I differ, perhaps, from my unanimously dovish confrères in crediting the … administration with good faith and some good sense. Anyone not a rigorous pacifist must at least consider the argument that this war, evil as it is, is the lesser of available evils, intended to forestall worse wars. I am not sure that this is true, but I assume that this is the reasoning of those who prosecute it, rather than the maintenance of business prosperity or the President’s crazed stubbornness. I feel in the dove arguments as presented to me too much aesthetic distaste for the President…

That was written over fifty years ago. 
About Vietnam. 
By John Updike (1932 — 2009).

You can read the whole piece from the Commentary archives here.  And, then as now, for all the lip service paid to “celebrating differences,” this was not the direction that the bien pensant establishment (to include that motley crew in Stockholm) expected the differing of its membership to take.   No matter.

He was a great American writer.  History will take its own slow measure but, for what it’s worth, I think he will emerge as one of our best.

If you’re interested, his 2006 article “The End of Authorship” can still be located here, sitting out there on one of those servers he would have liked to kick over and piss on.


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