Blogs > Liberty and Power > You Do Not Own Their Courage

Feb 1, 2005 4:23 am


You Do Not Own Their Courage



My blog has been down for a day. I don't know exactly what's going on, but hopefully it will be back tomorrow.

And damn, I've wanted to say quite a lot about various subjects -- but here comes Charles Pierce to make some very important points for me:

You do not own their courage.

The people who stood in line Sunday did not stand in line to make Americans feel good about themselves.

You do not own their courage.

They did not stand in line to justify lies about Saddam and al-Qaeda, so you don't own their courage, Stephen Hayes. They did not stand in line to justify lies about weapons of mass destruction, or to justify the artful dodginess of Ahmad Chalabi, so you don't own their courage, Judith Miller. They did not stand in line to provide pretty pictures for vapid suits to fawn over, so you don't own their courage, Howard Fineman, and neither do you, Chris Matthews.

You do not own their courage.

They did not stand in line in order to justify the dereliction of a kept press. They did not stand in line to make right the wrongs born out of laziness, cowardice, and the easy acceptance of casual lying. They did not stand in line for anyone's grand designs. They did not stand in line to play pawns in anyone's great game, so you don't own their courage, you guys in the PNAC gallery.

You do not own their courage.

They did not stand in line to provide American dilettantes with easy rhetorical weapons, so you don't own their courage, Glenn Reynolds, with your cornpone McCarran act out of the bowels of a great university that deserves a helluva lot better than your sorry hide. They did not stand in line to be the instruments of tawdry vilification and triumphal hooting from bloghound commandos. They did not stand in line to become useful cudgels for cheap American political thuggery, so you don't own their courage, Freeper Nation.

You do not own their courage.

They did not stand in line to justify a thousand mistakes that have led to more than a thousand American bodies. They did not stand in line for the purpose of being a national hypnotic for a nation not even their own. They did not stand in line for being the last casus belli standing. They did not stand in line on behalf of people's book deals, TV spots, honorarium checks, or tinpot celebrity. They did not stand in line to be anyone's talking points.

You do not own their courage.

We all should remember that.

The amount of pathological narcissism exhibited by the triumphant warmongers is truly staggering -- and thoroughly nauseating:
But it is a particular victory for an exceedingly small group in Washington: those who maintained confidence in the appeal of democracy, in the commonsense and intelligence of the Iraqis, and in the correctness of the path taken by President George W. Bush to Baghdad and beyond.

As stated, the group of non-Iraqis in America entitled to exult is tiny: it consists of President Bush himself, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, certain other members of the cabinet and defense establishment, and a highly exclusive media list: Bill Kristol and crew at The Weekly Standard, myself and some others writing on TCS and a handful of other publications. (I won't be modest about this.)

See? It's primarily about them, and incidentally (and definitely secondarily) about the Iraqis. (But meanwhile, the neocon follower-robots should take their cue from Stephen Schwartz: he and only a handful of others are entitled"to exult"; the rest of you should shut up.)

Much more about this psychology, and some of its deeper roots, in the next day or two.

P.S. Jim Bovard has another (too brief) post up, about the upcoming Senate debate on Gonzales. I recommend you read it. Here's his last paragraph:

The longer the Senate debates Bush administration torture policies, the more decimated the moral capital of the Bush second term will be. Forcing Americans to focus on the barbarism that the Bush team has already unleashed may be the best hope for undermining the Bush administration's efforts to go to war against Iran.
I wouldn't bet on that last point myself. I think the decision has already been made.

But keep 'em coming, Jim.




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M.D. Fulwiler - 2/1/2005

Good stuff. David Whore-for-the GOP-owitz should be ashamed of himself for his ridiculous web page, but shame seems to be in short supply for the neocons.


Jonathan Dresner - 2/1/2005

Pierce's piece is very nicely done. Thanks for finding it and sharing it.

Bovard's not wrong, either.

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