I sometimes wonder if the Seattle Times editorial board actually reads their op-ed pieces before publishing them? Apparently not…
MoveOn.org’s ill-considered, outrageous New York Times newspaper ad calling Gen. David Petraeus, the commander in Iraq, “General Betray Us” not only slimed a well-respected general, it distorted a very real and very serious debate about the course of the war. Instead of the U.S. Congress making progress on troop withdrawal, as some expected this month, the Senate wasted time debating and voting on a measure to condemn the ad.
Damn you MoveOn.org for forcing the Senate to waste time debating an ad!
No… really. That’s the logic that leads the Times to blame MoveOn.org for the Senate’s lack of progress on troop withdrawal — the same sort of sanctimoniously twisted thinking that once prompted Times editors to berate me for having “successfully placed the phrase ‘horse’s ass’ into dozens of family newspapers.” As if I held a fucking gun to their heads. Now, more than a week later, MoveOn’s evil geniuses have apparently forced the Times to waste its time as well.
The war is bad enough. Nobody needs MoveOn.org’s stupid advertising campaign.
Yeah, sure… George Bush’s trillion dollar war and its thousands of American and million-plus Iraqi dead… is… um… “bad.” But MoveOn’s ad… well that’s just inexcusable.
The Times asks why we cannot “disagree about policy without undertaking childish ad hominem attacks?” To which I thoughtfully reply: “Eat me,” for how else to respond to an editorial that equates a mere newspaper ad with a brutal war of aggression? Once again the Times confuses solemnity with seriousness, embracing a notion of civility more befitting a dying empire than a thriving democracy. It is this sort of myopically polite sensibility that permitted 19th and early 20th century British society to “civilize” the subjects of their far flung colonies by, you know… killing them, polite debate notwithstanding.
The Times’ pious call for civility is also an offensively one-sided misreading of recent history. No doubt the MoveOn.org ad is “outrageous,” and intentionally so, but it is far from “ill-considered.” In fact it deliberately adopts the same sort of rhetoric the Bush administration has so effectively used to bully Congress into authorizing and funding this ill-advised war. Every display of opposition to administration policy has been met with accusations of disloyalty, cowardice, stupidity, lack of patriotism, and even treason. But when MoveOn.org attempts to co-opt the White House’s frame, the Times finally finds this tactic beyond the pale.
As for Gen. Petraeus, it was President Bush who chose to make him a political human shield, and Petraeus who allowed himself to be expressly used for this purpose. In the heat of battle, verbal or otherwise, collateral damage is inevitable, and with so many lives at stake it would be ill-considered for the anti-war forces to hold their fire for fear of damaging a general’s honor, whatever his service to our nation.
There is nothing civil about the civil war we created in Iraq. The civility of the debate surrounding it should be judged accordingly.
I just got around to reading today’s Seattle Times editorial page, and I just have to ask… what the fuck? I mean, really… what the fuck is this editorial about it, and why was it published in our state’s largest newspaper? Were they drunk or something?
Looks like Dan Savage had the exact same reaction.