The Agonist Strikes

Sean-Paul, aka Agonist, believes that the invasion of Iraq is a necessary evil. But he’s not happy at all with some of those who support it:
(Editing note: Sean-Paul politely warned his readers of strong language ahead and hid the body of the post under a [more] link; as I don’t have such a mechanism I chose to mask the strong language. I don’t particularly want to show up in Google searches on that word.)
What I do want to say is that all of you warbloggers out there are [deleted] pathetic. Young American men and women are going to die very soon. And like the poem I quoted in the previous post you are all “smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by” and you mother-[deleted] better “sneak home and pray you’ll never know/The hell where youth and laughter go.”
People like Andrew Sullivan and countless others are sickening. Your asses will never be in the firing line. You’ll never have bullets whizzing around your head. You’ll never see bloated, distended and putrefying flesh. You will never smell death on the battle field. So how [deleted] dare you sorry ass chicken hawks root for war. You are the worst of the worst. You are worse than those stupid [deleted] A.N.S.W.E.R. people. Why?
Because all you will do is sit at home and watch the bombs drop on Fox News and think it is all like a video game. You people make me sick.

Well then. Don’t hold back, Sean-Paul: tell us what you really feel.
First, Sean-Paul is painting with an awfully broad brush here. “Warblogger”, as a term of art, doesn’t even always mean someone who is a rabid supporter of military action. Dave Winer proposed the following definition: “a person who runs a weblog that started around, or was significantly influenced by the events of September 11, 2001.” And that sounds about right to me. So: demerits right off the bat to Sean-Paul for tossing slurs at a large community of people who are most likely not guilty of the sins he describes.
Similarly, Sean-Paul’s post would have been far more convincing had he actually included some examples of the bad behavior he was condemning. It is the web, Sean-Paul: linking and quoting is expected par for this course. There’s no excuse for tossing vague accusations around without citing explicit sources.
But, with all that said: the core sentiment Sean-Paul expresses has some validity. There are dark days ahead in which many will die. As an American, it is my selfish hope that few of them are my countrymen. But it is likely that hope will not be fulfilled: Americans will die; and it is a certainty that a vast number of Iraqis will lose their lives.
And Sean-Paul is right to argue that we should not take pleasure or pride in the methods of the coming conflict. Our plan of battle can be described quite simply as the delivery of swift death and destruction to the men and women of Iraq’s military, who Saddam Hussein has propped up like sandbags while he cowers behind them. We must go through them to get to him, and in the course of so doing, some of our fighting men and women will surely die. This is a tragedy for both our nations; we wish it were not so.
But what Sean-Paul is missing, I think, is that many of us take pleasure not in those methods, but in the outcome they will produce. I, like many others, look forward to the day when Saddam Hussein no longer stands with his boot on the throat of the Iraqi people. I look forward to the liberation of an entire nation. And I take pride in the fact that it is my country; my nation that will deliver an end to Iraq’s long nightmare, and help the people of that beleaguered country begin their journey to a free future.
There is no shame in wishing for that outcome, or in admitting eagerness to see its day come quickly. I concede to Sean-Paul that it is obscene to take pleasure in death and destruction; and accept that some individuals, at some times, may do so. But I reject his implication that the warblogging community as a whole is a bloodthirsty pack of of amoral children whose only goal is to ensure a splendid display of pretty explosions on CNN.
To play into Sean-Paul’s stereotype for a final moment, I’ll put this in military terms. Sean-Paul seems to think he delivered a surgical strike of righteousness to a massed force of armchair generals baying loudly for blood.
In point of fact, he was carpet-bombing. And the collateral damage he inflicted hurts his own case far more than it does those who truly deserved his scorn.