I've never found Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen terribly coherent. In his latest outing in the Post's Op-Ed pages though, he came across loud and clear. He thinks a good war is good national therapy for a depressed population.
Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings tears Cohen a new one and makes one distinct recommendation: find another job and quit doing damage to your country.
CathiefromCanada issues Cohen a membership in the Pundit Hall of Shame along with the Doughy Pantload, Jonah Goldberg and "My brain is visible on my upper lip" Tom Friedman.
So what could Cohen have possibly said that got him covered in the same excrement as the dumbest pundits in North America? This:
In a post-Sept. 11 world, I thought the prudent use of violence could be therapeutic.Theraputic.
Cohen precedes this line, which will become famous very quickly, with the story of the four "I"s. It is his mind going in four directions. One favouring the war in Vietnam, one opposing it, one favouring the war in Iraq and one opposing it.
Of note is that Cohen was in favour of the war in Vietnam when there was no indication that it would become the unwinnable quagmire of the late 1960s. He changed his mind, a full 180 degree turn, not out of an assessment of the morality of the cause, but out of a sense of useless waste in actually perhaps putting himself at risk fighting a war that the US was obviously going to lose.
He repeats this performance over Iraq. When it was being billed as the cakewalk of the century, troops greeted with flowers and candy, he is a cheerleader for giving Iraq a good thumping. Now that it looks completely unwinnable and Baby Bush has screwed the pooch, Cohen finds that he no longer supports war in Iraq.
In short, Cohen is a quitter. He pulls his support the minute it looks like he's pulling for a loser.
He deserves the severe raking he's getting from so many quarters right now. Not just for that comment, but for what he continued with:
The United States had the power to change things for the better, and those who would do the changing -- the fighting -- were, after all, volunteers. This mattered to me.So. Fucking. What.
I guess in the eyes of Cohen a volunteer bleeds differently than a draftee. The men and women being sent into the Iraqi cauldron must somehow be viewed differently than the ones sent into the jungles of Vietnam.
Cohen embellishes his sudden disapproval for the Vietnam war as coming at a time when he was "in the army". Let us take heart in that. Cohen did serve, but not in Vietnam. Cohen was a member of the National Guard.
His new disapproval of the Iraq war, because the US is losing should be tossed back in his face.
But these volunteers are now fighting a war few envisaged and no one wantedHorseshit, Cohen.
A lot of people saw it coming. But you were with the crowd, cheering on the Rumsfelds, Cheneys, Feiths, Wolfowitzs and Perles. You couldn't hear an entire segment of the US population and some prominent members of the world community telling you that what you have now is exactly what was being envisaged.
That would make you unbelievably stupid, Cohen.