Archive for January, 2007

Does it make sense?

VDH makes note – What is America—and is it worth defending?

The students seemed a little stunned, but had picked up the current American campus trait of thinking that if the United States can be shown not to be perfect, it is therefore not good—and that no one would dare to question the moral principles, or consistency, by which they press their own moralistic attack on the United States.

We worry about the Patriot Act. Castro and Hugo Chavez end free speech. We worry about morality in foreign policy, China contracts with the Sudan and Iran for all they can get. We worry about the glass-ceiling, the Islamic world doesn’t mention much about polygamy or female circumcision. We worry about the religious Right, Saudi Arabia arrests those with bibles. The world abroad, these students sometimes forget, does not operate on the principles of the campus library or student union.

It is a matter of perspective and standards. Sometimes people forget and forgetting is often a means towards emotional comfort. That is why it is necessary to have well thought out objective standards for comparison and to actually compare what is important.

Another example of this was noted in the Webb response to the SOU speech on poverty. The President took on absolute poverty in which the standard was the ability of people to meet their needs independently. The response took on relative poverty which compared one person’s income to another’s. The question is then whether poverty is matter of people being able to satisfy their needs or a matter of envy that others are able to have more. Where does morality stand on these? Which appeals to emotion and which to reality? Are the emotions involved constructive or destructive?

Is ‘not perfect’ the same as ‘not good’ or is, perhaps, perfection an innapropriate standard?

Leave a Comment

Hypothesis for a hidden agenda

Walter Williams has this one. (Nuremberg for global warming skeptics?)

The environmental extremists’ true agenda has little or nothing to do with climate change. Their true agenda is to find a means to control our lives. The kind of repressive human control, not to mention government-sanctioned mass murder, seen under communism has lost any measure of intellectual respectability. So people who want that kind of control must come up with a new name, and that new name is environmentalism.

The question is why communism and socialism are so attractive? Why this attraction overwhelms a rational assessment of their failures? Trying to figure out why people think the way they do is not an easy pursuit. It is much easier to be a good rocket scientist than a good psychologist, at least as far as understanding the subject matter goes.

Leave a Comment

What happens when you don’t think

It’s the story of cotton farmers in India and how they choose the seed for their crop.

Stone argues that the previously undocumented pattern of fads, in which each village lurches from seed to seed, reflects a breakdown of the process of “environmental learning,” leaving farmers to rely purely on “social learning.” Bt cotton was not the cause of this “deskilling,” but in Warangal it has exacerbated the problem.

Rather than learning from controlled experimentation and obtaining gradual improvement in both productivity and skill, it is the seed fad of the season and the appeal of marketing that govern decisions.

This article does have the taint of academic bias, though. This is in the presumption that it is marketing and presentation that manipulate the decision making process in this ‘de-skilling’ of the farmer. There is also a comment tossed out as an unsupported conclusion that, in another area, piracy that reduces corporate control over seed stock produces increase in farmer involvement in knowledge acquisition. These concepts support the view that critical reading is always necessary.

Leave a Comment

The war over the war of the words

On the Weather Channel, the climatologist presented an editorial defending her advocacy for banning heretics. Then at PhysOrg the UCS complains that Groups Allege Pressure on Global Warming. This is a two front attack: one is to ban those with ‘incorrect’ views and the other is to complain that those you are trying to ban are banning you!

It is something to consider trying to find congruence between “Our goal at The Weather Channel has always been to keep people out of harm’s way” and “Many of you have accused me and The Weather Channel of taking a political position on global warming. That is not our intention.” Keeping people out of harm’s way requires a political judgment. It is not the role of science to promote or advocate what human behavior should be. That is the role of politics. The role of science is descriptive with an honest assessment of that description’s limitations.

And then consider the snide ‘reporting’ in Popular Science’s State of the Climate. “Hindsight has rendered silly the breathless reporting of Bush’s eureka moment [link] nearly five years ago” – and references to the President’s alcohol abuse and recovery (this is called an ad hominem argument and generally disdained as a less than honest approach). And then there’s the “how to dance around the issue of global warming” assertion as if it is a tactic engaged by only one ‘side’.

The big deception in all of these arguments is the issue at hand. It is not climate change or global warming but rather what we know about the phenomena, how we know it, the limitations of that knowledge, and what, if anything, anyone should do about it. The pattern is that those who do not advocate massive governmental intervention and regulation are presented as heretics and ignorami trying to dictate their views on others while they are doing it themselves.

