Final Reaction to Reg Henry: Reality & Illusion
My view of Sally [a former columnist at the Post-Gazette] was that she was being dishonest in SOME of her columns because she was implying/suggesting that she was a garden-variety liberal who believed in the Bill of Rights as essential to a decent society. I don't believe she was/is a liberal, and I saw no evidence she regarded the Bill of Rights as anything but some out-of-date prescriptions.
I thought because Sally was obviously so bright, she might eventually get beyond "see[ing] through a glass darkly." One of my old mentors at the University of Rochester, historian Eugene Genovese (along with his wife, Kitty) started out as Marxists and later jointed the Russian Orthodox Church! "Late vocations," Senator Moynihan once called them.
Something roughly similar happens at the end of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," where Kurtz exclaims "The horror! The horror!"
My sense of Reg Henry's views is this (in my own words): "Hey, Saddam killed perhaps 300,000 Shiites and Kurds, and he started two major wars, and used weapons of mass destruction, but he wasn't really any kind of threat, so George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld are a couple of smucks."
I believe that Reg Henry's further view is (again in my words): "I don't give a hoot in Hades about all those Kurds, Shiites, and the gassed Iranian solders, and the WMDs he used against the Kurds -- and apparently got rid of or sent to Syria or somewhere -- because what I really want to do is to stick it to a bunch of Republicans. I want to demonstrate to my colleagues and readers my, ahem, moral and social superiority."
I realize that's harsh, Reg, but is there any evidence it isn't true, other than your vague suggestions that you really think Al Qaeda is a shabby group? Pre-WW II there were a million-plus people in England that signed the "King and Country Resolution." It basically said, "Resolved, I will not fight for King or Country." Hitler would have gone around killing millions of people without the resolution, but it certainly perked up his spirits. The signatories were not bad people; they were naive people.
I believe the Reg Henrys of the world do great damage to the country, collectively perhaps more so than Al Qaida. No, you don't fly airplanes into buildings or kill men, women, and children with car bombs, but you help undermine public confidence in leaders who are trying their level best to protect American and Americans.
I realize no one at the Post-Gazette ever challenges you on anything. In this regard, you remind me a lot of the grandmother in Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find." A few simple illusions are enough to sustain her for nearly a lifetime.
Oh, and thanks for wishing me Merry Christmas. I didn't realize that salute was now "in" at the P-G.