Thursday, January 18, 2007

On a questionable war

All too often when people criticize wars – such as the current questionable conflict in Iraq - the right cries out, "How dare you question our leaders during the war! You are being unpatriotic and are not supporting our troops!"

And then there’s the other side, trying to make political points by snipping and sniping, but not offering alternatives.

Chesterton, citing another questionable war, once commented:

"A man who says that no patriot should attack the Boer War until it is over is not worth answering intelligently; he is saying that no good son should warn his mother of a cliff until she has fallen over it. But there is an anti-patriot who honestly angers honest men, and the explanation of him is, I think, what I have suggested: he is the uncandid candid friend; the man who says "I am sorry to say we are ruined," and he is not sorry at all. And he may be said, without rhetoric, to be a traitor; for he is using that ugly knowledge, which was allowed him to strengthen the army, to discourage people from joining it. Because he is allowed to be pessimistic as a military adviser, he is being pessimistic as a recruiting sergeant. "

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