Monday, November 19, 2007

Joe Sonka's Grim Commentary Lacks Grounding

Earth to blogger Joe Sonka: It was a joke, it was only a joke.

Sonka has gone apoplectic over Senator Mitch McConnell's description of himself as the "grim reaper" for bad liberal legislation that meets its death in the U.S. Senate. McConnell made the quip at last week's Federalist Society national convention to a roomful of laughs.

Sonka's reaction was: "I made a vow after I read that quote last night. I will devote every last second, every last amount of energy I have, every last drop of my blood, my very last breath, to making sure that Mitch McConnell does not serve another term in the US Senate."

Apparently it was Michael Moore who worked Sonka into his lather. Sonka reports that he had "just finished watching SiCKO" when he read an email account of McConnell's speech.

Sonka has a Michael Moore-like approach to facts: he invents them. First, he makes the curious argument that people will die if SCHIP is not enacted into law, and says McConnell is to blame. Sonka, however, fails to explain why circumstances are so dire for people with incomes that are four hundred percent (400%) above the poverty line -- the portion of the middle class that SCHIP would cover if Democrats expand it.

Sonka then asserts the whopper that "18,000 people die every year simply because they do not have health insurance." Perhaps Sonka should ask Dennis Kucinich where in the universe that statistic can be found. We will never know because the only authority Sonka cites for that number is himself.

But Sonka's creativity reaches its peak with an argument in which he implies that military and civilian casualties in Iraq have increased since Saddam Hussein was deposed and again, McConnell is to blame. Sonka turns a completely blind eye to the people who are the culprits for the vast majority of violent deaths in Iraq since Saddam: Al-Qaeda.

Perhaps Sonka needs a primer on the organization that directed the 9/11 attacks and is responsible for numerous atrocities in Iraq and around the world. Iraqi deaths from Al-Qaeda have dramatically abated since the U.S. troop surge. But like the Khmer Rouge, Al-Qaeda can be counted on to turn Iraq into killing fields if the United States abandons Iraq as it did Southeast Asia in the 1970s.

Sonka must also be unaware of the number of people who died under Saddam Hussein's regime: 600,000 civilian executions and another 500,000 military deaths -- a figure that far dwarfs the losses since Saddam was driven from power.

Sonka can say whatever he wants to criticize American involvement in Iraq, but he is flatly wrong to claim that killing in Iraq has gone up since Saddam was deposed. Nor should Sonka make the false claim that deaths in Iraqi would be lower if the U.S. military beat a retreat.

The repercussions if Sonka and his like caused America to claim defeat in Iraq would be devastating for the people of Iraq and the United States. And that's no joking matter.

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