Monday, August 29, 2005

Knocking down strawmen

A disappointing column this weekend by Jonathan Gurwitz.
It started off promisingly enough with his acknowledgment that there are “principled reasons to question and oppose the U.S.-led offensive in Iraq.”

He even seems to hint further down that his own unwavering position in support of the war could change when he says that the question of whether or not the war was worth it “... is not a liberal or conservative exercise. It is a judgment arrived at by evaluating factors that can and do change over time.”

But have those factors changed enough to affect his position? Or perhaps he will address some of those “principled reasons” for opposing the war and explain why he is still 100 percent behind the President.

Unfortunately, Gurwitz fails to address either of these issues in the rest of his column. Instead he decides to go after some easy targets - namely, some of the more extremist protesters camped out at Crawford. In this way, he manages to construct three straw men using slogans that he read off of some of the protesters’ signs and then proceeds to knock them over one by one. This also gives him an excuse to raise the specter of anti-semitism that has been exciting right-wingers recently in their efforts to smear Cindy Sheehan.

But it also allows him to skirt the more serious issues facing the United States as we try to figure some way out of this quagmire Bush has led us into. Like how are we going to afford the $1 trillion price tag that this war will present us with if it continues to drag on for two or three more years. And how are we going to fill the gaps in our military as recruiting efforts continue to lag behind?

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