Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On Name-Calling by Matthew Hoh

"I'm not some peacenik, pot-smoking hippie who wants everyone to be in love."

Those words were spoken by Matthew Hoh, a highly respected officer in the Foreign Service who recently resigned over the war in Afghanistan. Even while explaining his concerns about the strategic purpose of our presence in Afghanistan, a critical analysis serious enough to catch the attention of the White House and the Pentagon, who prevailed on him not to go.

It's a strange comment, distancing himself from ordinary citizens who question this and other wars, and smearing people who agree with him on an important issue. For fear of being stereotyped himself, he gladly airs a stereotype about other Americans.

I don't know what a "peacenik" is, it seems to be an epithet designed to associate pacifists and war critics as radicals. Pot-smoking hippies? Well, there may be some, but from what I've seen, the majority of people who have asked serious questions about our wars are more like Hoh: serious and concerned citizens who think for themselves.

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