OPINION: Tall tales from the annals of the Bush administration

Glued to our seats in the Theater of War

Every war is bound to turn into a story. Every war is experienced as dramatic spectacle — the more mythic the better. It’s no coincidence that the military refers to a battle zone as a “theater.”

Political “battles” are high drama, too. On the campaign trail, the most gripping plot usually wins. In that context, a debate about the math of minimalist “drawdown” — how many troops should leave and how soon — is hardly the stuff of legend, the sort of thing to fuel public passions. And yet the two major parties have to conjure up the illusion of a profound, emotionally stirring difference between them. So they turn a debate like the present one about troop numbers and time frames into a contest between larger competing narratives. [complete article]

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