Your basic Donkle Netroots™ puh-wog-wessive has got a tremendous hard-on for The Troops®, as we've seen. Whereas the rightwing affinity for the military is more instrumental, a mere pyschology of compensatory masculinity and racist paranoia about the various fertile, febrile, dusky hordes overrunning the world like so many Mongols, or Hannibals, or whomever, Les Racines de Net, despite their endless pretensions of sanscullotery, are totally ga-ga over Our Boys, who carry the light and life of empire, all that is good and dear, the moral core of the nation, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum, amen. George Bush makes a retarded Caesar, but if Wes Clark crossed the Potomac with a couple of legions, they'd paint him purple and name him Dictator for Life. As Arthur pointed out in a late addition to his Dominion over the World series, hardly a day goes by without some Kossite-Atrioid lamenting the tout petit grand army of the Republic. They positively love 'em some grunts, and as they will tirelessly remind you, it was Democrats back in the halcyon early days of the war who loudly crowed for more troops, a pre-deluge surge, such as it was. The name of Eric Shinseki, who said that conquering Iraq would require a half-million men, is clutched talismanically and close to the breast, like a rosary, or Barbara Bush's pearls. The Donkle has no particular ideological opposition to invading other countries and killing foreigners, provided the war is not "sold with lies" or executed "incompetently." (All wars are sold with lies, and competence is as rare a commodity on the battlefield as anywhere else, and yet . . .) They still go into raptures over Bill Clinton's Kosovo campaign, even though it accomplished nothing but more misery and bore an eerie, prescient resemblance to Israel's mad bombing of Lebanon, about which, to be fair, most libbloggers were equally, tellingly silent. Kleagle Kos, bird-beaked and bird-brained, is himself an ex-military man, who claims to have loved Ronald Reagan, the liberator of Aushwitz and executioner of Latin America, even though Kos was too young to love anything other than junk food and furtive masturbation during the reign of that particularly Tussaudian icon of American imperial dreaming. What was that old American motto? Progress is our Product!
Today the WaPo published an unusually cogent editorial--which is not to say good--the gist of which is nearly summarized in its lead paragraph:
ON TUESDAY nearly every member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warmly endorsed Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new U.S. commander in Iraq, and a number wished him success or "Godspeed" in his mission. Yesterday some of the same senators voted for a resolution that opposes the increase of troops for Gen. Petraeus's command--even though the general testified that he could not accomplish his mission without the additional forces and hinted that such a resolution could encourage the enemy. Such is the muddle of Congress on Iraq: A majority may soon go on record opposing the new offensive in Baghdad even while encouraging the commander who leads it.The Non-binding 110th loves this trick, which was also used to great effect as they opposed The Surge and The War by agreeing to pay for it. Netrootsia instantly quaked. Over at John Amato's Crooks and Liars (a site I do like and use frequently), something named RJ Eskow wails:
The WaPo editorial page is starting to read as if it's being edited by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The lead piece today is an attack on Congress for combining its kindly treatment of Gen. Petraeus with resistance to a "surge." Apparently, the editors think it's the Hill's problem that we're sending a good general to carry out a lousy mission. If they think Petraeus is so great, they're saying, why don't they give him what he says he needs?This, you may recall, was the Eichmann defense. "Hey, I didn't have anything 'gainst them Jews pers'nally, but when da boss says jump, well, I jumps!" In a post accusing the Post of a lack of interpretive clarity is this bizarre claim-by-implication that General Petraeus, being a right honorable gentleman, actually hates the shitty, impossible task of winning an unwinnable campaign, but has to lie through his teeth in order to get the job! This is a basic tenet of the Donkle Internet Philosophy. Those deemed good are universally believed to privately hold the same Netrootsian opinions, even if they say precisely otherwise. To once again cite Arthur Silber, the pressing item for our moral examination is not the depressingly common human specimen, who is told to torture and does, but the rare and vital person who is ordered to torture and says, "No. I will not." I don't expect mass defections from the American military rank and file in protest of the war, but if the most brilliant, most subtle, and most honorable man in the whole of the damnable army won't stand up, say, "No," and resign his commission rather than futiley prolong this catastrophic, criminal debacle, then he is neither brilliant nor subtle nor honorable. He's just another craker pantywaist engaged in a vicious farce that he's too fucking stupid to understand.
Note to the Editors: The General has to say he wants an escalation. If he didn't say that he wouldn't get the job. And after much obfuscation, the Post finally gets around to making its point: against all common sense, they're backing the surge.