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September 02, 2009

Tha Wacky, Wacky Pete Wehner
Posted by Michael Cohen

Via Yglesias, Pete Wehner has opened up some whoop-ass on George Will. I won't bother to critique his rather hyperbolic post, but two things did jump out to me. Responding to Will's column arguing that it's time to end the US military intervention in Afghanistan, Wehner makes this snide and obnoxious comment:

It is a column that could have been written in Japanese aboard the USS Missouri.

I am generally hesitant to call something someone has written stupid because I tend to think it's a juvenile way to debate . . . but this is incredibly stupid. And offensive. And it's also historically illiterate.

But here's the part that I find really odd. At the end of the piece Pete Wehner says this:

We need individuals who believe a nation must be willing to fight for what is right even when it is hard. We need people who are going to resist the temptation to eagerly support war at the outset and then prematurely give up on it.

Well Pete, you know who took exactly that approach - and fought a war as eagerly at the end as they did at the outset even when it was quite obvious the war was lost. F***king imperial Japan!!

Is that the model America should be imitating? By Wehner's logic, the Japanese should have kept fighting even after we dropped two atom bombs on them - because that whole surrendering on the USS Missouri was unmanly and defeatist. They apparently, "prematurely gave up." By Wehners twisted logic we can never stop fighting the war in Afghanistan or we can never shift course no matter how bad things get - until we've won that is. But Wehner can't be bothered with defining victory.  (Of course, he's not alone.) This is mindless foreign policy flagwaving.

The even more amusing part is a point raised by Matt. Wehner says this:

Now, like then, America needs spirited realists, not defeatists.

If Pete Wehner had any comprehension of what a realist is he would understand that George Will has actually expressed a realist principle in ending his support for the war.  No Pete, the word you meant to use here was "blowhards."

I dare you to read this toxic post and find one example of where Pete Wehner explains why George Will is wrong, or what victory looks like, or what the US interest in in fighting a war in Afghanistan. He doesn't, because he's too busy calling George Will a defeatist. This isn't political debate, it's name calling - and it belongs on an elementary school playground, not in a serious policy debate.


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When the arguments start to fail, people resort to taunts. I'm delighted to see the Commentary folks digging their own graves. More articles like this please, Commentary.

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Mr. Will has earned the reputation as one of the finest columnists alive, and one of the better ones our country has ever produced. I have admired him in the past, and I learn from him still. But on Iraq and Afghanistan, he has been wrong, unreliable, and unsteady.

More than four decades ago, did anyone here notice when Sayyid Qutb was executed? No, but we notice today. And it is now too late.

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