LAT Writer: Joining Military Not 'A Well-Informed Choice,' But A 'Product of Manipulation'

July 15th, 2007 4:46 PM

The 21-year-old nephew of Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez has enlisted in the Marines, and Lopez isn't happy about it. "Don't become a pawn, I told my nephew," Lopez writes. His column is, "When the reality of Iraq hits home" (Sun., 7/15/07).

Says Lopez:

Some have argued that without a draft, enlisting in this war is a matter of choice, so what happens, happens.

But that's not necessarily true in the case of National Guard troops who have been called up. And as for soldiers as young as my nephew, I don't see enlistment as a well-informed choice but as a product of manipulation.

Not a "well-informed choice"? A "product of manipulation"? At 21 years old? Am I the only one who think this sounds a tad condescending?

Lopez has a justified worry that his nephew will be deployed to Iraq. Nearly everyone can sympathize with that anxiety. But Lopez claims that President Bush "misled us from the beginning" and "will keep sacrificing lives in a vain and futile attempt to save face." Bush's campaign has been one of "deceit and simplification," says Steve.

"Misled us"? "Deceit"? Ugh. It seems Lopez has bought into the "Bush lied" canard. Being from Los Angeles, Lopez should be well aware of KABC radio host Larry Elder. Lopez needs to take Elder's "'Bush lied, People Died' Challenge." (Scroll down to the lower left of the home page.) It could be that the nephew knows more about the Iraq war than Lopez does.


(P.S. - After reading Lopez's column, I thought of this ... Back in 2005, Californians debated Proposition 73, an initiative that would require minor girls to acquire parental notification before getting an abortion. In an October 2005 column (I found it reprinted here), Lopez talked with a group of high school-aged girls, most of whom were against the initiative. One girl even insisted it was "nobody's business" (Lopez's words) if a 13 or 14 year old had an abortion by herself. Despite misinformation and relativism ruling the discussion, Lopez beamed at the end of the column that he had "much respect" for the girls. Lopez wrote that he hoped his own daughter "will be able to handle herself as responsibly as these girls have." It sounds like these teens have earned more respect from him than his own adult nephew.)