Phi Beta Cons

Re: Sulzberger

Candace has a real talent for linking to some truly infuriating items. What is most amusing/frustrating about Sulzberger’s apology regarding the war is his rather obvious assumption that the war represents a burden or tragedy for those students. In the unending quest to recapture the glory years of their Vietnam opposition, the aging radical Left continues to try to hammer a square peg into a round hole. Iraq is not Vietnam, either in military reality or domestic experience.
During the Vietnam War, students faced the very real possibility of being involuntarily called to serve, fight, and die in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Their interest in the conflict was very real and immediate. Not so now. Now, they graduate to join a roaring economy with absolutely no prospect of being ordered to fight. That is not to say that these students do not have a right to their opinions regarding the war or that their expressions of support or opposition should not be taken seriously (assuming their arguments contain some shreds of rationality), but the Vietnam comparisons are both ridiculous and dangerous. 
The reality of this war is that the success of the efforts undertaken by those who voluntarily risk everything depends a great deal on the resolve of those who risk little or nothing. When the Sulzbergers of the world treat the new generation as if they are inheriting some kind of American tragedy, he not only feeds their narcissism, he helps sap what little resolve they had to support their fellow citizens in a deadly struggle against indisputably evil and vicious opponents.
So what Sulzberger is really apologizing for is a culture and political system (even if it is dogged by the same corruption that has dogged politics since, well, forever) that gives those students the opportunity to enjoy unparalleled freedom and prosperity even as it fights a battle they never have to join. In other words, they are supposeddly oppressed by a nation that demands so little from so many because a few sacrifice so much.

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