IT’S NOT JUST WHAT WE DO, IT’S HOW WE DO IT

Joel M: ‘You and your fellow liberals keep on claiming that big mean George Bush is opposed to the Kyoto Treaty, implying that you virtuous Democrats are in favor of it. What garbage.’

☞ No, it’s the WAY this, and so much else, was done. If I had to fire you and had 20 minutes to do it, I could do it in such an insensitive way that you came back the next day and gunned down everyone in the office . . . or in a better way that left you angry but unarmed . . . or in a way that left you hurt, upset, somewhat angry and mistrustful, but still allowing of the possibility that I really cared about your concerns and was acting no differently than you probably would have under the same circumstances.

The same firing, the same 20 minutes, three very different outcomes. Since January 20, 2001, we seem to have been choosing the first method. I think Clinton/Gore or Gore/Lieberman would have come closer to the third.

For an awfully good piece by Gideon Rose that makes this point better than I have (and without resorting to dumb analogies), click here.

All that said, it’s worth noting the exceptional effort the administration and military have rightly made so far to minimize civilian casualties in Iraq. That piece of it should make us proud. This is not napalm in Viet Nam.

THE HAWK AT THE VILLAGE VOICE

And speaking of its not being napalm in Viet Nam, I think this is an important piece for those of us deeply uneasy about – or those flat out against – the war to read. That it comes from Nat Hentoff at the Village Voice gives it extra weight.

LYING TO THE WORLD?

Jim Karn: ‘The Bush Administration presented documents they knew to be forgeries to the UN to support an argument for war. Think about that for a minute. What more can you say about an administration that would lie to start war?’

☞ They might have done better presenting Nat Hentoff’s argument instead.

 

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