Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Human rights" imperialism

To see what an air strike by the "coalition" supporting the United Nations looks like up close, go here.

Chris Roach, at, has posted perhaps his best commentary ever, on the folly of intervention in Libya:
Obama is now getting on the train he couldn’t get off after saying–unwisely in my opinion–Kaddafi must go.  That’s the problem with threats . . . they cascade upon themselves. This is all just emotional reaction to disturbing and violent news from the region, coupled with a self-fulfilling prophecy of presidential rhetoric.  There is no real moral reason to intervene here and not, say, Iran a few months ago or Bahrain or Egypt or many other places. And the reasons here are many times less compelling than Iran, which has, unlike Libya, been hostile to the US in very recent times. ...

Worst of all, we have no strategy here. A congressional debate may not do any good, because, in both parties, we have this reactive, emotion-laden, and vaguely Wilsonian approach to the world that has no end game, cannot distinguish the unimportant from the irrelevant, and, through a misplaced concern for “human rights,” makes no distinction from a genuine problem to the global order from what used to be called “internal affairs.”  So today we go to war with Libya.  Iran, not so much.  We are this big, lumbering, powerful country, but our leaders’ thinking is worse than that of children.  It’s like that of adolescents:  impulsive, overly self-satisfied, contemptuous of risk, ignorant of potential pitfalls, forgetful of recent failures, and a product of peer pressure.
Anyone viewing the United States from outside would have to conclude that we are all neocons now. Our once-overwhelming military power -- now considerably eroded by nearly a decade of continuous fighting and occupation in Afghanistan and then Iraq -- has gone to our heads. Uncle Sam, M.D., wants to cure every national illness on earth even if it means draining ourselves of strength that we will urgently need against threats foreign and domestic.

The U.S. empire acknowledges no bounds. It is a new kind of imperialism, aimed not at acquiring territory or markets, but to convince ourselves of our virtue in a wicked world. We'll fight to the death to enforce human rights in places where such rights have no meaning and never have had. We've shipped our manufacturing and jobs to coolie labor countries, we've kept our economy alive only through the artificial respiration of public and private debt, but no one can gainsay that we're ready to step into any geopolitical fight as long as it's to show off our nobility of intent, rather than on behalf of any discernible interest of our own.

Hillary does the Benghazi Twist.

Actual consequences are of little account, whether it means creating a stalemate (as we are likely to insure in Libya) or open-ended policing. It's about bathing in collective self-righteousness, replacing the individual morality our ancestors held in high esteem. We're the Universal Referee, but scoring our own goals against whichever team we hold to be the less drunk on Democracy.



Maria said...

Excellent commentary from Man-sized Target.

I will get a kick out of those who voted for "hope and change" having to explain why their worship object has started yet another useless Muslim war. said...

Thanks for the link. I cleaned up a few style problems in the original (which I wrote around 3:30 am). Anyway, this is a pathetic exercise and a real sign that our country and its leadership is totally losing it.

Rick Darby said...

I couldn't resist adding a link to the Mail photos. I especially like the one of the "rebel," one of those we're burning tanks to support, shouting "Allahu Akbar!"

Marcus Marcellus said...

This late in the game, it's disappointing to read commentators reach for ideological or political reasons to explain the behavior of this country.
Every single act of the US in that region is driven by the need to keep the dollar as the oil reserve currency. If that were to change, the weakness of the dollar would make gasoline $10-15 a gallon overnight, transforming the US into a non-productive banana republic. This is not about Israel, human rights, Islam, terror - anything: it's about oil.

The US needs to monetize such a huge % of its debt that it must devalue. It now relies on its military to keep its currency in use. The day the dollar dies America dies.

This is about oil.

Maria said...

The Great One is now trying to offload responsibility onto our European allies, sparking a nasty, confusing fight:

Ill-conceived, ill-executed rush job -- completely bungled by the affirmative action hire who is unfortunately our Commander in Chief.