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Talbot / War Liberals

Before I run off and start swilling the egg nog, just one more comment from me about the war liberals who are heaping praise on their hero Mad Dog Mattis and freaking out about Trump's troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Syria. Have any of the liberal pundits at the NY Times and Washington Post and cable new echo chamber ever served in uniform under fire? Have they or any members of their immediate families come home from war wounded or mentally devastated and hooked on painkillers? Or have they ever risked their careers or their freedom or their bodies to protest yet another senseless US imperial war? The liberal elite rarely serves in the military or sacrifices its sons and daughters to war. Or even detours from their career paths for a tour of duty as a serious activist. And yet these couch generals are now screaming at Trump for bringing American soldiers home from far away war zones where they never should have been sent in the first place.

This is one reason there's such a yawning gap between the liberal elite and those red state regions whose families DO regularly get used as cannon fodder by the US war machine -- a gap that Trump is now shrewdly exploiting.

When there was a draft, young liberals -- and their parents -- were in the streets marching against war. Now that other people's kids, from rural regions and inner cities, are doing all the fighting, the professional liberal class that dominates the media industry and government service are all gung ho for war. They frown seriously on TV and fret about America's "new isolationism" and "abandoning our allies" (by which they often mean the Israeli war state).

But these media sages can't convincingly explain --- even to themselves -- why our soldiers are trapped year after year in desert quicksands in some province they can't even locate on the map.

Back in 1971, during another catastrophic American war, young John Kerry -- who returned from Vietnam and helped lead the veterans' movement against the war -- famously asked this question before a Senate committee: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

That's the same question that Rachel Maddow and Christopher Cuomo and the New York Times and Washington Post editorial boards and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer should be asking themselves today. And if these liberal mandarins still feel that it's vital to send other people's children to die in these wars, then they should be the ones who knock on the parents' door or the wife and kids' door to notify them that their loved ones have died in another meaningless American war.


David Talbot © 2018

David Talbot is an American progressive journalist, author and media executive. He is the founder, former CEO and editor-in-chief of Salon, one of the first on-line magazines. He has also written a number of books, including the best seller Season of the Witch.


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