Monday, January 03, 2005

Re: The Times and its Columnists

----- Original Message -----

From: "Charles Wolverton"
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2004 3:25 PM
Subject: Re: The Times and its Columnists

a couple of comments on rhetorical strategy and an observation: agreed that there are parallels between Vietnam and Iraq wars and that the conduct of both was/is criminal. nonetheless, I question the wisdom of analogizing the Johnson and current administrations. I (perhaps naively) believe that the former, at least in initiating their war, thought they were doing the right thing(wrongly, as they should have known and mcnamara more-or-less admits) and, as you say, got
"sucked in". Little about the current crew warrants this generous asumption. better, I think, to emphasize that they're in a class by themselves when it comes to malfeasance.

the campaign theme of "two americas" always struck me as a non-starter. true, there are two americas, but they're the poor - not the rich - and everyone else, and none of the "everyone else" is affected (well, at least adversely) by the Iraq war. rather than highlighting the fact that the children of leaders (and other elites) don't risk death in foreign misadventures, isn't it better strategy to shame everyone who is sending mercenaries to die for their comfort rather than offering the elite as scapegoats? finally, journalism in general may not attract "the
best and the brightest", but since watergate it has perhaps attracted more of the ambitious, and the lure of fame and TV riches has clearly corrupted the profession. consistent with your analysis, it is noteworthy that the NYT/WaPost columnist most mercilessly critical of the administration (krugman) is neither a journalist nor dependent on his journalistic persona for wealth, fame, and intellectual prestige. (on the other hand, he is terrible on TV and if realistic, has no aspirations in that direction). appreciate your blog.

charles wolverton (retired)
great falls, VA

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