The Right's 'Stupid War Cliches'


Funny and biting column today, by Matt Labash of The Weekly Standard. Excerpt:

Now, the most fashionable pre-fab rationalization to use when the news isn't going as swimmingly as we want it to, is to select a place in Iraq, then a corresponding place in America. If the two places start with the same letter, all the better. Next, state baldly that no matter how lousy things are going, you'd rather fight the terrorists / Baathists / whoever-it-is-we're-fighting in the first location, rather than the second. Lastly, sit back with a self-satisfied smile, as if that settles the matter. [?]

IT'S SIMPLE REALLY, to know where you'd rather fight the terrorists. It's considerably harder to fight them. Which is why this hoary clich? needs to be retired once and for all. [?]

Fight the terrorists where you will. But it's probably best to avoid diminishing the sacrifice of soldiers, by burying them with respectful silence, rather than with idiotic clich?s.

NEXT: If It Looks Like Talc.

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  1. The interesting thing about all these people who say that they’d rather be fighting terrorists in Iraq: none of them is actually IN Iraq. Unless that Oval Office setting is a fiendishly clever mockup…

    Mayor Quimby: Stop playing that steel drum music and get out of the, ah, Mayah’s office!

  2. Political discussion would be mute without cliches.

  3. Damn, I knew Bush should have sent invitations to all of the terrorists! They probably just didn’t know they were invited to the war.

  4. I say “no blood for oil” in this “racist war” we “rushed into”, waged by a “frat-boy” president who was “selected, not elected”…

  5. I can think of nothing more dangerous for a professional writer than coming out against clich?s.

    Next you’ll be against posturing.

  6. Wow! They are even suffering battle fatigue at the Weekly Standard! The Empire is in trouble!

  7. John Burns on Charlie Rose the other night … basically, he said it’s wrong to think there are too many terrorists/foreign fighters in Iraq. What the U.S. is mostly facing are die-hard Saddam loyalists, and until they’re beat, the Iraqis will live in fear. He said that even in the Sunni areas, most people don’t want the U.S. to leave until the Ba’thists are gone, but they also don’t trust the U.S. They don’t believe anything the U.S. says — not because the U.S. is wrong or evil, but because they’ve been conditioned by more than 25 years of Ba’ist rule to disbelieve the government. Rumors that Saddam is actually been given safe haven in Washington are at least half believed. And they don’t believe that the money authorized for reconstruction will actually go to reconstruction — it will actually go, many Iraqis believe, to cronies of Bush. That isn’t anti-American, leftist propaganda, but an expectation based on the only government MOST Iraqis have ever known.

    Wiping out the Ba’thist is probably key to our success.

  8. I’m still not sure I understand why it’s better to have Americans dying in Iraq than Americans dying in America. Either way, they’re Americans and they’re dead, right? Or don’t we particularly care about them once they leave our shores?

    Let me throw out a radical notion. Our goal should not be figuring out where we’d prefer the terrorists to kill us. Our goal should be to KILL THE TERRORISTS.

  9. Let me get this straight. The implication is that the war in Iraq somehow prevents terrorist acts in the US?

  10. God knows I’m tired of the cliche as a cliche, but maybe it would be worth trying to understand the real point that became the cliche? The reason it’s better to fight them in Bagdad than Broomfield is that when we end up with the terrorists in Broomfield, er, New York, American non-combatants get killed. It’s the government’s primary task to keep us from being killed, mutilated, and maimed by foreign bad guys. That’s what they’re for.

  11. jon b.: Let’s see, if we never attack those countries the terrorists do not have to try very hard to 1) plan 2) get funding 3) attack.

    If we run 90% of them out of the country/kill them, we have only 10% left to deal with.

    Where are all these suicide bombings in America that people said would happen if we attacked? I hope I’m not jynxing this, but as far as I know, none. Instead Al Queda bombs their backyard, hoping to scare more liberals into backing out of the mission.

  12. Does Ron Hardin really not understand the whole point of the column, or is he just pretending to be a dope for comic effect?

  13. The problem here is that the people fighting the US in IRaq are largely Baathist thugs, not the Islamist Al Qaeda types[ The one exception may be tbe large scale suicide bombings]. The notion that attacking Iraq somehow lessened the threat of an Al Qaeda attack can be invalidated on this ground.

    ‘Where are all these suicide bombings in America that people said would happen if we attacked’

    Maybe a few fringe nuts were saying this, but few people were making this claim. The claim was that American troops in IRaq might inflame more Muslims and cause them to join underground violent movements. That risk still holds.

    But here’s the key point — its up to people who claim that the war on IRaq would help the war on terror to demonstrate this. After all,it was this action that has cost 165 billion, several hundred US casualties.

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