I have a rule about this column. I try for at least one “Damn right!” and one hearty laugh in each column. The former, because I say something that I hope the reader will find agreeable, often without regard to partisan persuasion. The latter, because there is so much about which to laugh the continuing political controversies of the day.
Too frequently, you read an item or see a quotation which evokes a deep sense of outrage, but you respond with humor, perhaps to avoid those painful emotions. It’s a phenomenon that, I suppose, I first observed after the Jim Jones tragedy in the jungles of northern South America in 1979, when nearly a thousand religious fanatics committed mass suicide at the behest of their charismatic leader by drinking Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. The loss of life was so great and so tragic that many responded with numerous Kool-Aid jokes. Hence, following the Challenger disaster in 1986, I nervously laughed with those who observed that “NASA” stood for “Need Another Seven Astronauts,” and understood why they made the horrendously bad joke. It’s a defense mechanism.
So, witness the current controversy over our impending conflict with Iraq. Sometimes you have to look at the comments of those on the Left, and simply laugh at their idiocy. You have to laugh because, among other things, serious people simply don’t say things like that. And it beats chest-thumping anger.
Witness Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, one of the most recent entries into Democrat Presidential Sweepstakes, a race fast approaching 1984’s re-run of the “Seven Dwarfs.” Kucinich is the latest great thinker among Democrats to observe that President Bush has not made the case proving that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, and we should fear their use if we do invade. Huh?
And then there’s “great thinker” Janeane Garofalo, former of Saturday Night Live, who is fronting for the group “Win Without War,” opposing military action because of the potential for a humanitarian disaster. Others involved with this group include Martin (“I’m-Not-The-President-But-I-Play-One-On-TV”) Sheen, of NBC’s fictional “Left”… er, “West Wing,” and other cast members, former “M*A*S*H” co-star Mike Farrell, and James Cromwell. Its Web site contains the comment that “We can contain Saddam Hussein without killing innocent people, diverting us from the war on terrorism and putting us all at risk.”
The middle point (whether deposing Hussein and stripping Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction is an appropriate part of the war on terror) is perhaps one worth debating, since it actually addresses American security needs and interests. But the group demonstrates is moral whimsy by the comments with which it bookends this undeveloped point, particularly when they go one to decry the “costs of war” and the toll taken on socialist welfare spending programs as one reason to avoid it.
To be sure, war is horrible. But the nice thing about totalitarians like Hussein (or Hitler, or Stalin or Pol Pot) is that they make war preferable to the alternatives. But “Win Without War” states that containment of Hussein and inevitably permitting him to continue his slaughter of the innocent which has marked the entire history of his murderous regime is morally preferable to the possibility of the United States and her allies killing innocent civilians, albeit what is doubtlessly a number smaller that the contingent murdered by Hussein.
You’ve got to laugh at their logic (the word “logic” being loosely defined). Apparently, for these morally-courageous doppelgangers of serious thinkers, the United States and her allies cannot dirty their hands, even if doing so ends Hussein’s reign of terror over his own land and throughout the Middle East. And these individuals, many of whom denied the threat posed by an expansionist Soviet Union before its fall, cannot be taken seriously when they talk about “putting us all at risk.” Most denied the seriousness of the second of two great threats posed to human liberty in the 20th Century!
And then there are the “human shields,” Westerners who have traveled to Iraq and offered themselves up as Hussein’s pawns, to be placed near strategic sights to discourage Allied bombing when hostility begins.
Some are just too stupid to live. Coupled with what is blatant treason a Marine veteran of the Gulf War appearing on Sam Donaldson’s radio talk show has renounced his American citizenship do many believe that their locations should be among the first to be targeted? To do so would solve two problems.The first? Anyplace that Hussein sends these “useful idiots” (to quote V.I. Lenin) is by definition a target of the first order. The second? Treason in time of war is punishable by death.
But the most entertaining/pathetic/maddening/outrageous thing I’ve heard live and in person, from a left-wing lawyer, demonstrating just how far out to lunch the lefties truly are. He called George W. Bush a “warmonger.” Now at that, I had to laugh. He’s President of the United States. One day, not a year into his administration, 19 Islamist fanatics hijack four airplanes, crashing three into economic and military targets, with one crashing into a field in Pennsylvania only because of the heroism of her passengers. More than 3,000, Americans and foreign guests, lie dead in the smoldering ruins.
And, because he responds, George W. Bush is the warmonger?
An attorney, Young lives with his wife and their two sons in Montclair.