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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Give peace starvation a chance

I don't know if Newsweek's Jonathan Alter calls himself a liberal, but he certainly appears almost nightly on Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" knocking the Bush Administration. But his latest piece is certainly a typical liberal position. Headlined "Before We Bomb Iran...," with an implicit suggestion that someday we just might have to, it's subtitled "Shouldn't we give peace a chance? A look at the divestment movement." But economic warfare, whether it starts with divestment or moves on to sanctions, embargoes, or blockades, is warfare, intended to starve an opponent into submission. It's just the "kinder and gentler" "liberal" kind of warfare.

And why should we do that? Here's the lead-in to the piece:

Debra Burlingame says there's got to be a better way to confront Iran. Her brother Charles F. (Chic) Burlingame was the captain of American Airlines Flight 77, the airliner hijacked and flown into the Pentagon on 9/11. Since then, Ms. Burlingame can't get over our failure to fight a smarter war on terror, a war that wouldn't get more people killed. "We should be using all the tools we have—including our enormous wealth—to prevent our enemies from coming after us," she says.
And thus the seed is planted. The fact that Iran not only had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11, the fact that Shiite Iran is an opponent of Sunni Al Qaeda, the fact that Iran hasn't launched a war in hundreds of years and hasn't threatened anyone - none of this is even mentioned in the article. We simply go from a reference to "fighting a smarter war on terror" to the "need" to "do something" about Iran, without the slightest justification as to why.

Jonathan Alter would be aghast if one were to suggest he has anything in common with George Bush. But by attempting to link 9/11 with a supposed need to deal with the "threat" of Iran, he's right in line. As with the old joke about the prostitute, he only differs with Bush in arguing about the price to be paid.

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