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Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Doc Speaks For Me

Doc Searls is the kind of balanced thinker I admire. He's certainly no fan of warblogging. And as far as I can tell, he's no more an admirer of George W than I am. I may actually have a more visceral dislike of Georgie than does the good Doc--then again, maybe not.

But Doc, like any well-rounded thinker, can see all sides of the picture. After taking issue yet again with a couple of the more hard-headed warbloggers ("warblustery," he calls it), he offers this perspective:

"At its best, war is a lesser evil. That's it. If you have to crush a regime and its armies to end the far worse things they've been doing — as we did to Japan and Germany in World War II, and to the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan — your actions are entirely justifiable in the death-for-death and misery-for-misery moral economics of war. Inflict a lesser misery to end a greater one. End of story.

And that, exactly, is the story George W. Bush is trying to tell, apparently with insufficient success. But bless him for trying to do the right thing for the all the people involved, including the citizens of Iraq."

I wouldn't go quite so far in praise of the prez, but I do believe he's trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately, he has some bona fide "warblusterers" in his administration, and we don’t know how much counterbalance there is to those voices. It's an unbelievably difficult call with potentially awesome consequences in either direction.

Maybe going into Iraq is the lesser evil. Maybe it's the worst possible course of action. The case for a preemptive strike has to be made--compellingly. So far, that hasn't been done--not even close. My knee-jerk reaction is to say that mounting an invasion is unthinkable. But even more unthinkable is the specter of a tyrannical butcher like Saddam with nuclear weapons.

As I said in my previous post, and will say again, sometimes, if you want peace, you have to be a warrior. That was true in 1939. It was true on Sept.12, 2001. And it remains true. That doesn't make me a fellow traveler with the warbloggers, any more than it does Doc, who spears them more effectively than I could. But he sees the whole picture. That's why Doc speaks for me.

Having said that, and having agreed that, yes, Bush is trying, I am compelled to add the fervent wish that this monumental decision were at the desk of a more profound thinker--and one with fewer scary folks in his camp.

OK. That's it for me on the war shit. I've clarified my position. Beat the crap out of me if you will. I'm going to try to get back to the more personal mode of blogging. But as Frank Paynter observed, these feelings are part of the personal package, so sometimes you have to put them out there.


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