Death by Altruism


While driving home last night, I caught the Jim Bohannon show on the radio. Bohannon's guest for the entire hour was neocon bulwark Frank Gaffney. The warmonger Gaffney unsurprisingly encouraged tougher, more militaristic U.S. positions against Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China, but spent most of the hour talking up the war in Iraq.

I know others have made this point before, but I was struck by the ease with which Gaffney could transition between the incompatible arguments of "we need to stay in Iraq because the Iraqi people need us," and "we're fighting Al-Qaeda over there so we don't have to fight them over here." President Bush also often makes both of these arguments, usually in the same speech.

Imagine how this sounds to the average Iraqi. "America is fighting this war for your freedom and safety. Also, we're drawing all the world's worst terrorists into your backyard so they blow up your markets and police stations, and steer clear of ours."

But Gaffney, Bush and other war supporters going on making both arguments, side by side, without much shame or hesitation.

Related: Justin Logan dismantles President Bush's dreadful war booster speech yesterday. The president's historical ignorance on World War II was bad enough, but the Vietnam comparison was really astonishing.