It is a terrible thing to tell someone he or she is risking death in a mistaken cause. But it is more terrible actually to die in that mistaken cause.
In an op-ed by Michael Kinsley this echo from the end of the Vietnam War is heard. Now that the administration has been forced to concede that criticizing the decision for, or the course of, war is acceptable, we may at last hear this point debated.
What is less ignoble, to die for a false and failing cause, or to be brought home in the withdraw from that false and failing cause.
The courage of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa) has changed the dynamic of the debate. Now there is a chance that the sloganeering of the republicans will no longer be automatically accepted. Their position must now be defended with facts and logic, not bluster and overt nationalism. Maybe, just maybe, the debate can move into a reality based discussion, and the Bush administration will stop wrapping themselves up in the flag when challenged.