Within today’s left, or what passes for the same, it is actually possible to have someone like Goodman, who has spent many hours among commentators critiquing the devastation caused to Iraq, listen to Choi talk about “rebuilding” a country that he is helping to bomb and destroy, without a single question about his politics. In this case, identity – and its efflorescence under a neoliberal war – becomes the excuse for war and it erases the possibility of a critique of Choi’s ideology.
Even further, the war on Iraq becomes a staging ground for Chois’s personal dramas, a backdrop to the possibility of a doomed romance. As Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore puts it, “How many Iraqis died in order for him to express the ‘truth of who I am?’ What about the truth of the war?…Did you hear that? He’s not worried about dying in an atrocious war, or killing innocent civilians, but about whether his boyfriend will be notified.”
- Yasmin Nair discussing Dan Choi’s politics in her article entitled, “Dan Choi Is No Hero: Rage, or the Lack Thereof.”
Image via Boss Tweed