Patriotism v. Pacifism

Dan Savage had this to say in his recent article, …and pass the ammunition, in The Stranger:

So the left needs to put down the PAP symbols and put away the “No War” posters. We’re at war, ya dopes. Simply stopping the war now–rather than holding the United States to the standards we set after the last world war–would harm the very people the left professes to care about. Afghanistan needs a Marshall Plan now; Iraq’s going to need one soon. U.S. smart bombs and troops, the left should argue, have to be followed by smart money and medicine and a constitution and an American commitment to long-haul nation building. We have to do for Afghanistan and Iraq what we did for Germany and Japan; anything less is immoral and indefensible. That’s the argument the left should be advancing.

I’m not too sure what I think about the article yet – I’ve only just finished it and have yet to dig up the other articles it references, but this paragraph really struck me. I fully believe that going to war in the first place was wrong, but now that the US is at war, perhaps this is the tact to be taking? Abandoning Afghanistan like the US abandoned Iraq in the last gulf war (will these soon be monikered GWI and GWII?) (see Three Kings for a pseudo-hollywood take on this) would almost certainly cause a hardening of anti-US sentiment there – bomb the hell out of them, kill some newly weds, then leave? Continuing along my “it’s all for the oil” paranoia, setting up a healthy, secure government that will inevitably on the friendly side of relations will ensure access to the oil in each of those respective regions. Which would of course confirm my opinion that this was really all for the oil. Should contracts for this oil be given to Haliburton (UNOCAL were talking to Afghanistan about getting oil before Sept. 11th), it will also confirm all my paranoid suspicions about the relationship between big business and the current government down south, which appear every day to be less and less paranoid.

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