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Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Reply to the Left: Different Worlds

Gayle, I'm not trying to pick on you with this post. I don't know you, but do very much appreciate your dropping by Liberty Just in Case. Your comment was well-written, respectful, and presented your thoughts very well. I'm using your comment as an example of the kinds of comments we've recieved frequently over the past weeks. Any generalizations that don't fit you are sincerely unintended.

Gayle's comment to my post yesterday was well written, sincere, and an excellent example of the thinking of those from the Left side of the aisle. All through her comment, she makes the usual accusations: Bush lied, there isn't much progress in Iraq, the U.S. military is engaging in systematic torture, and she even managed to throw Haliburton in there, though not by name. She even starts by agreeing that we must have victory, yet accuses the military of "attrocities."
If this comment had been written 2 years ago, or even 6 months ago, I would have gone through a lengthy defense, answering each charge separately, citing source after source to back up my arguments. But there is simply so much information countering each and every accusation that its not worth the effort. It's highly unlikely that Gayle will read any of it. If she does, it will be through her ready made filters of "Bush lied, people died." I'm simply tired of refighting the same battles again and again. There comes a point when we must move on to the future, instead of fighting hopeless rearguard actions against folks who will never be persuaded they are wrong.

It seems we live in different worlds, with closed information loops. The fact that Gayle, and those like her, visit a site like Liberty Just in Case is encouraging. It shows they are willing to get out of their own loops, and at least engage with folks like me and Matt, who support both the Iraqi front, and the wider war on Islamo Fascism. But to go back and refight why we got in to Iraq again and again doesn't help win the war. I simply won't do it anymore.

Closed Information Loops produce different worldviews. Lest I be accused of hypocrisy, let me make it clear that I've read widely from those who disagree with me. I can give a list of those books as well, if needed. From Richard Clarke and Bob Graham, right up to the current book by James Risen, I've read them all. Most recycle through pages and pages the arguments and accusations Gayle put in a few paragraphs. Each has been answered, or, in the case of the Risen book, is in the process of being answered. My experience is that those on the Left seldom read those answers. They prefer to stay trapped in their worldview.

If you are interested, two of the best books that do answer the comments from the Left are listed under Liberty Recommends to the right. Disinformation, by Richard Miniter, takes the accusations that Gayle made in her comment and analyzes each one, from the claims of 100,000 civilian deaths in Iraq, to Haliburton. I would strongly recommend it, before making the kinds of unfounded accusations that filled Gayle's comment. I would also recommend Imperial Grunts, by Robert Kaplan. The first in a series of books on the U.S. military in this war, he focuses on Special Forces and the Marine Corps. He does NOT focus on Iraq, but on the wider war in which we are engaged.

Also on the reading list would be The Connection, by Stephen Hayes. He details the links between Saddam and terrorism, up to and including links to Mohammed Atta. His frequent columns in The Weekly Standard continue the work begun with the release of The Connection. Here is one of those, on Saddam's terrorist training camps.

There are many others that answer the questions posed by the Left far better than I can. But like the old saying goes, You can lead a horse to water...

Consider yourself led. The drinking is up to you.

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