Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Neocon hell – elections.

To the chagrin of the [Washington] Post’s editors, Obama finally ceded to the more democratically defensible position that the Syrian people should pick their own leaders. After all, if Obama is right about how much the Syrian people hate Assad, elections would empower them to implement their own “regime change” through the ballot box. But that uncertain outcome is not what the Post’s editors want. They want a predetermined result — Assad’s ouster — regardless of the Syrian people’s wishes.[1]
P.J. O'Rourke observed that "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." It's a witty thought that doesn't begin to describe the unbearable tragedies that politicians create.

The current U.S. obsession with "regime change" has been the cause of much suffering since the days that we encouraged a coup d'etat to remove Ngo Dinh Diem. Or removed Mosaddegh in Iran in 1953. The latter committed the unpardonable sin of nationalizing the Iranian oil industry. I dimly recall reading that he was considered a "leftist" but I rather think that what he advocated then now looks like a gift from God to the world compared to the snake who there, in later years, became, so to speak, top dog.

I don't know enough about Iranian history to connect the dots from that coup to the dour and murderous Ayatollah but it doesn't seem unreasonable to think that Iranians might have had a sour taste in their mouths where the U.S. and Britain were concerned in the future. I will say on this point that the Cold War had many stark imperatives that I am reluctant to dismiss out of hand. At least the decision to go after Mosaddegh was an honest attempt to continue exporting cut-rate oil from Iran rather than a class project to achieve international goodness dreamed up by some coeds or aging leftists with fantasies about braving sniper fire.

Notwithstanding that, somewhere I think we still think that foreigners are basically okay with having Americans run their lives for them. Don’t we all just love it when national and supranational globalist pricks tell us how to live, what to say, and how many foreigners we need to import to take our jobs?

Clever people think they can be like Santa and determine who in the world is naughty or nice, but it's much more difficult than they imagine. For some reason, Vladimir Putin is seen by the silk drawers wizards as particularly odious and hell bent on foreign military adventure. That's not been proved to my satisfaction by a long shot and I'd be more willing to entertain the thought if we didn't have 800 some air bases, naval bases, army bases, tank parks, and fortified PXs scattered around the world in some locations that seem to have little to do with protecting or asserting the national interests of the United States. Nor have Russian policies been responsible for the destruction and death in Syria (and Iraq and Libya) that have unleashed a human tidal wave now washing over Europe and, if Obama gets his fondest wish, us too. Eleven weeks of Russian operations in Syria as of today are not remotely comparable to the damage that U.S. and European lackeys have caused.

Marcus Aurelius thought that fortune was hard to divine and that "that men will do the same things nevertheless, even though thou shouldst burst." It's a healthier alternative strategy for the U.S. to embrace, that of not trying to pick winners and losers. Chavez was a socialist jerk whose daughter ended up, coincidentally, being one of the richest women in Venezuela. Vintage socialism one can have no doubt. He was an irritant for several years but the majority of the people there liked him well enough. Now they're lining up for toilet paper and soap. That's probably a more educational experience than our having removed him. And the only irritant from the U.S. was the correct, "Knock yourself out."

Frankly, that's the way to go – letting people choose their own lives. At this point in the history of the world liberalism, socialism, communism, dirigisme, statism, interventionism, and all manner of elite posturing and wine and brie partying is what the people of the world want. Reason and history aren't making a dent in that thinking, so there you are. H.L. Mencken said "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." In these times of the universal franchise, that's what's for dinner.

This is not an argument for living a passive life in all respects but a better case for activism is needed that the ones made by Clinton, Clinton, Obama, Kerry, Cameron, Hollande, and Merkel. Sometimes there something almost sacred about "what is" and something vile about "Assad must go."

[1] "The Washington Post Throws a [Tantrum] Against Syria Democracy." By Robert Parry, Russian Insider, 12/23/15. Originally published at Consortium News.


Reg T said...


For the most part I agree, but in cases like the Holocaust (not only Jews, but Gypsies, Poles, the disabled, retarded, etc.) or now with the Yazidis, Christians of many stripes, and all the other non-muslims being slaughtered - literally - I wonder if there isn't a time when a moral man must intervene. Very, very rarely in the case of countries, or regions, certainly not to change Communism or socialism to "Democracy" ( which few other countries understand or want), but under conditions where wholesale numbers of _innocent_ people are being wiped out.

Had Germany done what they were doing _just_ in Germany and had not moved to spread their filth across all of Europe, Russia, and Africa, I might have thought the innocents could flee, or be helped to flee, without going to war. Germany's insistence upon spreading their disease across that part of the world and killing wholesale while they did it required a response, IMHO.

I feel the same way with ISIS trying to spread their universal caliphate throughout the world, accompanied by senseless killing (yes, I know they have reasons, albeit invalid ones). Vietnam, Bosnia, the Bay of Pigs, trying to intervene in the Ukraine were all bad moves, true, but stopping ISIS and Iran's continuing effort to develop nuclear weapons (with the oft-repeated promise to destroy Israel and us) seem to me to be moral goals.

If we destroyed Iran's nuclear weapons production facilities (or allowed Israel to do Iran on its own) and eliminated ISIS, _and then stopped_ as we did with Kuwait, with no attempt at regime change, I believe we would be in the right. Just my opinion.

Col. B. Bunny said...

I don't disagree with any of what you say. The National Socialist and Rwanda examples clearly required active opposition. The victims of both may all have been ardent socialists dying to embrace the welfare state and all manner of statism. Their erroneous thinking requires no intervention and no one needs to change the regime that wants to accommodate those desires. There I say benign neglect is the order of the day. As the saying goes, you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't arrive at by reasoning. This massive experiment with utopian socialism just has to burn itself out.

If there is a legit emergency then fine. But the case must be made to the UN or the people which obviously has not happened in the US.