Lakoff: Dems trapped in “fallacious war frame”


Writing at the Rockridge Institute’s site, George Lakoff finds (not entirely surprisingly) that “[o]ur nation has been held trapped in a fallacious War Frame that serves the interests of the Bush administration and the Republican Party.” The frame goes like this.

There is a war against evil that must be fought. Fighting requires courage and bravery. Those fully committed to the cause are brave. Those who “cut and run” are motivated by self-interest; they are only interested in saving their own skins, not in the moral cause. They are cowards. And since those fighting for the cause need all the support they can get, anyone who decides to “cut and run” endangers both the moral cause and the lives of those brave people who are fighting for it. Those who have courage and conviction should stand and fight.

This seems as true as it is obvious. But what to do? Time for a new setup: The Occupation Frame.

Our troops were trained to fight a war, not to occupy a country where they don’t know the language and culture; where they lack enough troops, where they face an anti-occupation insurgency by the Iraqis themselves; where most of the population wants them out; where they are being shot at and killed by the very Iraqis they are training; and where the U.S. has given up on reconstruction and can’t do much positive good there. …

The Occupation Frame fits a politically inconvenient truth. Most people don’t want to think of our army as an occupation force, but it is. An occupying army can’t win anything. The occupation only helps Al Qaeda, which Iraqis don’t want in their country since [the conflict] attracts foreigners who have been killing Iraqis.

Okay, fine. Then what? “[C]ertainly Congress and most Americans should be able to agree on ‘End the occupation soon.'” Back to square one, no?

Read the full column here.

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