Dumbed down

Even the most bellicose of conservative pundits has begun to face up to stupid ugly reality. Not to worry. They’re not in danger of critical reflection. With such consistency, the hobglobins would have nothing to do. So, Jonah Goldberg:

>The Iraq war was a mistake.

Great. Now let the lesson-learning begin:

>In the dumbed-down debate we’re having, there are only two sides: pro-war and anti-war. This is silly. First, very few folks who favored the Iraq invasion are abstractly pro-war. Second, anti-war types aren’t really pacifists. They favor military intervention when it comes to stopping genocide in Darfur or starvation in Somalia or doing whatever it was that President Bill Clinton did in Haiti. In other words, their objection isn’t to war per se; it’s to wars that advance U.S. interests (or, allegedly, Bush’s or Israel’s or Exxon Mobil’s interests).

The obvious lesson to draw from this–as the rest of this column illlustrates–is that Goldberg bears no small measure of responsibility for the dumb debate we have been forced to have. In the first place, only in the bifurcated minds of pundits have there been two sides–pro-war and anti-war. Second, the objection of the anti-war crowd cannot properly be characterized as against “wars that advance U.S. Interests” or the even more strawmanish “Bush’s or Israel’s or Exxon Mobil’s interests.” Many of those opposed to the Iraq war used Dick Cheney’s Gulf War I arguments or other largely interest-driven objections. The war, whatever you want to call it, has not advanced U.S. interests, as many at the time argued. Pundits like Goldberg challenged their sanity and their patriotism (links later). Goldberg owes his readers an apology.

In lieu of that, perhaps he could just stop writing his column. If anyone wants to run through the rest of this column, feel free.