Saturday, April 15, 2006

James Fallows: A Neutered Man

James Fallows, in a recent article in Atlantic Monthly, ends his thoughts with a conclusion that was simply his original and artificially concocted ideological premise. "Realism about Iran starts with throwing out any plans to bomb." And why is that Mr. Fallows? Here is how he arrived at this "conclusion" according to his own words: The Atlantic sponsored war games under the tutelage of retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner and they assembled a panel of "experts" to study the outcome of bombing Iran's nuclear facilities. Note that we are never told who these other "experts" are nor are we told what Sam Gardiner's political affiliation or views might be. We are, however, to accept uncritically Mr. Fallows hand wringing premise, neutered by fear and buttressed by wind because he has a-priori, it seems, decided that bombing Iran's nuclear facilities is not an option.

Coincidentally it turns out(and only coincidentally) that Sam Gardiner seems to be a darling of the left, appearing on NPR, BBC, and the LA Times. And of course everyone lies except Sam Gardiner himself. One is reminded of the famous line from Billy Budd. "His intellect was but the lawyer to his will."

What would Hitler or Stalin have done? Indeed what would Arnold Schwarzenegger do in his persona as Conan the Barbarian? Hear his Teutonic tones: "Kill their men, burn their cities to the ground, hear the lamentations of their women." The likes of Fallows would never have conquered anything but their next latte.

The Atlantic, true to a modest and barely clung to impartiality does have another article in the same issue (May 2006)that has some advice for the likes of Fallows. In a story entitled Colonel Cross of the Gurkhas which details the Colonel's fifty years of service to his beloved Gurkhas, Cross is quoted as saying: "You don't join the army to wipe your enemy's ass. You join to kill, or for you yourself to be killed, and above all to have a good sense of humor about it."

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