We have headline stories about polar ice melting and raising the sea level many feet but no one explaining how an average temperature change of only a couple of degrees is going to have this effect. And that is only one example of the disconnect between hysteria about predicitons and what is known.

On the political front there is the attack on the current administration facing the reality that the US rejected the Kyoto treaty in 1997 by overwhelming Senate vote. This is just one example that illustrates that it is not climate that is the issue but rather partisan political advantage.

What all of this does is to obfuscate rather than clarify. That does not help anyone.

Leave a Comment

Washington Times speaks to a puzzle

Editorial Tehran’s useful idiots

Prominent Democrats are increasingly behaving as if their primary mission is not to defeat Islamists determined to destroy Western civilization, but to do everything they can to ensure that they can turn Mr. Bush into a lame duck for the next two years regardless of the consequences for our national security.

This irresponsible behavior manifests itself on an almost daily basis as anti-war lawmakers are divided into two camps on Iraq: a small but increasingly vocal group that demands withdrawal whatever the consequences, and a larger, more intellectually dishonest group that is afraid to act on its convictions and cut off funds for operations in Iraq.

arguably no issue unites the president’s foes in Congress more than Iran — specifically the need to ensure this rogue regime that it has nothing to fear when it menaces its neighbors.

and in Webb of distortion

Both sides of this ferocious Iraq debate want to claim the support of the troops as they make their case for or against the war. The truth does not belong exclusively to either side — and it would be earth-moving, as surely Mr. Webb wants to suggest it is, if it were proven that a majority of troops now favor withdrawal. But this is an attempt to shoehorn the evidence into a soundbite. It does the debate over Iraq no justice. It is a sleight of hand and no more.

and then Suzanne Fields on Prophecies of doom

The president, like many of those who yearn to succeed him, is like Jeremiah, an unpopular prophet. But Jeremiah, as ancient Israel learned, knew what he was talking about. There’s a lesson here.

The puzzle? It is why the lesson of 9./11 is so limited. It is why that lesson has been minimized compared to the quest for political gain. It is why intellectual integrity has been minimized in the quest for other goals, goals that are not clear. The first editorial describes the puzzling behavior. The second an example of fabrication. The third is about the importance of the conflict. It is a puzzle that is becoming more evident about its cause and that may help lead to its resolution.

UPDATE: for more on Web’s SOU response, see From A Naval Academy Graduate To Senator Webb.

Leave a Comment

What makes the US appear a pariah?

While Mr. Kerry gets the headlines in Iran for this assertion, The New Media Journal has another take.

If there is anything that reduces the image of Americans around the globe it is the stunted, acerbic, bullhorn mentality of America’s Fifth Column and those who join in their caustic idiom.

Civility in discourse is, or used to be, the hallmark of a civilized man. In many of today’s debates the tone has turned nasty, personal, and often inaccurate or downright dishonest. This reflects on all.

Leave a Comment

Ten Myths: exposing the propaganda machine

Strategy page explains its top ten myths of the Iraq war. From WMD to the current ‘all is lost’ mantra, a basic summary of the known facts are presented. It brings to mind Shrinkwrapped’s Further Digressions.

Rationalization is the psychological defense that uses words, emptied of their meaning, to make barely plausible assertions that cannot stand up to rudimentary challenge. Because they are defenses motivated by unconscious pressures, the rationalizer doesn’t realize how empty his words are, although some have the grace to be mildly embarrassed by the weakness of their arguments.

These myths, as Strategy Page shows, cannot stand to even rudimentary challenge. But they are still held with a tenacious ferocity by some. That is perhaps the most important issue to concern us all.

Leave a Comment

It is a test of wills

The recent confluence of the confirmation of a new 4 star and the debate about a congressional resolution concerning tactics has provided much fodder for discussion. Senate Resolutions and the War in Iraq (UPDATED) at Q&O takes note of one emphasis by the new general.

We speak often of the psychological aspects of war. This is one of the more critical psychological aspects, especially when contemplating a long-war. If you can convince your enemy he has no hope of success, you’ve planted a very important seed which will indeed germinate if you are able to show any success militarily. In fact, perhaps metastasize is a better word than germinate. It will eat away at his will to go on (going back to the “test of wills” meme).

