Monday, October 30, 2006

Today's Cartoon: David Letterman vs. Bill O'Reilly Round Two

Do you suppose that David Letterman was more annoyed by Bill O'Reilly's view of the war in Iraq, or by the fact that he didn't really have one of his own?

Now, I can completely understand Letterman's frustration over the war and appreciate that he admits to not knowing all the answers; but the problem is that unless Americans are able to amply articulate alternative strategies without being trapped into debating their "patriotism" instead of the issues, the obstructionists (who argue primarily using slogans and catch phrases) will continue to control the conversation.

Much like his previous appearance, Bill O'Reilly proved that he is a skilled "debater", but that doesn't necessarily mean he controls the facts surrounding an issue. In some cases, all that are needed are the skills to avoid the facts, in order to "win" an argument. And the best way to do that is by changing the subject as much as possible.

To me it seems that forcing Americans who raise concerns about the war in Iraq to answer as to whether or not they want the United States to "win" is nonsensical because the objective of the war has been redefined so many times that "winning" it no longer seems to hold any baring. It seems that in order to win (or lose) a conflict, an objective not only has to be defined, but it has to be maintained for longer than just a few weeks. Therefore, questioning the patriotism of someone who is critical of the war in Iraq, by asking them if they want the United States to "win" is about as logical as questioning the patriotism of a supporter of the war, by asking them if they want the United States to lose... again.

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