Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lie to me

One of the frightening things about liberals is the degree to which they consider dishonesty to be acceptable in pursuit of their goals.  For example, left-liberal historian Garry Wills writes:
I did not think he would lose me so soon—sooner than Bill Clinton did. Like many people, I was deeply invested in the success of our first African-American president. I had written op-ed pieces and articles to support him in The New York Times and The New York Review of Books. My wife and I had maxed out in donations for him. Our children had been ardent for his cause. ....

He said that he would not oppose war in general, but dumb wars. On that basis, we went for him. And now he betrays us. Although he talked of a larger commitment to Afghanistan during his campaign, he has now officially adopted his very own war, one with all the disqualifications that he attacked in the Iraq engagement. This war too is a dumb one. It has even less indigenous props than Iraq did.

Iraq at least had a functioning government (though a tyrannical one). The Afghanistan government that replaced the Taliban is not only corrupt but ineffectual. The country is riven by tribal war, Islamic militancy, and warlordism, and fueled by a drug economy —interrupting the drug industry will destabilize what order there is and increase hostility to us.

We have been in Afghanistan for eight years, earning hatred as occupiers, and after this record for longevity in American wars we will be there for still more years earning even more hatred. It gives us not another Iraq but another Vietnam, with wobbly rulers and an alien culture.

As Wills acknowledges, Obama campaigned on a pledge to not merely continue but to emphasize the Afghan war.  Wills, however, is deeply disappointed that the position wasn't a lie.

Wills has other complaints about Obama:
His backtracking on the treatment of torture (and photographs of torture), his hesitations to give up on rendition, on detentions, on military commissions, and on signing statements, are disheartening continuations of George W. Bush’s heritage.
As an historian, Wills should be aware that rendition, military commissions, and signing statements were not originated by Pres. Bush. Bush's military commissions, for example, were modeled on those set up by FDR. Acknowledging such history would of course interfere with Wills' liberal self-righteousness. In these instances, Wills appears to be lying to himself.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of Democrats lying:
Lying as a political strategy
Lies that feel good
Faking the news
We had to figure out how to deal with a former president who was just lying
Democrats and Ethics: some poll results
Dems accuse Gen. Petraeus of lying
Lying about history
News media fakery
Liberal claims dishonesty is a virtue

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