Holmes' argument that "a savvy prowar party may successfully employ humanitarian talk both to gull the wider public and to silence potential critics on the liberal side" ...[i]s worth considering.Sounds like the pro-war Conservatives. Have they managed to gull the wider public? Certainly the ones who come out to the pro-war rallies (cleverly call "Support the Troops" rallies) have been fooled, as have the ones who stick the yellow ribbons on their cars.
The critics of the Afghanistan war have never been fooled by this stuff. There is no discernable "humanitarian" result from the use of all the guns, tanks and soldiers in the area. A lot of dead people though - on every side.
"...[T]hus, insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, two devastated, poor countries, have managed to fight one of the most powerful American expeditionary forces in history to a virtual standstill. In short, "America's bellicose response to the 9/11 provocation was not only dishonorable and unethical, given the cruel suffering it has inflicted on thousands of innocents, but also imprudent in the extreme because it was bound to produce as much hatred as fear, as much burning desire for reprisal as quaking paralysis and docility. Some of the sickening effects are unfolding before our eyes. That even more malevolent consequences remain in store is a grim possibility not to be wished away."