The Corner

Moore’s Impact

From a reader in the Air Force:

Jonah,

Once again-exceptional article today. It’s a challenge to attack the arguments of that hairy marshmallow of a man without sinking into obvious ad hominem attacks, but your article did an excellent job of doing so. Moore’s assertion at cnn.com that his opus sold out at theaters near Fort Bragg and other military installations is very troubling to me. Unfortunately, many of our younger troops watching this movie are highly impressionable and unsophisticated about the framing of ideas, and will take this “documentary” at face value. These troops, almost all of whom served or will serve in the OEF/OIF campaigns, will begin to doubt the cause in which they are fighting. There is a dangerous precedent here. There is a Maslow’s hierarchy at work in the mind of a fighting man: he will bitch about chow, he will bitch about living conditions, he will bitch about logistics, he will bitch about officers, he will bitch about the enemy, but if in his heart he dismisses the cause, his readiness is undermined.

This can be easily associated with Vietnam, upon which Moore is basing his theme of war profiteering. My belief is that our servicemen in Vietnam were well aware of the expressed sentiment by so many American cognoscenti that the war was senseless and “cooked up.” Sensitivity to this must have affected the prosecution of the Vietnam war down to the individual fighter’s level, as has been discussed in Mona Charen’s superb book “Useful Idiots.” The struggle for the hearts and minds of our young troops is doubly difficult when faced with the smirking cynicism of Moore-no doubt that the chubmeister retains his right to present his wrong ideas, but the treatment of his array of unconnected events undermines the national discourse. I couldn’t label it treasonous, just irresponsible and lacking in merit….

All the best to you and yours,

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