Thursday, February 16, 2006

Freeing the world from the tyranny of peace

Orcinus has a thought-provoking series on "The Rise of Pseudo Fascism".

He points out that Coulterism is more than just an anti-intellectual and amoral greasetrap, but a shade of fascism on the rise.

On the other hand, he reads a tea leaf of fascist glorification of war, out of a bumper sticker that reads, "War Has Never Solved Anything, Except for Ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism and Communism".

Whatever "fascism" means.

I guess you have to have accepted as an axiom that war in itself is the greatest possible evil, to avoid the fact that the bumper sticker has a point.

There are worse alternatives to going into a war in which victory and peace are possible outcomes - such as the never-ending state of war as a way of life imposed by a government on its own people, as has often been the case with Slavery, Fascism, Nazism and Communism. Or as Iraq was under Saddam or Afghanistan under the Taliban; or as North Korea, Sudan, and Burma remain today. So many times more people have been brutalized and murdered by the quieter, unending, war as a way of life of Slavery, Fascism, Nazism and Communism than in the loud, winnable wars to end those evils (at least the first three).

I'm repulsed by the Bush administration for so badly mangling the liberation of Iraq, and creating a widespread compulsion against facing down brutal dictators in the future. But I'm perhaps more repulsed by the insidious herd instinct of many on the Left, having apparently defined themselves not by principle but by reactively embracing the diametric opposite of Bush in all things, and boxed themselves into a false dichotomy, in which they glorify stability and undemocratic oppression, and the right of reigning thugs to remain ensconced in power, rather than admit of the concept of liberation.

Is there any more fundamental definition of leftism than acknowledging that we owe a responsibility to assist our fellow human beings? And doesn't that inherently transcend borders? When did the Left divorce itself from internationalism and shack up with provincialism?

I'm not defending Team Bush - they've done a shitty job and needlessly multiplied the casualties and the costs of Iraq. Instead, imagine we had done it the right way, with over twice as many troops, bodies and vehicles sufficiently armored, an absolute commitment to treating detainees with respect and dignity, an all-out cultural and language training and outreach, and a rapid and large enough force and on-the-ground intelligence to seal the borders, root out Zarqawi and his fellow thugs, quickly establish and maintain basic internal security, an all-out effort to quickly restore basic infrastructure, and spending reconstruction money primarily on the many sophisticated Iraqi businesses that could have accomplished most of the task, meanwhile pumping jobs and cash into jump-starting the economy, rather than cycling that cash back to the States in overblown Halliburton contracts (and rampant corruption). Maybe how it would have been done under a President McCain, with Powell and Shinseki, and a non-neutered State Department. The domestic terror campaign would have been stemmed at the root, casualties would have been a tiny fraction of what they have been - and certainly less than under an ongoing Saddam regime, and almost all the troops would have been back by now, with far fewer man-hours of troop time spent in Iraq - and some of them freed up to stop the genocide in Darfur.

No comments: