Join the UMass Republican Club for yet another lively and edifying political discussion on the costs, necessities, consequences, and benefits of war. A question and answer session will be administered after the initial lecture.
Jonah Goldberg, 38, is a rising star in the conservative intellectual movement as the editor-at-large for National Review Online and a contributing editor for National Review.
Anyway, I do think my judgment is superior to his [Cole’s] when it comes to the big picture. So, I have an idea: Since he doesn’t want to debate anything except his own brilliance, let’s make a bet. I predict that Iraq won’t have a civil war, that it will have a viable constitution, and that a majority of Iraqis and Americans will, in two years time, agree that the war was worth it. I’ll bet $1,000 (which I can hardly spare right now). This way neither of us can hide behind clever word play or CV reading. If there’s another reasonable wager Cole wants to offer which would measure our judgment, I’m all ears. Money where your mouth is, doc. One caveat: Because I don’t think it’s right to bet on such serious matters for personal gain, if I win, I’ll donate the money to the USO. He can give it to the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade or whatever his favorite charity is.
I cannot tell you how this paragraph hit me in the gut. I was nearly immobilized by disgust and grief. This man really does see Iraqis as playthings. He is proposing a wager on the backs of Iraqis. Millions of Iraqis are going through winter with insufficient heating oil. They are jobless. The innocent 250,000 Fallujans are homeless. Imagine what $1000 means to them. And here we have an prominent American media star, a man who sets opinion on the Sunday afternoon talking heads shows, betting on them as though they are greyhounds in a race. They are not human beings to him, but political playthings on which to be wagered.
This entire paragraph is an excellent symbol for the entire project of the neo-imperial American Right. They are making their own fortunes with a wager on the fates of others, whom they are treating like ants. Get in their way and they stomp on you. Make an anthill the wrong place and they blow it up.
According to Cole, Goldberg also declared that he can’t fight in Iraq because “his family needs the money he gets from his work and that he has a daughter!” Doesn’t exactly lend credence to his upcoming lecture…
Irancove @ December 10, 2007