Monday, January 8, 2007

Scolding Cowardice

I have to differ with one of my favorite bloggers, Glenn Greenwald. Glenn is one of the best when it comes to legal issues, but today he advances the tired argument that war supporters are cowards and worthy of disregard if volunteers are needed to fight in Iraq and they do not step in to fill the gap.

This just seems too convenient for me. To honestly support the war you have to make a great personal sacrifice for your country, but to oppose it you just need to sit comfy and point to the hypocrisy of your opponents. Nearly all Americans are supporting the war, because most of us are paying taxes to fight it. I once knew a woman back in the days of the Reagan military build-up who sent the IRS a check for half the money she owed in taxes and a photocopy of a check to charity in the amount of the other half. She also included a letter explaining that since the Pentagon was taking up half the federal budget and she was a pacifist, she could not in good conscience pay the whole amount she owed to the government. Agree or disagree with her, she was taking a principled stand that put her in harm's way: she could have gone to jail for what she did. People who fault the war's supporters for not having the courage of their convictions should at least be willing to make an equivalent sacrifice themselves.

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