Jewish World Review Oct. 17, 2002/ 11 Mar-Cheshvan, 5763

Marianne M. Jennings

Marianne M. Jennings
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The window on the liberal mind and war | Molly Ivins and Maureen Dowd. Those dames! They are a Rear Window on the liberal mind's shenanigans. I am Jimmy Stewart, perched with simpletons' Iraq war musings before me, a collective barometer for nonsequiturs of the chattering class.

Dowd and Ivins just let emotion and invective rip. They will cluck until George W. Bush concedes that he lost Florida, hands over the keys of the kingdom to Al Gore and Saddam, subleases part of the West Wing to Planned Parenthood, and sentences Katherine Harris to flowing skirts, Birkenstocks and dangling turquoise earrings.

Still, I respect these ladies because they don't make any bones about their position: facts be damned, we don't like "Shrub," "Dubya," "W" and "Bush II." For two long years they have had one syllogism: "We hate Dubya. W wants this. We hate 'this.'"

Dowd whines, ""Are we so worried about medieval villains abroad that we no longer worry about medievalism at home?" Bush is Saddam, she says, because he opposes RU-486, the anti-abortion pill. That's a neck-snapper, as logic goes.

An Ivins rant: ". . . a military country club in the Alps supposedly teaches East European slugs the beauties of democracy. This would be funnier if I did not know Mexican-American taxpayers who sweat in the sun all day and have never seen a ski slope." Noblesse oblige racism? In Arizona, Mexican-Americans are CEOs, bankers, professors, and teachers. We have at least one Hispanic political consultant who skis. Also, sweat is an equal opportunity taskmaster here - all occupations and races drip.

Ivins glosses over the fact that Madeleine Albright and her beloved Clinton instituted such stabilization/nation-building military programs. How does she tie this to war on Iraq being wrong? When military spending is so out of control, NO WARS!

Picking apart Ivins and Dowd pieces plucks the low fruit, as it were. The punditry brethren are less transparent. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times is the liberals' king of balance for his Middle East opinings. But Rolling Stone interviews cause 60's yuppies to drop their guards. Remember the Al Gore cover just prior to the 2000 election? The man nearly dropped his pants for that.

Friedman's Rolling Stone interview reveals him to be a greenie perturbed about fossil fuels, ""[t]hese guys are bought and paid by 'Big Oil' in America, and they are going to do nothing that will in any way go against the . . . big oil companies. I mean, let's face it. ExxonMobil . . . this is a real group of bad guys." Brilliant!! Beneath Friedman's crown of detached intellectual wonk beats a gossipy flower child heart.

Frank Rich, sharing the New York Times banana boat with Dowd and Friedman, reasons that Mr. Bush is wrong because he had CEOs down to the Texas ranch before his inauguration, which makes Mr. Bush just like a CEO, and, CEOs are always wrong on Iraq?? Mr. Rich accuses CEO Bush of cooking the federal books. "W" eliminated global warming from the annual federal report on air pollution, carps Mr. Rich, cleaning up the federal books "much as Andersen might have cleaned up the books by hiding an unprofitable division." Ergo, he lies on Iraq. Logic, they name is defamed!

USA Today's Walter Shapiro indicts the following Bush quote, "Unfortunately, some senators . . . believe it is best to . . . hamstring this administration from dealing with an enemy that could care less about thick books of regulations." Mr. Shapiro says, "The president still can't get his syntax straight. He should have said 'an enemy that couldn't care less." If a president can't get his syntax right, of course he's wrong on Iraq!

The Los Angeles Times' John Balzar is one of many pundit studs who have given up on facts and Iraq, instead resorting to economic obfuscation, "If the doves are wrong about Saddam Hussein, experts say we still have months or years of leeway. But if the laissez-faire crowd is wrong about the economy, we may not." Mr. Balzar concludes war is a guise, "That's why the president in his speech Monday was reduced to scaring Americans with more tales of Hussein the Boogeyman." If Saddam lofts a nuclear or biological weapon this way, the Dow and CPI will be but footnotes in history.

The opinion class feigns disdain for Bush. Their real struggle, the root cause of their dizzying logic, is grappling with opposition to a war that would oust a dictator who despises women, kills innocent citizens and seeks to impose radical Islam on the world. Barbara Ehrenreich writes in the Village Voice, "What is so heartbreaking to me as a feminist is that the strongest response to corporate globalization and U.S. military domination is based on such a violent and misogynist ideology."

They like Saddam for his environmental restraint (not having an economy has its silver lining) and anticapitalist bent. But, he is heartless and sexist. They could live with that in Clinton, but not in a dictator. Faced with such a choice, they end up on the same side as Shrub. Vietnam intellectualism doesn't work this time. Pacifism has its limits. Bush trumps them on Iraq. What's killing them is that he's right.

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JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University. Send your comments by clicking here.


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06/27/02: Nick not right
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05/20/02: Some passion about Israel
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© 2002, Marianne M. Jennings