Friday, August 17, 2007

Stupid Neocon Fantasies

The March of Folly, indeed

So I was reading Digby, like all of you should be doing as well. (Uh, that'll be $35.00, Digby. You're welcome.) She spends some time on Rudolph "Benito" Giuliani and "his" recent article in Foreign Affairs. She easily detects the fingerprints of the godfather of soul neoconservative drivel, Norman Podhoretz. She also makes the following observation, which I think needs comment:

According to this thesis, we have been fighting WWIV for 37 years, overlapping with WWIII by about 20. And WWIV is far from over. in fact, we might even be fighting WWV and WWVI right now, and not even know it.

Okay. So the neocons are idiots. We all know that. But there are a couple of things I'd like to point out. First of all, let's talk about World War II. It was a hell of a cataclysm. Some 60 million people died as a result of the war. The major focus of world economic activity for nearly half a decade was the production of material to slaughter other people (or to support that slaughter). It completely remade the world and American society in ways too numerous to detail here. Now, are we to equate that conflict with the War On Terra? Instead of fighting two massive, modern, industrial nation states on either side of the globe, who's the enemy here? That's right. Some broke-ass motherfuckers living in caves. I'm not saying that al-Qaeda is insignificant. However, we are not going to engage those bastards in a titanic world struggle for the preservation of our way of life. Notice we haven't had, say, a draft, or even partial mobilization of the country for war.

Now about the length of the conflict. Let's say, for the sake of convenience, that it started on 1 September 1939 with the German invasion of Poland. Yeah, we could date the start with the Japanese invasion of China in 1937, or of Manchuria in 1933, or, hell, even claim that the entire war was an extension of the Great War of 1914-1918. But let's stick with 1939, 'cause that's what most of the history books say. The war in Europe ended in May of 1945, and the Pacific war ended in August the same year. So that's a six-year war. Using my math skillz (they are teh awesum!), that averages out to ten million dead people per year. Yeah, I know that the killing wasn't evenly distributed over the entire war, but work with me here. If the War On Terra is JUST THE SAME AS WW2!!!11!!, shouldn't there be, say, 370 million dead people as a result? Of course, that's a stupid comparison. But it's exactly the kind of false equivalence that the wingnuts do about (inaccurate) murder rates in American cities vis-a-vis Baghdad.

I know that the Baby Boomers and the "Silent" Generation (of which N-Pod is a member) grew up in the shadow of World War II, and they've been trying to measure up to that for their entire lives. But we really need to find a new way of categorizing world events. The World Wars happened on a scale and to an extent that, we all pray, this little planet will probably never see again. We are not engaged in a titanic world struggle to preserve our way of life. We're just not. It doesn't matter how many times Pammycakes or Michelle Malkin or Rudy! bleat about the dire Islamojihadioompaloompaist threat. There really isn't any kind of existential peril. You don't need a World War to define your life. I imagine that if the rightwing bedwetters would take a deep breath and come to grips with these facts, they could actually relax and enjoy life once in a while.

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