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June 03, 2004

On Mike Wallace

Mike Wallace phoned O'Reilly last night to defend his partisan, anti-American remarks at the highly-inappropriate venue of a Memorial Day speech.

His main point was that WWII was a "good war," because it "united" us, whereas Iraq is a "bad war," because it divides us.

Put aside the point that liberals claim to have an absolute veto over American war-making. Apparently they don't think that we need a mere majority of Congressmen or voters in favor of war in order to go to war, but that we need a majority of the subset of liberals in favor of war in order to go to war.

What struck me was how important he thought it was that America had resisted entry into WWII until the Japanese sneak-attack on Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor united the country, he reasoned.

Well, yes. Yes it did. Pearl Harbor united the country. And all it took to unite the country was the deaths of thousands of US servicemen and civilians and the sinking of half the Pacific fleet.

And that's all it took to get the everyone on board. That, and, of course, the fact that Uncle Joe wanted us to join the war in order to save the Soviet Union.

This is, right here, the crux of the disagreement. Implied in Mike Wallace's remarks is the idea that in WWII, we were wise and peaceful enough not to go to war until we had been grievously wounded by a sneak attack. Also implied is the idea that we would not have been justified in pre-emptively hitting Japan before they hit us; that would have been barbaric and warlike.

Even if we knew, as of course we know now, that Japan was planning its own pre-emptive attack.

Liberals have the idea that we should only be forced into war by direct attack. Even when we have strong suspicions or actual proof that another country is conspiring against us, or actively funding terrorists who attack us, we must never attack first. We must absorb the first blow in order to be peaceful and righteous and have the moral approbation of the world, by which they mean the French.

Even when such moral approbation of the French comes at the cost of thousands of American lives.

With all due respect: the moral and rhetorical value of allowing ourselves to be attacked first is simply not worth letting thousands of our fellow Americans die.

Liberals are forever claiming that conservatives are selfish, heartless, and cowardly for sending American boys off to die in foreign wars. The argument goes that anyone not serving in the military must never agitate for war, because doing so means you're sending someone to die for your beliefs.

Liberals never seem to grasp the implications of their own position, however. Liberals would gladly sacrifice thousands of American lives simply so that we can have the moral high ground of saying "We were attacked first."

It seems to me that they're willing to sacrifice a lot of lives in order to achieve a policy goal as well.

I'm not so willing, and I never will be. Sure, I'd like to have an inarguable moral high-ground for any war. But when that moral high-ground comes at the expense of a thousand people immolated in a holocaust of burning jet-fuel, I say it's too high a price.

Besides, there is actually no "inarguable" moral high ground. The Nazis and Japanese certainly didn't seem to think they were the bad guys in WWII. And the Islamofascists sure don't seem to have any pangs of conscience about 9-11.

The philosophical divide is clear. Conservatives say "Better them than us."

Liberals actually believe the opposite: "Better us than them." Better that we die, even if in large numbers, than we ever act pre-emptively to protect ourselves and kill would-be enemies.

I've always felt that liberals were viciously abstract in their thinking. One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic and all that. There sometimes seems no limit to the amount of real, concrete, tangible human suffering and misery they will countenance in order to achieve an abstract, philosophical, and utterly unreal goal.

Liberals love "the masses." They just don't seem to particularly like actual people.

The abstract rhetoric of "We were hit first" is all well and dandy, Mr. Wallace.

Care to explain to the families of the 9-11 victims why letting Al Qaeda hit us first was preferable to pre-emptively attacking Afghanistan?

How many dead Americans, precisely, is "We were attacked first?" worth? I want an actual number. I want to know exactly how many Americans we have to allow to be murdered in order to put liberals into the strange position of supporting their own country.

Tell me the exact number, and then we can all decide whether or not having the liberals for once "united" with us against an enemy is actually worth the bargain.

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posted by Ace at 04:56 PM

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