Carol Platt Liebau: A Very "Defensible" War

Monday, July 31, 2006

A Very "Defensible" War

Washington Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby discusses the conflicts raging in the Middle East, and then concludes by arguing, "Wars are only defensible if they can be won." The statement is both remarkable and unfortunate -- on two counts.

First, the practical. Is Mr. Mallaby really suggesting that Israel couldn't destroy Hezbollah -- or that America couldn't quash the terrorist insurgents in Iraq -- that is, if they decided to fight full throttle?

As Shelby Steele convincingly argued in The Wall Street Journal, for some time, the US has fought "minimalist wars," based on "white guilt" (internalized stigma occasioned by some historical elements of racism and imperialism). Actually, question really isn't whether the war can be won, it's whether countries like Israel and the United States can look past the lack of cultural self-confidence and the myopia afflicting Europe, and decide the struggle is important enough to take the measures so that the war will be won.

Liberals have long been some of the most determined purveyors of the "white guilt" that has led to minimalist warfare. It's unfortunate that someone whose ideological brethren have done so much to tie America's hands then uses its weakness as an excuse for surrender; the title of the piece -- "The Wisdom of Retreat" -- really says it all.

Second, the principled. Contrary to Mallaby's claim, it's not actually true that wars are only defensible if they can be won. Had the North not won the Civil War, or the United States the struggle for independence, the loss of life would have been even more tragic, but the struggle to free America's slaves or secure its independence would have been no less noble or defensible. Conversely, having won the war wouldn't have made it any more defensible that Hitler chose to fight one.

Ultimately, a war isn't "justified" by its outcome, but by its purpose.

8 Comments:

Blogger wrabkin said...

Wow. So many Republicans claim to worship Christ, when it's becoming clear that all they really worship is Death. Political problems around the world? Bomb them away. Terrorists hiding among civillian populations? Kill them all -- the civillians probably deserve it anyway. (Odd -- isn't this exactly the argument Ward Churchill made about the victims of 9/11?) Liberals threatening to win elections? According to the commenters here and the writers of major right-wing blogs, they should be lynched, gunned down, blown up, or put in labor camps.

The Republican solution to every problem these days is the same: Death. Death to all enemies, foreign and domestic. Death to all who are in our way.

You people are in love with death.

8:49 AM  
Blogger JillMartin said...

The radical republican conservative’s day of Rapture is rapidly approaching. All made possible by the great decider, Bush.

In May 2004, National Security Presidential Directive NSPD 35 entitled Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization was issued. It pertains to the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in the Middle East war theater in compliance with CONPLAN 8022. CONPLAN 8022 is 'the overall umbrella plan for sort of the pre-planned strategic scenarios involving nuclear weapons.'

Under the plan the US has stockpiled 480 B61 thermonuclear bombs in five non-nuclear NATO countries. George Bush as accelerated shipments to Israel of 500 BLU-109 warheads, meant to "contribute significantly to U.S. strategic and tactical objectives" and supplement Israel’s current possession of 100-200 strategic nuclear warheads.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

I bunch of girlie talk from Carol's air-conditioned estate. Fact of the matter is that...

The Pentagon has been asking Congress for the past six weeks for an additional $ 50 billion to repair broken and worn out equipment.

A group of national security experts has reported that, "there is not a single non-deployed Army Brigade Combat Team in the United States that is ready to deploy, “the bottom line is that our Army currently has no ready, strategic reserve."

3:29 PM  
Blogger amber said...

DH, by constantly attacking Carol for having a comfortable life (I do not know if this is true or not and I do not care) you are taking away from any point you may have. Why do you hate that Carol has money (again, I do not know if she does)? From what I can see, she works really hard at keeping this free blog running with new information every day. Do you show the same hatred for John Kerry or John Edwards? Who cares how much money someone has? I certainly do not. You are only prooving her point from before about descrimination against well to do people. I believe anyone can be rich, it is all about priorities, focus, perseverance, and drive. I know I have spoken about the 40 somethings in my town who live off of 6-8 dollars an hour, but that is there choice. No way would I ever do that, I would move to a place where I could make money. I am often asked why I do not want to be a school teacher, they are sorely needed in my area (math), my answer is always the same; money. I refuse to work in a field and make the same money as a liberal arts degree holder makes when I can go out and start at a salery 3 times higher and have less headaches. Choices. I see no value in degrading someone's ideas and work based on their financial holdings.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

Amber, I don't know Carol or what her personal networth is. I don't know what her personal beliefs, ideas, or opinions are. She is only feeding this site GOP talking points. If anyone believes all these political talking points, the person would be morally bankrupt, have no sense of humanity and need psychiatric help.

No sane person with even average intelligence would determine all conficts are best resolved by war, as Carol pretends here.

10:47 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

She is only feeding this site GOP talking points.

It makes one wonder why you keep coming back for more.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

wrabkin, Jill, take your meds.

ditto, slap yourself. Where did Carol say "all conflicts are best resolved by war"? You need to read more slowly.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

eLarson said, "It makes one wonder why you keep coming back for more." Dont they have Daily KOS or something like that to dump on?

12:06 AM  

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