He doesn't share Rev. Wright's poisonous views of race nor Ayers' views, past and present, about the evil that is American society. But Obama clearly did not consider these views beyond the pale. . . . [F]or the years in which he sat in Wright's pews and shared common purpose on boards with Ayers, Obama considered them a legitimate, indeed unremarkable, part of social discourse.Charles Krauthammer, October 10, 2008
58,000 American soldiers were killed in Vietnam. More than 150,000 were wounded. The South Vietnamese army may have lost more than 250,000 soldiers while 1,100,000 died fighting for North Vietnam. Civilian deaths might have been as high as 2,000,000.
Surely a discussion of whether the United States’ actions in Vietnam were justified is a legitimate part of social discourse. Certainly this discourse can include consideration of the immorality of different methods of opposing that war, but consideration of the morality of the war itself cannot be “beyond the pale” in a country that claims to embrace freedom of speech.
In 1953, the CIA overthrew the legitimate government of Iran and installed the Shah in its place. This led to the 1979 Islamic revolution and the taking of American hostages. During the 1980’s, the Reagan Administration provided support to both sides in the Iran-Iraq war depending on its perception of the United States' interests at the moment. After the first Gulf War, the Bush 41 administration urged the Kurds and Shia to rise up and overthrow Saddam Hussein and then turned a blind eye as Saddam viciously suppressed them. Over the years, the United States has supplied the arms that kept the Saudi monarchy in power while that same monarchy funded the Wahabbist sect from which Osama bin Laden sprang.
Is it really beyond the pale to consider the connection between the foreign policy of the United States in the Middle East and the 9/11 attacks? Is the very suggestion that “America’s chickens came home to roost” on 9/11 so outrageous that anyone who dares to articulate that possibility must be shunned from all polite society?
Why is Krauthammer so eager to paint these issues as illegitimate subjects of discussion. Could it be because he was one of the biggest cheerleaders for the War in Iraq? Could it be that he simply wants to quash all discussions of the consequences of America’s military adventures in order to avoid discussing the morality of his own positions?