Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Paul Campos Slanders Our Warriors

Rapidly becoming our least favorite property law professor, Paul Campos, has a sniveling column in today's Rocky Mountain News. I have to take my blood pressure medicine having read it. Now calm, I'll comment on some of its worst lapses in judgment. First the set-up (one of my favorite stories from the Iraq war):

"Katie Couric, while interviewing a Marine sniper, asked 'What do you feel when you shoot a terrorist?' The Marine shrugged and replied, 'Recoil.' "

The point is that the liberal, America-hating mainstream media, represented by a
stereotypically feminine woman, fail to grasp that manful and masculine warriors
performing manly deeds have no time for sentimental hippie nonsense about peace
and love.

Note that, if the story were both true and an accurate report of the Marine's mental state, he would be a sociopath.

No, he wouldn't. He would be a warrior who has had to disconnect from his emotions to do his job, as a sniper, which requires calm and precise actions to kill an enemy you can see close up through a telescopic sight. Tough work. Not everyone can do it. But people who defend us by killing our enemies are not sociopaths. Shame on Campos for the cheap name calling. It gets worse.

Most soldiers don't become sociopaths, of course. Still, war creates moral monsters just as surely as it generates profits for "defense" contractors, and provides endless material for books, movies and television shows.

Oh, much better! After confirming that some soldiers are turned into sociopaths by service for our country, he then goes on to insult even more by calling them moral monsters. I'll get to that in a second. Then he talks about things that war accomplishes. They are: 1) Profits for 'defense' contractors (I guess the challenge quotes around defense is because he doubts our armed forces actually defend us); and, 2) Materiel for entertainment.

Is that a complete list? How about war produces liberation from slavery and tyranny? How about war saving lives and stopping suffering? How about war reveals in some of our soldiers the ultimate in Christian charity, that they would lay down their life for other soldiers and even for strangers? Any possibility of actual good coming from war? Freedom? Honor? Sacrifice? Not in Paul Campos' dark, personal universe. I genuinely feel sorry for him. But it gets worse.

He finally gets around to the tenuous point of his revealing article:

Consider this quote from a speech McCain gave in 2002: "Theodore Roosevelt is one of my greatest political heroes. The 'strenuous life' was T.R.'s definition of Americanism, a celebration of America's pioneer ethos, the virtues that had won the West and inspired our belief in ourselves as the New Jerusalem, bound by sacred duty to suffer hardship and risk danger to protect the values of our civilization and impart them to humanity. 'We cannot sit huddled within our borders,' he warned, 'and avow ourselves merely an assemblage of well-to-do hucksters who care nothing for what happens beyond.' "

Those are the words of a man who sees war as a noble enterprise: one that builds our collective character, protects us from the moral dangers of an easy life, and gives us a chance to impart our values to the rest of the world. There can be no better reason to vote against him.

Of course if you generally hate this country and don't think that the values of our civilization are worth protecting or that the rest of the world would improve with adoption of at least some of them, then of course Teddy Roosevelt's vision is dangerous. However, if you love your country and think we get a lot of things right and we should continue our republic and the world would do well to study and adopt the many things we get right, then there is no better choice for commander in chief than a Viet Nam warrior, 26 missions over North Viet Nam and 5 years of a very harsh captivity.

Campos doesn't mention any military service in his CV and, despite his apparent age in the RMN photo, he was much too young for Viet Nam. Yet he calls some of the members of our armed forces "moral monsters." Is there any real difference in that and 'baby killer' other than specificity of the morally monstrous act? What is it about the less than clear thinking left that they resort to slander against members of our armed forces? They did it during the Viet Nam war and the tradition continues, in print, unapologetic by a 'thinker' who wouldn't know immoral if it cut his head off. Local real blogger Jeff Goldstein takes Campos apart figuratively for his previous determined anti-American position on Iraq. It's not just I who finds his logic lacking.

Don't get me wrong; there are bad warlike actions: Hitler's invasion of Poland, France, the Soviet Union, etc.; Japan's invasion of China, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, etc.; North Korea's invasion of South Korea; and, Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. It was not a bad warlike action to oppose Hitler, Imperial Japan, North Korea or Saddam Hussein. Indeed, our specific reaction to these bad actions was good. Paul Campos must not realize that. It apparently takes a great deal of education to make someone that stupid.


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