The Polite Liberal

A rant-free discussion of liberal philosophy and policies.


The Polite Liberal is the pseudonym of a "nontraditional" graduate student in mathematics (for nonacademics, "nontraditional," is a polite way of saying, "older than 25.") The Polite Liberal is an attempt to spur real policy debate, instead of partisan insults and conspiracy theories. Conservatives (and liberals, of course!) are welcome.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Could we actually fight terrorists?

I'm getting more than a little tired of the perpetual charges from the right that liberals are "soft on terrorism."

Liberals (as distinct from leftists) were all in favor of actually fighting terrorism--that's why there was no meaningful opposition to the war in Afghanistan. (Remember, a grand total of one Democratic congressperson in either house voted against that war.) What we objected to was shifting focus away from Afghanistan to a much larger, much messier, much less obviously needful war in Iraq. We objected even more to lumping the two wars together--the Afghan war was obviously justified by 9/11, while the Iraq war was only connected by being in roughly the same part of the world.

We'll see tonight if Mr. Bush has any serious plans to deal with the situation that he's created. Remember, given the Army's recruitment problems, "staying the course" isn't a serious option short of some plan to provide the necessary soldiers (whether by increasing compensation, resuming the draft, or by some other means). Given this administration's tendency to simply ignore opposition, though, I'm not overly optimistic.