Dorothea Salo may have set the blogging movement back a year today with her simple pronouncement that one shouldnt blog about politics unless one has either the historical and economic savvy to back up ones points, or the chutzpah not to care that one doesnt. I happen to think that this impoverishes political discourseit makes any kind of cooperative Socratic investigation completely impossiblebut there it is.
While possibly true, this lack of knowledge certainly hasnt prevented the warbloggers or, for that matter, a great number of reporters and commentators at news stations like Fox News from opining on recent historical events and offering advice.
Personally, Im of the opinion that semi-informed bloggers might well present a counterweight to the massive number of bloggers, and news stations for that matter, who seem to be calling for the immediate invasion of Iraq and the instant destruction of any nation willing to offer refuge to terrorists.
While I would be worried about anyone who blindly accepted my views on virtually any topic, including literature, I do think that offering my opinion, particularly when accompanied by pertinent articles, is one small part of building an informed community.
I wonder if we truly dare let officials dictate history to us when they are so obviously willing to lie in order to ensure that their view of history is the one we are allowed to see. Desert Storm was presented to the public as an unmitigated success, a quick, bloodless war that emancipated Kuwait from the evil Sadam Hussein with relatively few deaths. After reading a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, though, you have to wonder what the price must really have been, particularly if we happen to consider Iraqis people.
When considered in the light of Jonathons article on civilian deaths, you have to wonder how many Iraqi civilians really died in those much-publicized, smart rocket attacks on Baghdad.
Did you really believe Rumsfelds denials that American bombs in Afghanistan had often hit the wrong target? Who could miss that large Red Cross, after all? If so, you didnt serve in Vietnam as I did and observe first hand how officials were more than willing to spin the truth any way but straight in order to create the impression that we were the good guys and they were the bad guys.