In any endeavor it is the intangible that can make the difference. The student must know he can succeed and the teacher must not allow any of his bias to convey any other message to the student. Football teams are charged with a will to win no matter the odds and a good coach can use that to win against the odds. Doubt is a cancer and it is the role of the leadership to turn doubts into challenges that can be overcome. That is why the current debate is important: do we take efforts in Iraq as challenges or do we foster doubt about our abilities by reducing our efforts and assuming defeat? (again)

Leave a Comment

Certain knowledge is only after the fact, sometimes

Thomas Sowell considers Another Vietnam? in the Washington Times. The issue is whether we learn from history, whether we are honest with our assessments, and whether we understand the limits of what we think we know.

Leave a Comment

The climate change brouhaha

Adamant takes note:

“Like the generally dormant volcano that it is, the scientifically astute Real Climate website has erupted into high political dudgeon at the reluctance of the National Science Teacher’s Accociation to make a disaster movie of Biblical proportions starring a former Senator, “part of the standard curriculum’ as have some European nations.”

If you look at the comments supporting the need for the NSTA to show the video, you see diatribes about ‘stupid Republicans’ and ‘evil corporations’ and similar. That method of argument in itself is sufficient to raise skepticism about the quality of the position being argued.

In this same light, New Scientist reports on how Climate change unites science and religion.

Today’s announcement follows the showing of An Inconvenient Truth, former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary on global warming, in thousands of churches across the US in recent months.

Again, you have to wonder what the method is saying about the issue. When advocacy becomes promotion that then becomes a passion, the fundamental tenets of scientific inquiry are being set aside. Subjectivity rules and objectivity suffers.

Then there is the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works:

The Weather Channel’s most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming.

You can also find stories by those who advocate human caused climate change claiming that they are the ones being censored. This method of claiming to be the victim of what one is trying to do to others is also something that should create a great deal of skepticism.

Alan Caruba is asking has America Goes Insane Over the Weather?

To make matters worse, people are being told and actually believing that what they do or not can affect the weather in ways to keep the seas and temperatures from rising. It is no longer the domain of the sun, the oceans, volcanoes and clouds. These puny things are nothing compared to what kind of car you drive or what you use to heat your home.

That is a definition of insanity. It is so far removed from reality that Hollywood has to conjure up films showing New York under miles of snow or so-called documentaries demanding that industry must come to a stop in order to save the Earth.

The behavior of argument is a first good clue as to the quality of argument. Stories such as these obfuscate the issues at hand and make it much more difficult to determine relative risk, degree of confidence in measure and conclusion, and how we know what we think we know. This is what prompted James Lewis to describe why he thinks global warming is probably a crock.

Now imagine that all the variables about global climate are known with less than 100 percent certainty. Let’s be wildly and unrealistically optimistic and say that climate scientists know each variable to 99 percent certainty! (No such thing, of course). And let’s optimistically suppose there are only one-hundred x’s, y’s, and z’s — all the variables that can change the climate: like the amount of cloud cover over Antarctica, the changing ocean currents in the South Pacific, Mount Helena venting, sun spots, Chinese factories burning more coal every year, evaporation of ocean water (the biggest “greenhouse” gas), the wobbles of earth orbit around the sun, and yes, the multifarious fartings of billions of living creatures on the face of the earth, minus, of course, all the trillions of plants and algae that gobble up all the CO2, nitrogen-containing molecules, and sulfur-smelling exhalations spewed out by all of us animals. Got that? It all goes into our best math model.

So in the best case, the smartest climatologist in the world will know 100 variables, each one to an accuracy of 99 percent. Want to know what the probability of our spiffiest math model would be, if that perfect world existed? Have you ever multiplied (99/100) by itself 100 times? According to the Google calculator, it equals a little more than 36.6 percent.

The Bottom line: our best imaginable model has a total probability of one out of three. How many billions of dollars in Kyoto money are we going to spend on that chance?

That’s why human-caused global warming is an hypothesis, not a fact. Anybody who says otherwise isn’t doing science, but trying to sell you a bill of goods.

The strength of the argument for a position should match the strength of the measures for that position and the strength of the significance of that position. When these don’t match, it creates dissonance that should lead to skepticism. That means to look for other variables that are influencing the debate and to find out what is really going on.

Leave a Comment

Why be a shrink?

It seems that often those who pursue psychology and psychiatry are trying to understand themselves. Some of these are also trying to make sense of the people around them. Pat Santy discusses this in the entry A most ingenious paradox – part I.

