May 25, 2004

PRINCIPLES

I really enjoyed reading Cathy Young's article today. She discusses the "my country, right or wrong" mentality and brings up some interesting points. She and I have common ground, so I was able to start thinking critically about what she said at the end of her article:

Ironically, the same conservatives who believe that no decent American can sympathize with the other side during a war also generally believe that our troops in Iraq deserve the support of the Iraqis because we liberated them from an evil regime. Yet, following their logic, patriotic Iraqis would have had to support a homegrown tyrant over foreign occupation.

That is true, and I need to keep that in mind whenever I can't understand why many Iraqis are not overjoyed that we're there. I also found the corresponding Instapundit post -- perhaps the longest string of words Reynolds has ever uttered -- to be equally interesting:

I'm not a "my country, right or wrong," guy. But I do think that if patriotism means anything it means giving one's own country the benefit of the doubt -- of which, in the case of this war, there's not really much need for -- and that the people I was discussing in that post are doing quite the opposite and adopting a "my country -- of course it's wrong" attitude. To root for your own country's defeat is to separate yourself from its polity, to declare it not worth saving or preserving, to declare the lives of its soldiers less important than your own principles. It's not always wrong, but it's a very a drastic step, as drastic as deciding to mount a revolution, really, and yet it's often taken by superficial people for superficial -- and, as in this case, tawdry and self-serving -- reasons. [emphasis mine]

I completely agree with the Instapundit here. Many people these days don't seem to ever give the US the benefit of the doubt, and I have little patience for people who root against the US. But the phrase in bold particularly struck me: Isn't that what we all do? On both sides? On the one, we have the loonies on the Left who don't care how many lives we have to waste as long as Bush is no longer president:

The only way to get rid of this slime bag WASP-Mafia, oil barron ridden cartel of a government, this assault on Americans and anything one could laughingly call "a democracy", relies heavily on what a shit hole Iraq turns into. They need to die so that we can be free. Soldiers usually did that directly--i.e., fight those invading and harming a country. This time they need to die in defense of a lie from a lying adminstration to show these ignorant, dumb Americans that Bush is incompetent. They need to die so that Americans get rid of this deadly scum.

On the other hand, you have people like me who think that no matter how many soldiers we lose and how many memorial services we have to have here on post, we need to persevere and set things right in the Middle East. So, in some sense, we both feel that our principles outweigh the soldiers' lives.

Trust me, I think there's a whopping difference between the two, but in a way the soldiers are being used by both sides. In a way. I'm not sure if I like that thought.

Posted by: Sarah at 11:34 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 It is interesting to me that the Left have this attitude, but perhaps it's the Marxist mentality that drives that. Funny, I don't remember anyone wishing death upon someone else simply because Jimmy Carter was incompetent.

Posted by: Mike at May 25, 2004 01:04 PM (cFRpq)

2 I agree Mike. I didn't wish death and destruction on anyone in the previous admin.(they shall not be named), I just wanted them to go away! Sarah, It all boils down to if you believe our being in the ME is a good thing or a bad thing. I'm with you in supporting our troops, AND why they are there! OT, I'm hearing some good rumblings on the net lately that the silent majority are about ready to not be so silent any more. Maybe it's the "Bill Whittle" effect! Hoorah!

Posted by: MargeinMI at May 26, 2004 09:19 AM (iB+r3)

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