Sunday, September 25, 2005

Can You Marginalize a Majority?
Anti-war sentiment

Froomkin asks this question in the WP. He wonders how long Bush can continue to characterize war opponents as terrorist abettors when over 60% of Americans now ask for at least a beginning to troop withdrawals. With the activities in DC this weekend, the war is back in the political discourse. One of the best parts of Froomkin's current blog is his recognition of the insight of one of his readers, J. Harley McIlrath. McIlrath proposes some questions reporters could ask in response to Bush's latest statement: "The only way the terrorists can win is if we lose our nerve and abandon the mission." It is about time for someone to demand clarification of Bush's fuzzy patriotic proclamations.

"1. Who are 'the terrorists?' He's talking about Iraq. Are 'the insurgents' also 'the terrorists?' Has Bush ever defined just who 'the terrorists' are?

"2. What would constitute a 'win' for the terrorists? What do they want? Do we know? Has Bush ever asked himself what 'the terrorists' want and whether or not it's reasonable? Tactics aside, what do they want? Don't tell me 'they hate freedom.'

"3. What constitutes 'losing our nerve?' Is it losing one's nerve to pull resources back from an ineffectual approach and apply them to an approach that is more promising? How many times in WWII did we pull resources off one front to reinforce another?

"4. What is 'the mission.' Can we abandon a 'mission' that has never been defined? To quote George Harrison: If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.

"Imagine if the press corps took this one short sentence and forced Bush to define his terms."


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