Lord Jim and the Charge of the Lightweight Brigade.
Boston is a lovely town, but I have to admit that one of the advantages of not living there is that I don't have to see the masthead of the Boston Globe wherever I walk. The Globe, you see, routinely publishes the columns of one James Carroll, ex-Paulist, professional novelist, amateur theologian and even more amateurish historian.
Not to mention a convinced anti-American.
Unfortunately, Mark Sullivan noted a particularly egregious column from the moonbat's pen, blasting the Iraqi election.
Now, listen: good arguments can be made against the war in Iraq, from its WMD basis to the way it was fought after "Mission Accomplished" (ugh) to the evidence of a lack of a coherent strategy to any number of different things. I'll listen--and you'll probably find me nodding along on several points.
Do me a favor first, and at least acknowledge two things: (1) the fall of Saddam Hussein and his would-be dynasty of horror is a good thing, and (2) regardless of the mistakes of the war, we now have an obligation to make it right and not abandon the Iraqis. You break it, you buy it.
But Carroll and the reflexive Bush haters can't even do that. Exhibit A is this catbox liner.
Indeed, this one proudly bears all the signs of having been written by and for a pep rally of the "Resist Pope-Tsar Chimpy McHitler Brigade", a gathering where the wearing of the aluminum foil chapeau is mandatory.
IN THINKING about the election in Iraq, my mind keeps jumping back to last week's train wreck in California. A deranged man, intending suicide, drove his Jeep Cherokee onto the railroad tracks, where it got stuck. The onrushing train drew near. The man suddenly left his vehicle and leapt out of the way. He watched as the train crashed into his SUV, derailed, jackknifed, and hit another train. Railroad cars crumbled. Eleven people were killed and nearly 200 were injured, some gravely. The deranged man was arrested. Whatever troubles had made him suicidal in the first place paled in comparison to the trouble he had now.
* * * [Remainder of flight from reason snipped]
Something else about that California train wreck strikes me. As news reports suggested, so many passengers were killed and injured because the locomotive was pushing the train from behind, which put the lightweight passenger coaches vulnerably in front. If, instead, the heavy, track-clearing locomotive had been leading and had hit the Jeep, it could have pushed the vehicle aside. The jack-knifing and derailment would not have occurred. The American war machine is like a train running in "push-mode," with the engineer safely back away from danger. In the train wreck of Iraq, it is passengers who have borne the brunt. The man with his hand on the throttle couldn't be more securely removed from the terrible consequences of his locomotion. Thus, Bush is like the man who caused the wreck, and like the man who was protected from it. Deranged. Detached. Alive and well in the bubble he calls "freedom," receiving applause.
Read. Savor. Enjoy--especially the contradictions. Like the one where Carroll first decries the "emasculation of the American military" then screams about "the American war machine." Being a hard leftist means never having to employ reason.
My main problems with this--and all of the other deranged missives like it--are two-fold.
First, it ignores--completely, utterly and irrationally--what the Iraqis themselves thought about the election. Sixty percent showed up--dodging, and occasionally spitting on, the killers trying to deny them that right. If it's raining on Election Day here, you won't get fifty percent of Americans out to dodge rain drops.
Carroll can't bring himself--for one minute--to celebrate with those brave Iraqis, which says more about his pathologies than it does about anything else. It's proof positive that Smirkyphobia rots what's left of the mind. And it puts him in some pretty hideous company--al Zarqawi the decapitator, for starters.
Not that it ever bothers him. Interesting....
The second related problem is that Carroll and his ilk truly don't give a tinker's damn about the Iraqis. He's the Noam Chomsky of Catholicism, a college football fan who always roots for the team playing the team he hates, then forgets that the first team even exists the following week. The difference between Carrollsky and a true college football fan is that they don't have a home team. All they do is root against the United States.
As I said, Carroll is the Chomsky of Catholicism: with all of the profound dishonesty, dogmatic precommitments, privileging-of-revisionism-over-reality and blinkered leftism that implies. Like many, he's a perpetual child of the summer of love (1967-1972) that resulted only in used condoms, a perpetual nostalgia-fest and a boundless sense of political and spiritual entitlement (it suffuses his equally-blinkered writing on Catholicism).
It comes down to this: he lacks the honesty to admit that the election was a good thing. For him to admit otherwise would force him to acknowledge that America brought about some good. He commits intellectual seppuku before he gets close to doing that.
Which brings me back to this: the Iraqis are a mascot to the left. Like the Somalis, Cambodians and Vietnamese before them. Paradoxically, the only thing that makes them important to the Stop Bushitler Now! types--indeed, the only thing that makes them fully human--is that the U.S. is involved. Once we leave, they'll revert to irrelevant brown people who can butcher each other in large numbers without rousing Carroll from the contemplation of his retirement portfolio or the next phone conference with his literary agent. I'm straining to remember his decrying of the repression of Nicaraguan Indians by the sainted Sandanistas. Or the mass murders of the Hmong and Montagnards in Communist Indochina. Or, more recently, the repression of the Iranian mullahs or the genocide in Darfur.
Oh, that's right--no American war machine to assail in those places. Hence, they don't count.
Let me salute Carroll and his breed appropriately--with a tall finger. I'll also pause a moment in a mix of pity and gratitude. After all, he's playing to a pathetic choir, hearing only the applause of a dwindling number of equally-overfed, nihilistic, preening baby boomers who have never done anything to advance human freedom for anyone. Anywhere.
Hey--isn't that Woodstock retrospective on?