Sunday, April 01, 2007

I don't understand...

The BBC has had reporters out in the country, talking to Americans about the Iraq war. This week, one was in central Texas, to visit with the Johnstons, who had just lost their 21-year-old Marine son, Gary. As much as we may believe the tide has turned definitively against the war here, you wonder when you read reaction like this:

"Everyone believed that US troops should remain in Iraq to protect America from terrorists, to honour the dead, such as Gary, and to complete the job... even one whose definition was becoming less certain.

But Nubbin Johnston was certain of one thing.

"My brother died in vain in Vietnam," he said, his big frame shaking. "That won't happen to my son."

He took a breath, looked at his neighbours, then spoke for them.

"You want to know why small-town America is losing so many of its people in Iraq?" he asked, his voice quivering.

"It's because small-town America still believes in this country, still believes in fighting for the freedom to worship whichever God you believe in. Our young men and women - like Gary - have been sacrificing their lives for this for 200 years. This is America."

So let me get this straight...these people believe that we are fighting a war for American religious freedom in Iraq, that the fight there is between us and "terrorists," a purely black and white affair, and that you have to believe in the Iraq war to believe in the United States of America? It astonishes me that anyone could really think like this. If you gave these remarks FIFTEEN SECONDS OF RATIONAL THOUGHT, you could never come up with conclusions like those.

What are we to make of the Johnstons' this willful ignorance, bad education, tunnel vision or grief-driven suspension of rational thought? I can't believe what I was reading there, after Vietnam, after all the high-handedness, mendacity, incompetence and dishonesty that went into launching this fiasco, after the descent into bloody sectarian war. These people seem to be stuck in a world view at least half a century out of date.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel for this family and all those who feel they must keep believing in the war in order to believe that their child or loved one has not died in vain. Bush & Co. is taking advantage of them no less than he's taken advantage of the rest of us.

5:32 PM  
Blogger TomCat said...

I think they are parroting a sophism, and easy rote answer that appears to make sense, as long as they don't think about it. They don't think about it, because they cherish the belief that their son died for something worth while. The GOP strategists who coined the sophism want people like this poor family to believe sophisms instead of thinking, because once they start thinking, they will rightfully blame the Bush Regime.

3:00 PM  

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