fruits of my labors

It’s kind of funny reading about the social reaction to the Vietnam War while also hearing daily talk about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And strangely enough, both sides of the debate are using the same rhetoric they used during Vietnam.

On one side, people say that the war is for “protection of American values and freedom” and that we must fight “for democracy’s sake” (these are caricatures, of course).

On the other side, people say that the wars are “immoral and unjust” and that the government is meddling in the affairs of far-flung and war weary places (caricatures again).

So what’s the deal? Are we still having the same arguments? When is somebody going to come up with a new perspective?

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3 thoughts on “fruits of my labors

  1. A new perspective:

    The United States is unique; thus, our values and consensual view on things does not translate to other nations and cultures. However, what does is free market capitalism b/c it plays on people's desires and gives them (for lack of a better phrase)thier pursuit of happiness. In short, the invasion of Iraq, whether ill founded or not (ill-founded) was about whole scale change in the Middle East. Whether the Bush administraion or the Obama administration wants to admit it, the ENTIRE region has to get its act together because the world won't stand for act of terrorism such as 9/11.

    Additionally, we as Americans have to stop balming Bush for Iraq and start balming ourselves. We cannot wash our hands of the blood WE have spilled there. The best thing for us to do is admit we were wrong (and by we I mean the government, both parties, the media and, more important, ourselves) about Iraq and try to leave that nation in better shape than we found it. How's that for a fresh perspective?

  2. Hey Matt, sorry if I misread you earlier. I think I agree with you on some main points. There are major differences between what is going on now and what happened in the 60s/70s. I don't have to catalog them here (draft, race, specter of nuclear holocaust, etc.).

    And also, that the anti-war movement in this country presently is tiny, I'll agree 100% with you. Sorry for misreading you.

    And yes, I agree with you absolutely that everybody, all Americans, need to repent. It's just too easy, and it superficially clears on our own conscience, if we can point our fingers to Bush and Cheney. It is a fresh idea, but one that would seem to anger both extremes of the political spectrum.

    Also, thanks for the comment on historical relativism. It's good that somebody keep an eye out for me. Of course I won't write anything on my thesis comparing anti-war rhetoric across these forty years, but, as all this shows, it makes for better blog conversations.

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