Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Joel Stein's "Logic"

For those few of you who haven't read Joel Stein's op-ed piece ("Warriors and Wusses") in the L.A. Times -- the one that begins "I don't support our troops" -- here's the "logic" of the piece:
  • The U.S. has imperialistic ambitions (except when it doesn't).
  • People who after 9/11 enlisted in the Army had noble motives (defense of the country) -- but they really knew that they were signing up to advance the (sometimes) imperialistic ambitions of the U.S.
  • Those soldiers who knew that they were signing up to advance the (sometimes) imperialistic ambitions of the U.S. were "tricked" into signing up for the war in Iraq. (Okay, Stein, which is it?)
  • The war in Iraq is "immoral" (just because Stein asserts that it is).
  • Bush is to blame for the "immoral war" in Iraq (no mention of Congress, which authorized the war and still supports it).
  • But the soldiers who serve in Iraq really are to blame for the "immoral war" there because they refuse to lay down their arms. Why do they refuse? Because (according to Stein) they really enlisted either (a) to advance their country's imperialistic ambitions or (b) because they were "tricked" into enlisting (by Bush, presumably) and persist in fighting even though (I'm reading between the lines here) they must by now be aware that they were "tricked." Got that? (Stein never deigns to mention the possibility that the soldiers who serve in Iraq are executing a legal war in accordance with their contractual obligations, which they entered into because they chose to risk their lives in the defense of their country.)
  • Therefore -- even though Stein is willing to concede that the U.S. should honor its contractual obligations to those "immoral" soldiers (e.g., health care and pensions) -- it should not honor them with a parade because to do so would make traffic worse than it is already.
  • In sum, the price of "immorality" is to be denied a parade, but only because the resulting traffic jam would inconvenience Stein. Wow!
What a piece of work is Stein. Not a logical bone in his head or a patriotic bone in his body. He belongs with these people.