Psychological defenses may be difficult to detect by the user unless conscious thought and emotional honesty are applied to the problem; but they are often fairly obvious to a disinterested observer who can clearly see the distortion of reality that is being displayed. Sometimes the observer may be truly flabbergasted by the degree to which an individual is able to deceive him or herself.

The application of “conscious thought and emotional honesty” is what this blog is all about. That leads to seeing ourselves through others and trying to figure out an appropriate way to create change first in ourselves and then, perhaps, in others. As Pat describes, when we neither run nor fight we have stress. That stress is a ‘mature’ process as we try to solve and deal with problems rather than avoid them or beat them into submission.

Basically, the elusive process of psychological maturation requires the capacity to sustain and tolerate paradox, or ambiguity.

In Part II, I will show how the mature psychological defenses–humor, anticipation, suppression, sublimation and altruism–do exactly that: help the individual achieve a reconciliation with the painful ambiguities and paradoxes of his life by maintaining “a creative and flexible tension between irreconcilables” and by allowing “conscience, impulse, reality, and attachment all to have places at center stage.”

It is not as if this is an accepted goal. This blog has been on the receiving end of people who chose to fight rather than think. That helps no one.

Leave a Comment

War of the fleas, from the hair of the dog

It started with questions about the credibility of a news story. That lead to questions about identity of a frequently cited AP source. That lead E Jordan to invite some of those raising questions to come see Iraq in person. Michelle Malkin reports in Back from Baghdad what she found, what she saw, and what really is going on from the point of view of the boots on the ground. If Iraq is in a war of the fleas, as the ground troups call it, this is perspective from within the hair of the dog with the fleas.

I came to Iraq a darkening pessimist about the war, due in large part to my doubts about the compatability of Islam and Western-style democracy, but also as a result of the steady, sensational diet of “grim milestone” and “daily IED count” media coverage that aids the insurgency.

I left Iraq with unexpected hope and resolve.

If you are looking for a more accurate picture of the struggle in Iraq, Michele’s blog entry is a good place to start. There are pictures and promises of more to come. Meanwhile, if you want to better understand why there is a need for a more accurate picture, see Powerline’s All Iraq, All the Time. That is highlighting yet another MSM problem with intellectual integrity.

Actually, the U.S. is trying to win the war in Iraq, not “extricate itself” from a “failing” conflict. But in the eyes of the liberal media, that’s not the U.S., it’s just the Bush administration. In the mainstream media, failure is already a fact. Not only that, the Iraq-as-disaster meme infects coverage of just about everything else, even when the story at hand–like China’s economy–has little or nothing to do with that conflict.

It is the implicit assumptions, the ones taken for granted, that can lead one astray. These show, as in John at Powerline’s entry in the words used. They fall when meeting direct description of events and behavoir as Michelle’s report. It emphasizes the need for an appropriate skepticism, multiple sources, and an openness to examine our own presumptions.

Leave a Comment

I just don’t want to hear it, so you shouldn’t either

There are folks who can’t stand hearing what they don’t like, and don’t want others to hear it either. Three different approaches are in the current news. One is the effort to resurect the FCC requirement for ‘equal’ time allotments for every point of view on the airwaves. Another is an attempt to squash an expression by a government official in the name of “human rights.” The third is what happens when a few act out so no one can be heard.

From Strategy Page: Information Warfare: Free Speech Restricted

Charles Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, touched off a new fight with human rights lawyers by suggesting that corporate clients might want to re-evaluate who they do business with. As one can expect, this sort of comment did not sit well with the human rights groups, who threw a fit. …

the comments do raise a couple of points. First, many of the lawyers who are waging lawfare are doing so pro bono. They have gotten the resources to do so through their work on other cases. Naturally, it is only fair to point out who is doing that work.

Second, while it might have stung human-rights groups and the legal profession, the DOD does have the right to speak out about criticism that has been unfair. Looking at the facts, the term unfair is arguably an understatement

The ultimate heckler’s veto

Santa Cruz has thus positioned itself as an interesting test case in the wake of the ruling. On the one hand, the university is known for its politically active students, and it prizes them; on the other hand, the law is the law. Knowing that all eyes would be on them this year, Santa Cruz administrators had a tough decision to make–reign in student protesters, or avoid the problem altogether by shutting down the job fair in advance.

