Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Heavyweight Blogger Showdown: Lileks vs Sullivan

James Lileks smacks Andrew Sullivan all around the ring over Sullivan's 'I Support Kerry' article. Here are some of the juicier bits.

Sullivan is disappointed that the war has become "a partisan affair." Lileks responds with a solid uppercut on Sullivan, who was an earlier supporter of the War in Iraq. Read between the lines:

And let us shed a tear for those who believed it was necessary after 9/11 to knock off Saddam and establish a beachhead in the region ‘twixt Iran and Syria, but later ran away shrieking like freshly skinned rabbits because it had somehow, by some odd turn of events, turned into a partisan affair. What scared them off? Who knows? Just happened, I guess. Somewhere between the brutal Afghan winter, the interminable quagmire of the operational pause en route to Baghdad – all 72 hours of it - and the devastating supposition that the turkey Bush presented on Thanksgiving may not have been the actual fowl consumed by the troops, we realized that the war was all failure and lies and failed lies about lying failures, and we can’t do anything and the Plan was wrong and Mission Accomplished, yeah right. Oh, and We Support the Troops.

Sullivan claims that "in wartime, a president bears the greater responsibility for keeping the country united. And this president has fundamentally failed in this respect." Lileks lays into him with a priceless quote:

"Keeping the country united? Good luck. Imagine FDR running a war with a press composed of cynical snickerers who derided the president as a rich old cripple who thought the best way to defeat Tojo was a war in North Africa and preached defeat every day through the hard slog of the Pacific theater. Imagine running a war with an entertainment industry that declined to make a single movie about the conflict - why, imagine a "Casablanca" where Rick and Sam argue about whether America started it all because they didn’t support the League of Nations. Imagine a popular radio drama running through the early 40s about a smart, charismatic, oh-so-intellectual Republican president whose bourbon baritone mocked FDR’s patrician whine, a leader who took no guff from Stalin OR Hitler! Lux Soap brings you, The West Wing of the White House! Imagine Thomas Dewey’s wife in 1944 callling the WW2 a war for oil; imagine former vice presidents insisting that FDR had played on our fears after Pearl Harbor. Imagine all that."

Ouch. That's gonna hurt in the morning.

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