A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Friday, May 21, 2004

Into the Cage, Zaitchik

The Zoo has captured yet another barking moonbat; this one was pointed out by the beautiful, brilliant, and mostly-healed Serenity of Serenity's Journal. In this post she utterly fails to contain her exasperation over an article by the barking moonbat in question, one Alexander Zaitchik.

Upon reading it I experienced "exasperation" too, if we define that word to mean "a dark and purposeful anger bordering on the desire to do physical violence".

But instead of grabbing the nearest chopping impliment and driving up to New York to talk things over with our dear Alexander, I decided to just write a letter to the editor. It saves on gas and carries a considerably shorter jail sentence.

Dear Editor,

Knowing the vicious leftward slant of your publication as I do, I realize that chances are slim this letter will ever find itself inked therein. It’s always worth a shot though; I’m sure you believe in the first amendment when you can squeeze a dram of conservative-bashing out of it. This correspondence might annoy you enough to try.

Alexander Zaitchik, in his article "Savagery All Around", remarks on many events and incidents concerning the invasion of Iraq and the troubles our military is currently experiencing there. From Abu Ghraib to angry senators to dirty words written on high explosives, Zaitchik knits us a worrisome cat’s cradle of opinion that ties in every last string of discontent. Best of all is his characterization of Nicholas Berg’s murder as "Kosher"; I’m sure the Berg family feels much better knowing that their beloved son and sibling was slaughtered according to time-honored tradition. The renowned liberal empathy truly does live on in your deeply sensitive journalists.

What really made me write to you about Zaitchik’s article, however, is his ironic classification of the Bush Administration’s response to Abu Ghraib as spin. "Savagery All Around", from the opening by-line to the tasteless closing statement, is itself nothing but spin. Zaitchik spins the war in Iraq as "having no reality-based connection" to the larger war on terror, and he spins our entire military as "fist-pumping" savages based upon the actions of a few. Here’s the unspun truth: Iraq is part of the war on terror. It’s a risky, courageous, foresighted attempt to destroy the root cause of terrorism (brutal and backward third-world dictatorships) and bring secular democracy to a deeply troubled region. We were all warned that it would be costly and difficult, but Zaitchik obviously prefers to edit such warnings from his memory; self-righteous indignation is easier to pass off when one can act all surprised that casualties and mistakes are part of war. As for the quality and integrity of our soldiers, there are hundreds of thousands of them serving abroad. If there are few hundred – or even a few thousand – who write asinine epithets on bombs and humiliate unfortunate prisoners, that still leaves 99% who are doing a fine and honorable job. And when someone really does cross the line, America has now shown that a healthy pursuit of justice ensues.

When Saddam was murdering 20,000 people a year, where were the Iraqi congressional inquiries and courts-martial? Where were the Arab journalists with their scandalous photographs and endless demands for answers? And most importantly, where was Alexander Zaitchick and his sanctimonious bleating about the "Savagery All Around"?


Tampa, FL

I'll let you guys know if they publish it or if I get a response.