Godwin’s Law in Paragraph Seven
Some columns are best ignored, and Tom Plate’s recent op-ed would easily have been one of those were it not for a telling little slip of the old Reductio ad Hitlerum (emphasis added):
Not even the most mature and sophisticated of columnists are immune to the temptation to occasionally hurl a shoe at someone. My own list of current targets starts off with America’s top commander in Afghanistan for shooting off his mouth in a recent speech in London. It seems Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal is against an Afghan pullback — wow, what a surprise!
Sorry, Herr General: It’s Barack Obama who has to make the difficult decision on whether to send more troops to troubled Afghanistan, or bring the boys and girls home over time. Why not let the president make his decision without such public pressure? A soft shoe for him.
Perhaps in a world in which pundits fantasize about throwing shoes as a means of disapproval it is necessary to toss some reality: General McChrystal has requested more troops because he believes it to be necessary in order to succeed in his mission and bring the theater to a condition that doesn’t entail a regular trickle of American blood. If a speech can light a fire under his inexperienced lightweight of a commander in chief, then that speech should he should give.
And, for the record, I suspect that — fantasy or reality — Tom Plate would quickly find his shoes in a much darker (less comfortable) spot, should he begin flinging them at American military officers.