Why the Democrats Should Lose Tomorrow's Election
Nov. 6th, 2026 @ 07:25 pm
I like Orson Scott Card very much as a science fiction writer, but I disagree strongly with several of his real life positions
That said, this essay is worth a read. He doesn't say anything you haven't heard before from the Republican talking heads, but he says it without the fanaticism and hairy-chestedness that many of the red pundits have. Its certainly not going to change my vote (especially since my ballot is already in the mail), but it is good for me to remember that there are well-spoken people who think that the War on Terror is aptly named, and that we need to stay in the Middle East.
|Date:||November 7th, 2006 05:12 am (UTC)|| |
Very interesting. The points he actually argues are well-argued, and I can't say I entirely disagree--withdrawal from Iraq is apt to be a very tricky business, and we do owe the Iraqis a measure of support.
I didn't, however, notice him making many arguments in favor of starting the war in the first place, and he rather glossed over the issue of how well it had been run and the military leaders' response to the administration's war policies. I wonder if he does have arguments regarding these points, and if so what they might be.
|Date:||November 7th, 2006 05:17 am (UTC)|| |
Heh--it also occurred to me that when discussing the issue of the nomenclature of the War on Terror, he neglected to mention another term that was bandied about for a while--the Global Struggle Against Extremism. Given the other positions of his that you mention, I can't help but suspect that discussions of extremism might have hit too close to home...
|Date:||November 7th, 2006 05:55 am (UTC)|| |
I hadn't heard the Global Struggle Against Extremism phrasing, but its true, a lot of Card's views are pretty out there. Sometimes it disturbs me that I like both Xenophile and Children of the Mind, as they're pretty much direct allegories to his mormon beliefs.
|Date:||November 7th, 2006 05:52 am (UTC)|| |
I wonder that too. The only allusion I could find in the article about the start of the war was:
No matter which miserable dictatorship we moved against after the Taliban -- and we had no choice but to keep moving on if we were to eradicate the grave danger we faced (and face) -- we would have faced the same problem in Syria or Iraq or Sudan that we had in Afghanistan: We had to establish order in a nation that had never actually become a nation
So, he uses the spectre of "bad guys", but glosses over the actual motivations.
As for the rest, surprisingly, I also agree with many of his points. In particular, I hadn't thought about the Taiwanese trade angle before (though one could argue that trade with China is peachy keen, and so trade under Chinese Taiwan wouldn't be seriously bad in the short term).
|Date:||November 7th, 2006 05:58 am (UTC)|| |
Orson Scott Card can kiss my shiny metal ass. And Ender's Game is not science fiction - it's the equivalent of Efremov's "Hour of the Bull" - namely, Cold War propaganda with spaceships in the background.
|Date:||November 7th, 2006 06:08 am (UTC)|| |
*SPOILER* for Ender's Game
I haven't read "Hour of the Bull", so I'm going to have to ask you what you meant:
Do you think Ender's Game was cold war propaganda in the sense of fighting a faceless enemy that turns out to have been harmless? As anti-war propaganda, this makes a bit of sense, but it doesn't seem to jive with Card's current wartime position.
In fact, and I'll add the caveat that its been years since I've read the book, I remember that the heroes of the war were used and then rejected by society. The analogy seems to be that fighting a faceless enemy, even in a popular war, is thankless.
I don't have to read past the first sentence to know the entire essay is built on an assumption that is patently false. Namely, that the war in Iraq is the War on Terror. The problems with this assumption are many, but the most obvious is that the War in Iraq has little to nothing to do with the "war on terror." And what little it has to do with it is of our own making.
The second falicy is the very phrase War on Terror. We shouldn't be at 'war' with terror. It's not a problem that can, or should be tackled as a war.
It's amazing to me how easily people forget that Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism or at least it didn't until we made a giant mess of the place.
Stupid html tags. I imagine there's an 'i' in there that's supposed to be a '\i'.
Yes. I almost posted the same thing but then got lazy, but that's what upsets me the most: when you have intelligent people that think that Iraq had anything to do with terror before we got there.
|Date:||November 7th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC)|| |
Did you actually read his section on the nomenclature of the "War on Terror" ?
I'm certainly not arguing that it makes any sense to connect Iraq to terror in the general sense, but given that the war exists, he makes a decent case for not being able to call it the War on Iraq, War on Islamic Fundamentalism, etc..
Actually, taking another look at that section, it's downright idiotic. Our toppling of Iraq and Afghanistan were 'brilliantly successful?' Then why has the Taliban returned to Afghanistan? I'll grant the initial military push into Iraq was very successful. But that was the easy part, and now it is abundantly clear that not only did the administration not have a plan for reconstruction they didn't even think it was necessary. Whether that was the product of extreme idiocy or just extreme arrogance, I'm not sure.
But again, his entire assumption is still based on something that has been proven false so many times I am at a loss to understand why so many intelligent people keep bringing it up: Iraq had no real ties to terrorism. Did you get that? Perhaps I should say it again. Iraq had no ties to terrorism. IRAQ HAD NO TIES TO TERRORISM.
Our invasion and cluster-fuck of a reconstruction attempt has certainly made it a haven for terrorists, but prior to that it was far less hospitable to terrorists than say, Saudi Arabia. In fact it was the only secular Islamic state in the region. Now I'm not waxing nostalgic about Saddam. He was a prick. If we'd wanted to make the case that he should be deposed for humanitarian reasons, that would be something. I don't think that case was there given the risks involved (which are obvious to everyone now, but should have been obvious to the people involved before) outweighed the possible benefit for the Iraqi people. Saddam was a murdering prick, but I doubt anyone could really argue the Iraqi people are any better off.
But that whole argument is completely beside the point. The Iraq war has never been about terrorism, and the fact that intelligent people continue to fall for that same old line is baffling to me.
|Date:||November 7th, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC)|| |
I wouldn't call it "falling for" as much as "looking at it with an open mind". The current administration is arrogant and more than a little self-centered, but they're not stupid and I don't even think that they're evil beyond the side-effects of oppurtunism.
I agree that as far as anything I can tell, Iraq had no direct ties to the terrorism. However, there are people there now who are using guerilla tactics. Whether they're justified or not, the army is currently technically fighting "terrorists".
You know me well enough, I hope, to know that I don't like this war or the current batch of Republicans... but what's happened has happened, and all we have any say whatsoever in is what happens next.