This is the heckler’s veto at work. Though the protesters aimed simply to scare off military recruiters, they have succeeded in depriving the entire study body of the right to participate in career recruitment that is potentially crucial to their futures. And they have done so because the administration, by its own admission, cannot maintain order on campus, and cannot ensure that students will respect the law.

Then there are the legislative attempts.

But, back to the DoD and USC brouhaha’s: what they illustrate is that matters of ethics and standards and fairness take a back seat to politicial or idealogical preference.

‘If you dare say something we don’t like, we will harass you without end until you shut up. We won’t worry about intellectual integrity, fairness, ethics, or even the law. We want you to shut up. You have no right to say anything that offends us.’

This heckler’s veto has even been tried to silence this weblog. It is the only passion that seems to have been raised by this effort to educate the need for integrity, ethics, and high standards in dialog. And the efforts illustrate the typical low standards, lack of integrity, and ethical lapses that so often seem to be the means employed by those who want to shut out the ideas of others.

Leave a Comment

Focus, methods, and what they say

Jay Tea calls it subjectivism in his post It’s not personal. It’s strictly business. It is arguing everything but the issue at hand and not being too careful about reality either. For instance, in the recent Boxer versus Rice testimony in committee:

chose not to base her disagreement on matters of policy, philosophy, or to find fault in … education or professional qualifications. Rather, … personal decisions and lifestyle choices

There’s an old saying — “don’t shoot the messenger.” These days, it seems a hell of a lot easier to do just that Why bother mustering arguments and facts and positions and ideas when, instead, you can simply attack the messenger and turn the issue to the perceived failings of that person? It’s so much simpler, and human nature will be your able assistant — nearly everyone, when attacked, wants to defend themselves, and that just furthers the move away from the topic at hand.

It’s bad. It’s wrong. It’s shameful. It’s corrosive. And we should do what we can to call out those who use it, even when it’s each other.

What are the options? The alternative to calling out those who engage in destructive tactics and methods? There have been attempts to outlaw such things as, for instance, the McCain/Fiengold law. That should probably be reserved for things such as yelling fire in a crowded theater where there is objective potential for serious direct personal injury or harm.

The other two options include exercising personal responsibility and applying social pressures. What we are seeing is a breakdown of the internal, the exercise of personal responsibility, and we are seeing a significant disinterest in the application of social and peer pressure. In other words, there does not seem to be any value in intellectual integrity and personal responsibility. That is something to think about.

Leave a Comment

How to qualify trust

Alice LaPlante asks How Trustworthy Is The Web? at InformationWeek. What prompted this was a number of attacks on Wikipedia despite an article in Nature that indicated its error rate was lower than the Encyclopedia Britannica. What some folks think they notice is an excess faith in the information they find.

In other words, there’s a growing reliance on blind faith to make often-critical decisions.

This is a well established phenomena. For instance, it has long been known that people tend to place a high credibility in the written word being true. A Pew study indicated that

Only 25 percent of Americas who already use the Web to get health advice check the sources and dates of the data they find there.

But all you have to do is to study sales and marketing and you can learn about this and how it can be used to make a sale.

What this really says is that people tend to believe what they want to believe and don’t want to go to much effort to validate what they do find out.

what can we do–perhaps through education, watchdog groups, and better search technology–to help improve our ability to separate the informational wheat from the chaff?

This question is really asking how can we change people. How can we make them practice due dilligence? When you look at some of the expensive mistakes that some insist on making, it doesn’t give much hope.

Leave a Comment

Skepticism is the first step toward truth

When something becomes a truth it is no longer subject to question or inspection. When people are afraid that their truths are weak, the defend them by persecution of the suspected heretic. David Deming described a case in commentary at the Washington Times a while back: Inhofe correct on warming.

Around 1996, I became aware of how corrupt and ideologically driven current climate research can be. A major researcher working on climate change confided in me that the factual record needed to be altered so people would become alarmed over global warming. He said, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”

For those who are looking for what is most likely true, a good start is to look at the behavior in the debate. Is the goal to prove something or to learn something? Is the approach to attack the opponents or is it to reveal a reality? Does the end justify the means or qualify the outcome?

Sen. Inhofe is not only correct in his view on global warming, but courageous to insist on truth, objectivity and sound science. Truth in science doesn’t depend on human consensus or political correctness. The fact that the majority of journalists and pundits bray like sheep is meaningless. Galileo, another “social dinosaur,” said, “The crowd of fools who know nothing is infinite.”

