Hitchens: Support the war whether it’s going well or not

posted at 10:20 am on August 31, 2007 by Bryan

I find Christopher Hitchens to be more than a little frustrating. One the one hand, he’s a ghoul to feast on the corpse of Mother Teresa and her faith crises, doubts that show a human side that we never saw when she was alive. In fact, Hitchens’ obits betray a ghoulishness that seems to permeate his character. And then there’s his continued misunderstanding of Vietnam and the lessons of failure there. It almost seems accidental that he’s on the right side of the war in Iraq. Perhaps if Saddam had articulated a more strongly Marxist reason to commit genocide against his own people and attack his neighbors, we’d find ourselves arguing against Hitch instead of cheering him on. Saddam’s, and by extension Osama’s, mistake was to zig Islamist when he should have zagged leftist. Fortunately in at least bin Laden’s case, he is or was too much of a true believer for that.

But the fact is, Hitchens is on our side and he’s probably the war’s most articulate advocate, so we’re cheering him on. Today, Bill Hobbs sends us this clip of Hitchens saying, more or less, that just because the war is difficult is no reason to just give up.

Hitchens makes many good points, but the best is the simplest: Things worth doing are often extremely difficult to do, but their difficulty is no reason to give up. And, their worthiness is no reason to just say that everything is going swimmingly if it isn’t.

The old saw about “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” must have been banned from DNC headquarters, at least when it comes to the war. Every setback is a reason to quit, and every bit of progress is downplayed or ignored, when it isn’t deemed a Bush lie. The Democrats evidently went so far as to use the GAO to cook the books and preemptively destroy the Petraeus report. They must be terribly worried that the war’s progress, if that’s what Petraeus reports, will doom them. Or at least inflame their base, which wants out of the war now, damn the consequences. The Democrats can’t afford another Brian Baird, and Petraeus’ report might just create one or two.


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