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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Sound Advice for the Unsound

Are you an leftist anti-war pundit? Are you worried sick that the war will turn out to be a smashing success? Sure there'll be few American casualties? Terrified there'll be few Iraqi casualties? Wondering what you'll write about after the war? Well, here's some sage advice from Dear Abby---er, I mean---Dr. Ridgely:

No mea culpa. The first thing you must realize is that we on the left never, ever admit we're wrong. Let this be your touchstone...


Suggest that it's sinister. Intone ominously about "big oil interests" without ever really saying what you mean. Say that you're "disappointed in" and "deeply saddened by" displays of "patriotism bordering on jingoism." This war heralds a new "dark time." Mention a "conspiracy of shadowy economic interests."


Belittle/minimize the achievement. This is sneer-and-curled-lip territory. "What's to cheer about? This was only the Iraqi military, after all-a third-rate power. Hurrah."


Change the subject. This tactic is always worth a column or two...wonder if the U.S. is ready to tackle the "much tougher task" of taking on North Korea. Venture afield and resurface the "evils" of "globalization" or of environmental doom. There's a lot of material here-remember global warming and the Kyoto Treaty?


Congratulate yourself and don't apologize. This should be a centerpiece column for you and should contain the words "peace" and "children" at least three times. Useful phrases: "It's never wrong to stand for peace." "How many Iraqi children would be alive today if peace had prevailed?"...Focus on what you, yourself, "feel." Work yourself and your emotions into the piece and talk about your reactions to the war. Talk of your own "shame"...

This last is Margo Kingston's special turf. The sneer-and-curled lip approach will be taken by George Monbiot, just before he changes the subject.

Mark Morford will use them all, sometimes switching tactics in the middle of a sentence. Take care you don't get whiplash.

There's much more.

UPDATE: Huh, and here's a column in a similar vein, somewhat shorter. Don't know when it was written, unless the 020503 in the URL is the date. Author's a goofy-lookin' feller (that hair!) with a funny name. Lilacs, or something like that.