Saturday, April 10, 2004

FDR Spent Much Less Than 40% Of His Presidency On Vacation, But He Was a Cripple 

Roger Ailes and Atrios want to put an end once for for all to all these WWII comparisons. A few rather uninformed conservatives continue to bitch about the 9/11 and Iraq Intelligence commissions on the grounds that no such commissions were set up to investigate the intelligence failure that led to Pearl Harbor.

Well, in the world of actual historical fact and easily researched public record, we learn that there was such a commission. Oops.

But it's a lousy comparison anyway. In that case, we had an expansionist country allied with an even more expansionist country that was waging war on all our allies in Europe, instead of an isolated dictatorship with no real military or ability to attack any of its neighbors, let alone the US of A. And the intelligence failure was a little more understandable, considering we weren't operating a permanent wartime economy at the time, and there was no ridiculously well-funded NSA, CIA, or FBI to gather all the relevant information. And FDR didn't read to a classroom full of children for a half-hour after the attack commenced. And, he actually declared war on the country that attacked us, despite the fact that everyone'd really been itching to kick the Soviet Union's ass instead.

And Roosevelt didn't recieve a damning intelligence briefing like the one I'm being told is going to be "released" in a few minutes (heavily redacted and edited, obviously).

So -- the Pearl Harbor comparison is pretty moot, in regard to either 9/11 or Iraq. Pretty very moot. In its stead, I'd like to recommend a new meme: Tonkin Gulf. You know, the "attack" on American by a foreign power that turned out to be made up, or at least highly dubious? That gave us a justification for a war all the hawks had wanted to escalate to begin with? That established that it is not only allowed to criticize a "wartime president," but also highly essential to the functioning of a democracy?

Or how about "Remember the Maine!"

You know, Judith Miller would have made a fine journalist for the old Hearst papers. "You provide the intelligence, I'll provide the war."

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