, I freely confess, I did not enlist (though, in retrospect, I wish I had, at least in the case of Bosnia when I was still young and fit enough to have qualified). But--in stark contrast to you--neither did I use my position as a nationally prominant commentator (which, sad to say, I am not) to sound the drumbeat; nor did I accuse those who opposed military intervention of being apologists for genocide. Had you merely voiced your support for the Iraq war, and backed it up with reasoned argument, your failure to place yourself in the line of fire would not have been morally objectionable. But, when you point an accusatory finger at anyone and everyone who disagrees with you, accusing them of being anti-American and pro-terrorist, you open yourself up to the charge of hypocrisy for remaining safely at home while other, less privileged, souls die for your cause.

I would suggest that you ought to be ashamed; but I sense that you lack the capacity.
(Thanks to Progressive Gold for the pointer. Cross-posted from Red Harvest.)