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From my Sunday comics page this week, in Newsday. First Doonesbury:
Next the right wing nut who writes Mallard Fillmore:
Probably comics don’t matter but, for me, the approach and rhetoric capture exactly the difference between how the US left and right view war and soldiers. It’s something to ponder this Memorial Day. Fillmore quotes Reagan (!) poetically blathering on about how great a country we have because people died for us with zero mention of the costs of endless war and the humanity of war, that it is ugly, scary, awful, and yet ultimately we’re talking about people being asked to kill other people and who die in that process. That’s what Doonesbury captures. There’s no glory, no call to action, no tripe. Just people who make choices and deal with the consequences.
FWIW, I call the Fillmore comic a right wing nut because of the rhetoric the comic strip uses over time. Choosing a Reagan quote, for example, is a big tell. For one, Reagan never served his country in combat. We’ve had a few Presidents who performed that awful task, including the first President Bush, but they’re never quoted by right wing believers. Only St. Ronnie. Who, oddly enough, said a lot of beautiful words, all of them written by his speech writers. Ignoring inconvenient facts with a focus on out of touch rhetoric sums up the right wing view of soldiers and war.
I wish Restrepo was required viewing for all politicians. And that their kids were forced to serve and to do at least three tours of duty. Perhaps we would have a lot less war and killing.
At the Nation.
By mobilizing our military against Libya, we unleashed the dogs of war in a way whose future is simply unpredictable. None of my advisers or our intelligence community can tell me what will happen next, so I’ve decided to end our involvement tonight.