Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Podhoretz: Wrong From The Get-Go...d.

The Wall Street Journal editorial by Norman Podhoretz imploring the President to bomb Iran should provide plenty of fodder for a rant by yours truly. If I wanted I could go line by line and bash out a novela in rebuttal of all of the wrong headed and deluded points which Podhoretz makes. But let me just focus on the very first impression he gives with the editorial.

I think the title and subtitle are very noteworthy:
The Case for Bombing Iran
I hope and pray that President Bush will do it.
I am dismayed that Podhoretz wouldn't pray for a peaceful solution to present itself. To my way of thinking, it would be best to pray for ANY possible outcome which fit the point of view of the person in prayer other than for America to bomb another nation. Isn't it strange that someone would proudly proclaim that they were praying for an action which would result in hundreds of deaths directly, with perhaps thousands more dead in the aftermath.

Pray for the Iranians to "see the light" and verifiably stop any weapons program they may have. Go to your knees and fervently pray that a peaceful social change sweeps Iran and the Ayatohlahs are retired from leadership. Beg God to send aliens to beam the components of the Iranian program into the sun. Pray for ANYTHING other than the death and destruction which Podhoretz prays for. Any peaceful solution would be preferable from my point of view.

I am particularly concerned after the example provided by heavenly guidance to the President in regards to the war in Iraq. President Bush said that he did not approach his father for advice going into Iraq, but appealed to a higher father for guidance. The notion that Godly leadership is responsible for the mess this nation is in in Iraq is simply incomprehensable. It is more believable to think that God if favoring the enemy, by allowing America to become distracted in Iraq, wasting lives and treasure as the true believers who attacked us on 9/11 scurry about in the mountains of Pakistan, ducking the occassional Predator drone. So now that we have Podhoretz invoking prayer in order to bring on another war... let us pray that truly enlightened leadership prevails.

In fact I find this prayer for American power to smite our enemies a mirror image of the religious fanaticism which Podhoretz thinks needs to be defeated. Remember the video released a couple of years ago of the Iraqi sniper shooting an American soldier in Baghdad... the soldier was slightly wounded but eventually chased down and captured the guy that shot him and ended up giving medical treatment to the insurgent who had himself been wounded. Watching that video, one part that always stuck with me was how the cameraman shooting the film with the insurgent captures audio of someone softly chanting "Alahu Akhbar" several times during the course of the sniping. The insurgents were sniping Americans while praying!

Why does Podhoretz believe his supplication to God is any more worthy than the insurgents? They both are intrinsically similar. If anything, Podhoretz' call for heavenly influence would result in much greater death and destruction than a lowly insurgent sniper could ever aspire to. Both men are certain in their faith. In fact I wonder if Podhoretz would consider becoming a real holy "warrior" (beyond kneeling in prayer asking God to assist in initiating the deaths of thousands of the "enemy"). Could not the case be forwarded that the faith and reliance upon God is manifest to a much greater extent by the insurgent than by the pundit?

Not that I believe God, as I understand God, is moved by either of these examples. Humans are given free agency, allowed to believe as they choose and manifest those beliefs unfettered from coercion from on high. If you want to believe that praying for war to come is going to help, or that praying for a successful kill in urban warfare will improve your aim... then more power to you. I just happen to think that both of these men are similarly deluded.

try as i might, i simply cannot get into this guy's head to gain an appreciation of his thinking... first of all, i am unable to relate to being an advocate for bombing ANYTHING... violence and destruction are never a solution, never have been, and never will be... moreover, in the case of iran, regardless of the rationale for bombing, there is no question in my mind that such an action would only serve to add to the growing conflagration in the middle east, and guarantee that the world war IV podhoretz believes is already underway will engulf the entire region for years to come...

i am at a loss to imagine how one's thinking, particularly over the course of a lifetime, where we supposedly gain the wisdom of age, can become so darkly twisted... i also fail to comprehend how such a man, a man who is passionately urging that bombs be dropped, continues to influence those in power... never mind... obviously, the ones in power HAVE their power because they think the same way... it's just us bystanders who are left scratching our heads...

podhoretz' description of bush as being "battered more mercilessly and with less justification than any other in living memory, and weakened politically by the enemies of his policy in the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular", is so deliciously delusionary, it would be hard to top... but then, podhoretz, as a member of the council on foreign relations, one of the groups responsible for installing bush as president in the first place, would, i suppose, be naturally defensive of his choice...
you hit the nail on the head. the fundies of both religous groups are extreme and invoke god to help them in their violence toward others. some might say that a god for killing is evil. but it is their minds that let evil have it's way. they are mirror images of each other and we must know that such evil is not truly spiritual in any way, shape or form.
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