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View Diary: Swan on Violence and Rebuilding in Iraq (10 comments)

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  •  I think it's perfectly ok (0+ / 0-)

    to say and argue the kinds of things you wrote and argued, but I think the focus should always be on things that are more like the things I wrote about.

    That a lot of people are still dying in Iraq, that reconstruction goals haven't been met, that the standard of living in Iraq is probably tied for the worst of any nation in the world, that U.S. soldiers are experiencing a lot of problems and are being dealt a lot of raw deals, and that the Republican civilians in the government and running the contracting companies that have worked on occupying and rebuilding Iraq ran a befuddled, incompetent, less-than-genuine effort, are all things that are quantifiable or at least can be shown with a lot of direct evidence. Those are the kinds of arguments that are best to show to people. An argument about just whether in the abstract it was legal to invade Iraq counts for a lot less in people's minds, and it's less persuasive because it's more like a matter of opinion.

    The reason I don't like what you wrote so much is because of the emphasis and insistence you put on it, which seems to be where your comment may become inappropriate and dishonest (or at the least, mis-guided). While I think real liberals make comments like yours, I think it's far more typical for liberals to realize the salience of comments like I was making (when they're not being mis-guided or given nothing but poor examples), and to latch onto the need to continue going in that kind of direction. We need to keep heading in fruitful directions, and not marry ourselves to the platitudinous and unnecessary. Improvement is not only something we need, it's a continual process, and if we don't keep sniffing out and heading in the proper direction, we will be overtaken by our adversary, eventually.

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