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Michael Moore, Trustworthy War Philosopher

David Stout: "Since the Vietnam War era, it has been common to say that wars are begun by powerful men whose sons stay home, while the sons of men and women with calluses on their hands and dirt under their nails cross oceans to fight, and perhaps to die.

Sen. Max Baucus' nephew, Marine Phillip Baucus, was killed in Iraq on Saturday. Online reporter David Stout covered the story and takes advantage of a rare appearance in the print edition to pose as a liberal populist philosopher and reaches for trustworthy statesman Michael Moore for back-up.


"Since the Vietnam War era, it has been common to say that wars are begun by powerful men whose sons stay home, while the sons of men and women with calluses on their hands and dirt under their nails cross oceans to fight, and perhaps to die.


"In his scathing 2004 documentary 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' Michael Moore said that only one of the 535 members of Congress had an enlisted son in Iraq. He was referring to Senator Tim Johnson, Democrat of South Dakota, whose son Brooks served with the Army in Bosnia, Kosovo, South Korea and Afghanistan as well as Iraq before coming home.


"Mr. Moore's assertion may have been true at the time, especially since he referred to enlisted troops as opposed to officers. But the recent words of the senior senator from Montana, a Democrat who voted to authorize military force in Iraq, showed how grief can invade the halls of Congress as well as the living rooms of Main Street."