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11/17/2005

Give the Doughy Pantload points for originality

I've got to admit that I've never heard anyone make the argument that even if Bush did lie about Iraq, we shouldn't hold it against him - that in fact, it would just be more evidence of his greatness!

I'd never heard it, that is, until Jonah Goldberg made exactly that argument in an L.A. Times editorial today:
Roosevelt won his unprecedented third election on the vow that he wouldn't send American boys to war: "While I am talking to you mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." This was almost surely a lie. (ā€¦)

Just three days before Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 4, 1941, the Chicago Tribune and Washington Star-Ledger broke the story that FDR had already drafted a plan for war with Germany, a plan that entailed a 10-million-man army invading Germany by the middle of 1943. Democrats and Republicans alike saw this as further proof that FDR had been lying all along

Does this make FDR a bad president? No. While I have my problems with FDR, most historians are right to be forgiving of deceit in a just cause. World War II needed to be fought, and FDR saw this sooner than others. (...)

Even the most cursory reading of any presidential biography will tell you that statesmanship requires occasional duplicity. If great foreign policy could be conducted Boy Scout-style ā€” "I will never tell a lie" ā€” foreign policy would be easy (and Jimmy Carter would be hailed as the American Bismarck). This isn't to say that the public's trust should be breached lightly, but there are other competing goods involved in any complex situation.
This is so stupid it drools, but I have to give Jonah credit for at least coming up with a new stupid argument.

We know, because Republicans tell us so, that Iraq is not at all analogous to the Vietnam war, and anyone who makes any comparisons between the two is just a burned-out '60s leftover spouting off in between bong hits. However, Iraq is directly analogous to World War II, and anything that might have been justified in the service of the latter is certainly justified in the service of the former.

Or is it? Jedmunds (who prefers to call Jonah "Lucianne's Dipshit Kid") is skeptical:
A utilitarian argument, it seems to me, requires at the very least, a net utilitarian gain ... Will history vindicate Bush on Iraq? My magic 8-ball asks me if Iā€™m kidding.

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