Peace, War, and Empire

The second pro-war article from City Journal is an angry piece titled The Peace Racket. Primarily a rant against peace studies in academia (one of the supreme bugbears for the militarist right), it is led off by this singular howler, which sets the tone for the rest of the article, and is indeed an apt summation of the propoganda peddled- and for all I know, genuinely believed- by the militarist right:

Call it the Peace Racket.

We need to make two points about this [peace] movement at the outset. First, it’s opposed to every value that the West stands for—liberty, free markets, individualism—and it despises America, the supreme symbol and defender of those values. Second, we’re talking not about a bunch of naive Quakers but about a movement of savvy, ambitious professionals that is already comfortably ensconced at the United Nations, in the European Union, and in many nongovernmental organizations.

Oh my. The Commies are back, citizen, and they’ve infiltrated every level of power! All these people who pretend to be outraged over American militarism and imperialism- they want to take your Big Macs and send you to the gulag, which will be run by bloodthirsty Muslim fanatics no doubt. How do you recognize these vile beasts, these Reds masquerading as peace-makers? They say nasty things about our Lord and Saviour, the United States of America. They protest the wars of our holy and sovereign State! They suggest that things aren’t as simple as rightist propoganda makes it out to be- they suggest listening to and understanding other cultures, as opposed to bombing them and thus liberating them. In short, they are wretched subversives, each and everyone, and while we can’t lock them up- that would cause some problems in public relations- we should do our best to combat them with all available means. We should also hold steady, keep the course, fifty years on, and all that.

But doesn’t the author have a point- aren’t many of the peace activists on the left lovers of totalitarianism? I don’t doubt it- the majority of leftists have been in bed with statist authoritarianism for years. Of course, even proving that all opponents of American militarism were secret Commies wouldn’t be an automatic invalidation of their claims- but propoganda is rarely concerned with the niceties of logical argument. Still, let us propose for a minute that all leftist peace activists are secret totalitarians, just waiting for their chance to launch a new Cultural Revolution. There are still- wonder of wonders- non-authoritarian, non-leftist even, opponents of American- and otherwise- imperialism and militarism and so forth. There are people who actually, genuinely believe that “war is the health of the State,” and that the State is very often the true and most powerful enemy of such things as free markets, liberty, and individualism. There are “peaceniks” who value peace and non-interventionism, not because they hate liberty, but because they love it, and see through the thin propoganda of war-mongering rightists (and leftists).

Speaking of which, the following is an excerpt from an article exemplifying the logic of this libertarian branch of the “Peace Racket”- logic one very much hopes many more on the right (and left!) will come to embrace:

 Thus, libertarians who embrace the U.S. foreign policy that has held our nation in its grip for so long have one of the most important decisions of their lives confronting them. By hewing to two contradictory philosophies — one of freedom and one that destroys freedom — circumstances have now placed them in a moral and philosophical quandary. Will they continue hewing to a pro-empire, pro-intervention foreign policy, thereby giving up all hope of a free society at home? Or will they choose to maintain their commitment to libertarianism here in America, which means rejecting an imperial, interventionist foreign policy? Or will they simply act as if no choice at all now confronts them?

Empire or Freedom?

Barak Obama Tries to Prove His Imperialist Creds

Poor Mr Obama, having been assailed by Madame Clinton recently and accused of being “soft” or something on terrorism or rogue states or whatever, wants the world to know he is just as ready and willing to carry out destructive military policies as anyone else running around Washington:

Obama warns over Pakistan strike

In his speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington, Mr Obama said General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s president, must do more to end terrorist operations in his country.

If not, Pakistan would risk a troop invasion and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of US aid during an Obama presidency, the candidate said.

Silly Musharraf- why can’t he just press a button and kick all those nasty Al-Qaeda people out- I mean, look at how quickly the US expelled them from Iraq! But since he clearly doesn’t want to anything construtctive, a new war (a new war would be fun, and an opportunity for new choices and new leaders and just general newness, which Mr Obama knows a great deal about) is probably in order. Of course, an invasion of Pakistan would go far better than the invasion of Iraq, because there aren’t that many people in Pakistan, right? And they don’t have any of those Shia people there, surely? Well, at any rate, they DO have WMD’s, and we should probably do something about that. And those madrasas- we should close them and teach them to love and drive eco-friendly vehicles.


A Contemporary Litany (In Traditional Language)

Oh _____ (Insert name(s) of Deity(ies) of choice), we concede
That verily mistakes,
Most grievous mistakes even, were made:
Let it not effect our approval ratings, we beseech Thee.

We concede
That, through no fault of our own
Our intelligence sources were, alas, misleading:
Let it not effect our approval ratings, we beseech Thee.

We concede
That there were cetain failures in forecasting:
Let in not effect our approval ratings, we beseech Thee.

We concede
That regretable logistical errors were made:
Let in not effect our approval ratings, we beseech Thee.

We concede
That admininistrative incidents, verily,
Might have been handled with greater discretion:
Let it not effect our approval ratings, we beseech Thee.

We concede
That things were said that perhaps
Should have been said differently
As befit the situation:
Let it not effect our approval ratings, we beseech Thee.

We concede
That there were apparently (slight) discrepancies
Between the things said
And the things as they may have transpired:
Let it not effect our approval ratings, we beseech Thee.

Verily, regretable mistakes were made,
Though responsibility is,
As befits the inscruitable cosmic causality,
Attributable to No One in particular,
Still we concede most heartily:
Mistakes were made-
Wherefore we say
Let it not effect our approval numbers, we beseech Thee.