Posted by: Jim | April 26, 2004


The Brass Knuckles of Democracy?

I usually don’t get pissed off by NPR, but this morning they ran a report about the front-line soldiers’ feelings about the war.

Not surprisingly, they were totally for it.

Well duh! Did they forget that none of our soldiers were drafted? This is called a skewed sample. If you were to survey radical Islamic insurgents in Fallujah how they felt about their cause, you would also get a skewed sample. The findings from such a survey should only be used as news about that sample. The fact is, this report was barely news. So our troops are for the war. That’s perfectly normal, and good! Our boys in Iraq should be for the war. Why is this news? (Yawn.)

Then the reporter said, “Many of the American troops see themselves as the head of the spear of Democracy … (blah blah).”

I checked my radio. Was I listening to NPR? Since when is Democracy a spear?

Fascism is arguably a spear. Totalitarianism … sure, a spear. Even a Monarchy might be represented as a regal spear. But in what way does a spear represent ANYTHING about democracy?

I picture a soldier holding a subject of the king at spearpoint: “Vote, or die!”

OK, maybe the oppressed subject picks up a spear and overthrows the regime to build a democracy. But in this case, the spear is coming into Iraq from the outside, and being held by a foreigner. Hmmm … the spear might ostensibly represent us protecting ourselves against Iraq, but how would that differentiate us from any other type of government?

As Edward R. Murrow said during the Vietnam conflict: “Anyone who isn’t confused really doesn’t understand the situation.”


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