It is not the banal rantings of commentators on editorial pages which bothers me. It is the provision of the mass media platform to the jackasses, combined with everyman’s inability to effectively respond, which sets me spinning. I refer to this editorial gem which Andrew Greeley recently published in one of our local rags. I will not admit to the number of responsorial letters to the editor that I have submitted in my life, lest one of you try to have me committed for an obsessive personality disorder. I believe that most letters are selected for publication on the basis of “writing quality which will not threaten employment of anyone on the editorial board.”
Greeley writes, “Because the U.S. military never seems to learn from its mistakes, it would appear that we are once again deep in the Big Muddy.” On the contrary, it looks as if the U.S. military has graduated with honors. He sarcastically berates the Defense Department for dismissing CIA reports which do not buttress the war argument, and cites the Brookings Institution on casualty estimates in the tens of thousands. I find liberals usually refer to the CIA as a shadowy, evil entity, unless of course they can find support for their viewpoint, and Brookings stated, just five days after Greeley’s article, that “The attacks on Basra and Baghdad showed creativity and a fine sense of timing” and “it has indeed been a very good plan.” He then states, “What happens when you want to liberate a country that does not want to be liberated?” I do not feel that even merits a response. Finally, Greeley says that “one hears responsible people in nice restaurants returning to the theme of their predecessors 35 years ago: ”Let’s kill them all!” Well, I feel fortunate to not be dining in the same establishments the good Father apparently frequents, for I have not heard this sentiment expressed by anyone that I know.
The Chicago Sun-Times did not deem to print my letter in response to Andrew Greeley. Maybe they feel that attacking a priest’s views is just too controversial for the op-ed page. And so I publish my thoughts here, my outlet, in the hope that they will fall upon thoughtful ears.