An Open Letter To Mr. Prager

Ken AshfordIraq, Right Wing Punditry/IdiocyLeave a Comment

Dear Mr. Prager:

It’s kind of easy to win a debating point when you get to speak for *both* sides of the debate, as you’ve done in your latest piece.  It allows you to misprepresent the position of your opponent, who is not there to correct you.  (Do you now see why some liberals refer to the right wing media and blogosphere as "the echo chamber"?)

So that is my "just one question" to you.  Do you *honestly* believe that most liberals will answer your hypothetical question as you suggest?

Sorry, Mr. Prager, but liberals believe that terrorists are evil.  We believe that suicide bombers are evil.  We believed that Saddam was evil.  We believe in freedom and human rights and democratic election of leaders.  We believe in lots of things, and if you get your head out of places where it shouldn’t be, you’ll see that neo-cons and liberals share at their cores many of the same moral values.

Our opposition to the war is NOT because we have different values than conservatives.  We just differ in how to achieve those goals.  In a nutshell, we believe that Bush’s democracy-spreading strategy is *counter-productive* in the long run. 

We believe that it will create more unrest in the Middle East, and convert yet another country into an Islamic society where terrorism can breed (even if the government itself is not terrorist-supporting). 

We don’t believe in the "domino theory" — i.e., that once Iraq becomes an Islamic democracy (whatever that means), the democracy "coodies" will spread to surrounding nations.

We believe that the Iraq invasion has turned bin Laden into even MORE of a folk hero among radical islamists around the world.  (And yes, Mr. Prager, we believe that terrorists *are* around the world — not just an Iraqi issue).

We believe the illusory justifications for invading Iraq in the first place, as well as the non-existent post-war planning, have diminished our country’s moral credibility on a global scale. 

And as for homeland security, which is ostensibly why we went in Iraq in the first place, we believe that nothing we are doing will ultimately make America safer (indeed, we believe the opposite).

Finally, taking the foregoing together, we don’t believe it is worth the cost of soldiers’ lives, especially when the end result is proving to be a mirage.

Yes, terrorists are evil, Mr. Prager, but this isn’t a comic book, and that’s only a small part of the analysis.

These anti-war concerns should not be difficult for an educated man to comprehend.  Nothing we say is "nuanced".  Your misrepresentation of the anti-war sentiments leads me to conclude that you are either (a) stupid or (b) intentionally disingenuous.

And I don’t think you are stupid.

So feel free to disagree with the anti-war view, and poke holes in it if you want. Mock it, satirize it, whatever.  But don’t misrepresent it in order to give yourself some moral high ground that you lack.

And if I’m wrong, and you are indeed so stupid that you can’t *understand* the anti-war position, be a man and say so.  Or at least educate yourself until you can.  Then, and only then, should you come near a computer keyboard to criticize it.