Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Check out the big brain on Brad

Perhaps you have heard it said that "the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Some people are incapable of holding two non-opposing ideas in their minds at the same time, or at least they pretend to be. Case in point: Brad Warthen, who doesn't understand how one can support American troops while opposing the Iraq war - this is, he says, an "untenable stance." In fact, he doesn't just not get it, he sees supporting the troops by wanting to bring them home as "spitting on the graves of the 1,800 who have already given their lives."

Then, responding to a commenter, Mr. Warthen pretends not to understand how anyone could perceive his post as calling into question the patriotism of war opponents.

I wonder what Mr. Warthen thinks of the soldiers who want to come home? Maybe he thinks they, also, are "spitting on the graves" of their dead comrades. Or what would Warthen make of this soldier who, prior to returning to Iraq and being killed there in action, spoke in less-than-exalted terms of the war:

For anyone who's worried about the return of a military draft, Pellegrini was living proof that we already have one in George W. Bush's America. He desperately did not want to serve in the Persian Gulf.

He was just two weeks away from finishing up his six-year stint in the Guard when he was told that his tour of duty was being extended and that he would serve in Iraq for at least a year, maybe longer. The news could not have come at a worse time for Pellegrini. He was training for his first pro fight, newly engaged to be married, and settling into his job as a Philadelphia police officer, just like his dad.
Instead, he was ordered by his government to fight a war that he did not believe in.

He told us that the conflict in Iraq was "a so-called war" and that he saw U.S. troops as caught in an impossible situation.

Gee, would Mr. Warthen think that Mr. Pellegrini is spitting from beyond the grave on the graves of his fellows? Quite a feat.

Here are two more not-uncomplimentary concepts that Mr. Warthen seems to have trouble grasping: The idea that a person can be A) dead and B) a hero. I know Mr. Warthen is having trouble with that, because he spits on Pat Tillman's grave by characterizing him as a victim, not a hero:

Who get portrayed as heroes? Jessica Lynch and football star Pat Tillman — both victims. One was wounded and captured, the other killed by friendly fire.

In my book Tillman IS a hero, even if he didn't die falling on a grenade - he left a promising career to enlist and fight in a war he did believe in (Afghanistan). He didn't have to do it, but he did - he put himself on the line. But to Warthen, he's just a "victim."

Of course Jessica Lynch isn't dead, so I can't say that I see Mr. Warthen as spitting on her grave. He's just spitting in her face. If he's aware of her recent criticisms of the Pentagon (and he may not be; for a journalist, he seems remarkably uninformed - read his 10:54 a.m. comment), he'd probably spit harder.

You think I'm being too hard on him? I don't. When he accuses everyone who disagrees with you about this war of spitting on the graves of dead soldiers, he's sinking to Ann Coulter's level, and it's no saving grace that he prefaced his vile comment "I see it as."


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