The integrity probably belongs to the person who wants to know the accuracy and precision of the measure and the placement of conclusions in a proper perspective. It does not belong to those who seek to hide these things.

Leave a Comment

What is it about ethics, doing the right thing?

What is it about ethics? Ethics represent an individual’s moral principles. It is how we decide what is right and what is not, what is good and what is not. Sometimes we find that the moral principles that guided us in the past were misplaced or even ignorant. Here is an example.

I had not turned out to be the man I had once envisioned myself to be. I thought I would be the kind of man that America could point to and say, “There. That’s the guy. That’s the one who got it right. The whole package. The one I can depend on.”

An Honest Confession by an American Coward is the story of one who learned that there are things with value that he did not recognize in his youth.

It was that same long night, after listening to Al’s story, that I began to make judgments about how I had conducted myself during the Vietnam War. … I began to assess my role as a citizen in the ’60s, when my country called my name and I shot her the bird. … I realized I’d done all this research to better understand my country. I now revere words like democracy, freedom, the right to vote, and the grandeur of the extraordinary vision of the founding fathers. Do I see America’s flaws? Of course. But I now can honor her basic, incorruptible virtues, the ones that let me walk the streets screaming my ass off that my country had no idea what it was doing in South Vietnam.

Whether it is the country at large or just a group of friends, it is ethical and moral principles that provide the glue for effective and meaningful relationships.

Leave a Comment

What makes mean? Digital cameras?

Michelle Jones at the Exposure blog asks Do Digital Cameras Make Us Mean?

Last year I abruptly stopped viewing two photoblogs I had previously enjoyed very much. The reason I stopped looking? I was overwhelmed by how cruel people can be.

Remember the grade school rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me” ? That was a good lesson in grade school both to the point that the recipient needs tolerance and for guidance to civil behavior by not attacking others. As Michelle observes, some of those kids never got the lesson. As adults they create an ugly scene.

The ease and immediacy of digital cameras and online photo sharing tools seem to allow the lowest common denominator to creep into our photographic endeavors.

It is not only in that arena but in others as well. It has been known in electronic media since the early days and has received significant rigorous research since about the mid nineties. It has its own terminology: SNERTS, Trolls, and so on. There are guides for civil behavior and manners in electronic messaging communications. But the ‘mean’ still infests dialog and discussion and presentation. A lack of civil behavior disrupts and destroys productive online relationships.

“Think first before putting mouth in motion” is one of many proverbs that tell us that it is a human problem of long standing. That means that it is up to us to rise above it. We have to decide that civility is something we want. We then have to illustrate that in our own behavior. Then, perhaps, we can figure out how to encourage others towards civil behavior as well.

Leave a Comment

A chill wind is blowing under the blanket of privacy and defamation.

There is a chill wind that threatens to force us inside. The need to avoid this wind is cited as a need for privacy and an inadequate protection against defamation.

The Anchoress notes this in the post Tim Robbins’ “chill wind” blows via Pelosi et al.

watch out for those grey areas. There be monsters. And um…mediating intelligences who know what you ought to be allowed to know much better than you do.

It is in the nuance, the “grey areas” that the debate continues. The door is seldom either open or closed. The salesman has his toe in the door and the potential customer struggles to prevent him from opening it any further. We have to respect the rights of others to say their piece as we may learn something – that salesman may be trying to sell us something we need. But we don’t need to tolerate those trying to sell us something we do not need or want through unscrupulous tactics.

Leave a Comment

Lieberman: Responsibility to do what is morally right

Joseph Lieberman on Friday, December 29, 2006; Page A27 in the Washington Post.

In Iraq today we have a responsibility to do what is strategically and morally right for our nation over the long term — not what appears easier in the short term. The daily scenes of death and destruction are heartbreaking and infuriating. But there is no better strategic and moral alternative for America than standing with the moderate Iraqis until the country is stable and they can take over their security. Rather than engaging in hand-wringing, carping or calls for withdrawal, we must summon the vision, will and courage to take the difficult and decisive steps needed for success and, yes, victory in Iraq. That will greatly advance the cause of moderation and freedom throughout the Middle East and protect our security at home.

A responsibility to do what is right – and that means going past appearances and understanding the mandate of fundamental values, even if uncomfortable.

Leave a Comment