The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Sunday, May 02, 2004


              The Costs of War
On Friday Ted Koppel dedicated that night's Nightline news show to reading the names of the American soldiers who have been killed in Iraq. There was much controversy before this episode was aired, mostly regarding whether this was a political stunt pulled by the anti-war (and anti-Bush) newsman. Undoubtedly it was a political statement, and as Mark Steyn points out a potentially very damaging one:

"Here's where it's worth considering the cost of Ted Koppel in the broader sense. Our enemies have made a bet -- that the West in general and America in particular are soft and decadent and have no attention span; that the ''sleeping giant'' Admiral Yamamoto feared he'd wakened at Pearl Harbor can no longer be roused. If he could, he'd be a problem. But he's paunchy and effete and slumped in his Barcalounger, and he's defining decadence down: In Vietnam, it took 50,000 deaths to drive the giant away; maybe in Iraq, it will only take 500; and maybe in the next war the giant will give up after 50, or not bother at all. He has the advantage of the most powerful army on the face of the planet, but he doesn't have the stomach for war, so it's no advantage at all. He's like the fellow with the beautifully waxed Ferrari in the garage that he doesn't dare take on the potholed roads. If you're predisposed, like many Islamists and many Continentals, to this stereotype of the soft American, then the lazy, ersatz pacifist mawkishness of ''Nightline'''s gimmick pretty much confirms it: That's the cost of Koppel reminding us of ''the cost of war.''

[...]

The cost of war is the cost of losing it measured against the cost of winning it. We can reach our own conclusions about which the coalition's dead would opt for.


|| Nudnik 6:41 PM
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