Sunday, May 22, 2005

Helpful Advice

So the Moderate Voice tells me to visit Balloon Juice, described as "a well-known conservative blogger [who] is one of the most independent-thinking bloggers on the Internet." I sought out Balloon Juice (aka, John Cole) once before, when Andrew Sullivan linked to him, but I recall the server kept crashing. I don't know if I ever managed to get to it. But today I visited, and I was very impressed with what I saw. He is definitely going on my blogroll.

There is quite a bit of good stuff on the site. Most impressive was this post lambasting conservative apologist Hugh Hewitt for advocating "de facto censorship" of the media "to bully an already submissive and all-too-inconsequential and incurious media establishment to simply gloss over anything bad that might happen on our watch." I concur with Mr. Cole that demanding full accountability for torture that might have happened on our watch (in addition to any other conduct unbecoming the United States) should be revealed and investigated, and its not anti-American or anti-Military to say so.
If some had their way, the NY Times and the rest of the media would not be reporting any of this, and, VOILA!, problem solved. The military could cover up the incidents, and therefore, much like the proverbial tree in the woods, nothing has happened. In the weird world-view of the post-modernist right-wing apologista that Hugh represents, if a story is unreported, it didn't happen.

Except it did, and the communities we are ostensibly trying to help know it did, and it breeds legitimate resentment, contempt, and hatred for the United States to bolster the already existing irrational hatred of the US. If Hugh gets his way, the 'Newsweek riots,' as he pithily labels them, will give way to a much deadlier and much more wide-spread and, I might point out, LEGITIMATE groundswell of violence that will have long term implications in the region and on American military and diplomatic power for years to come.

Similarly, this allegedly 'pro-military' stance, which amounts to nothing more than demanding a media cover-up, sullies the name of every single soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine, and I can not figure out why some think this is a good thing. Rather than publicly prosecute and punish those who have done wrong, they would rather keep the bad apples with the good until the entire barrel appears bad.

The Iraq mission, and the war on terror, is important. So important, in fact, that I actually want to see it succeed. Part of doing that means not engaging in reckless acts which enflame anti-American sentiment around the world and serve as big, shining, recruitment posters for Osama bin Laden.

Balloon Juice's post is long, but worth reading. If you want a smaller sample of his intellect, I recommend this piece on torture.

And for an example where Cole points out something that pisses me off about Democrats, see here. Good God, Mr. Earle! I'm depending on you to throw DeLay in prison, and this is what you do? Infuriating (not to mention moronic).

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