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“Peace On Earth—And Its Price”

  “Peace On Earth—And Its Price”  by Robert Tracinski,  ARI op-ed Dec. 25, 2002.

Mr. Tracinski begins with a touching description of the Christmas season while a hostile world lurks in the background. Here is the hostile world:

“The war in Iraq, despite the fact that it has not officially begun, is already a real shooting war. Though the only casualty so far is an unmanned drone, this is not for lack of the Iraqis trying to shoot down live targets.”

A real shooting war, true enough, but a question Mr. Tracinski neglects to ask is: Who shot first? In fact those live targets (U.S. planes) weren’t just flying over, they were bombing. Mr. Tracinski leaves that out, expecting you to think that the Iraqis’ shooting was unprovoked.

After bringing up the subject of U.S. planes, 6,000 miles away, being shot at, Mr. Tracinski makes an astounding leap: Those shots threaten our Christmas here at home.

“To protect the peace we enjoy over the Christmas season will require war in the new year ... a war with ambitious aims, bold diplomatic risk-taking, and far-reaching military action.

“There are many who will tell us that it is best to do nothing. They think ‘peace on Earth’ will come to us like a gift from Santa Claus – that if we just believe strongly enough, peace will arrive for nothing more than the effort of wishing for it.”

Mr. Tracinski pretends that there are only two possible responses to the 9-11 attack: either invade Iraq (which had nothing to do with 9-11) or else do nothing. Either he is stupid or he thinks you are.

As we shall see in other articles, the straw-man argument – presenting a silly or weak position as the only alternative to the position one wants to promote – is a common propaganda technique of ARI writers.

After more in the Santa Claus vein Mr. Tracinski concludes:

“We should take a moment, especially, to thank the soldiers who man the front lines of our freedom and security – many of whom will not have the luxury of a Christmas at home.

“Most of all, we must make sure that we do not take for granted the happiness of this season – and everything that makes it possible.”

ARI will take anything – your cherished images, Christmas, the Statue of Liberty, Hollywood musicals – and twist it this way and that until it fits into their crummy end.