"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Like the admiral who gave 12 reasons for not firing a salute, the twelfth of which was that he had no powder, a certain kind of doveish commentator’s position can be summed-up thus: “I’m against war because I’m not convinced Iraq is harbouring weapons of mass destruction, but even if they are I’m against war because the UN has not authorised it, but if they do I’m against war because an invasion would prove a military fiasco, but even if it didn’t I’m against war because toppling Saddam would destabilise Iraq, but even if it didn’t I’m against war because it will antagonise moderate Arab opinion.”
This will not do. It is not honest.
An outstanding piece.
For an example of the phenomenon Paris describes, see today's Boston Globe, which in its coverage of Powell's masterful presentation to the UN couldn't resist this sub-headline: More time needed, say council skeptics. And of course, the Globe's Letters section, the Hyde Park Corner of the anti-Bush, anti-American Left: Here, but particularly here and here.
Iraq is a nest of vipers full of poison, writes one correspondent. Now what? Do we blow up the nest and then invade it? If we drop bombs, will we not risk blowing ricin and anthrax and nerve gases, etc. into the atmosphere to rain down on our forces and all over the world?
We should wage a war of blockade, quarantine, and isolation. We will have to infiltrate commando-style and methodically locate the weapons of mass destructions one by one and destroy them; otherwise he will disperse them and never find them until they're used - on us. Nobody and nothing can come in or out of Iraq until it's clean.
This will be a drawn out but less risky action. Bombing and combat will be counterproductive. Humanitarian aid can be delivered to the Iraqis while the country is surrounded by UN forces and the noose tightened on a completely closed border.
So Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, after all, which means it would be too dangerous to attack. So quarantine is the route. But hasn't the peace lobby been decrying UN sanctions?
Then the local Muslim activists weigh in:
AS LOYAL citizens of this country we believe that for the United States to go to war at this juncture without the full backing of the United Nations would have catastrophic consequences - notwithstanding the indictment Secretary Colin Powell made yesterday against Iraq before the Security Council…
For Iraqi civilians, the prospect of facing the onslaught by the US military in what has euphemistically been described as a shock and awe operation is no less terrifying than the life of brutal dictatorship to which they have been subjected for so long.
For the Arab and Muslim worlds such unadulterated warmongering against the Iraqis with a docile acceptance of North Korea's aggressiveness would look like selective racism and a crusade against Islam. It would serve merely to reinforce the distorted agenda of extremists and reduce our hopes of eradicating the scourge of terrorism…
These "arguments" – pick one, they change daily – against action in Iraq can scarcely be taken seriously in the wake of Colin Powell's presentation, yet the Globe manages to compile a whole assortment of them the morning after the Secretary of State's appearance at the UN. They echo the Globe's own editorialists who, dragged kicking and screaming, acknowledge Saddam must be dealt with somehow -- but only after an opening salvo against "the Bush administration's fitful diplomacy, its arrogance, and its blunderbuss rhetoric."
Maybe these are the only sort of letters the Globe receives. Or perhaps these are the only sort of letters the Globe reads.