No Joke

Yglesias points to George Will’s review of Nixonland, noting Will’s complaint that Perlstein dismissively referred to ARVN as a “joke.”  That must mean that George Will was a vehement, outspoken critic of Fred Thompson when he insultingly ignored or belittled the sacrifices of allied war dead in his regular stump speech routine (“This country has shed more blood for the liberty of other countries than all other countries put together”), right?  That would be incorrect.  As far as I can determine, Will never said anything about this, even though the Post ran a much-maligned and somewhat flawed critique of this claim.  So the rules are clear: repeatedly ignoring and belittling the sacrifice of British and Commonwealth forces (among others) in two wars to engage in national preening are fine, but making one passing remark about a South Vietnamese army that actually was pretty ineffective in defending its country is a terrible insult. 

P.S. Other things in Will’s review are more worthwhile.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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