Saturday, January 31, 2004

REALIGNING THE ANTI-WAR DISCOURSE

Maxspeak's point about not needing a "permission slip" a la Bush's SOT(dis)U 2004 is well taken. This was the frailness of the anti-war and fence-sitting Democratic position back in October 2002-March 2003, essentially the Republicans had trapped them in a discursive "lock box" that's difficult to escape from. The Rs are arguing two points at the same time: (1) that Iraq was a threat to national security, and (2) that the ends justify the means, which is the point alluded to here with Bush's revisionist justification for war--that Iraqi's are better off today not under a maniacal dictator. Argument one is a loser for D's, not because they were wrong that Iraq posed no threat (or was contained, as Collin Powell asserted), but because for better or worse to most Americans the question is no longer relevant. What is relevant is that we have not reached the liberal democracy "ends" implicitly promised by the revisionist justification and these ends are not attainable by any means the Bush administration has or is likely to pursue.

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