I come not to debate the case of going to war in Syria but to rant about “liberal” – in the rather corrupt form the term is applied to right now –might as well call them defrocked communists – ideas of when force is needed and how opposite (not to say suicidal) they are to history and historical necessity.
No, it’s not what I wanted to talk about today – note how late I am in posting – but it is what I can talk about today.
I think it was in the run up to the war in Iraq — when I belonged to an international fandom group and had to enlighten people getting their news canned-by-Europeans how useless and counterproductive it was for Bush to go to the UN hat in hand – that I first fully realized the craziness of the leftist case for war.
Okay, I should have got it with Clinton’s Balkan adventures (mea culpa mea maxima culpa) but I was actually distracted by the fact that Clinton was trying to do handwavium to keep us from noticing the intern under his desk. (Spare me the “private” and the “impinging on his sex life” – a) if he’s being paid from my taxes, he has no private, certainly not in the people’s office. B) If he were working for any company or corporation, he’d not only have been fired for abuse of power, he’d also have probably gone to jail if they could cram it under “undue influence” and call it rape. Yes, I know that successful men have always bedded hotties who work for them. But since Clinton and his ilk are the ones who made it a capital crime: Live by the PC, die by the PC, I say.)
I might even have got it before, if I’d lived in the US earlier, or studied US history. I didn’t. One of my friends swears that we went into Vietnam because Kennedy wanted to design uniforms. (I think there were probably other reasons. Heinlein quoted treaties.) And of course I know adventurism abroad is a thing of democrat administrations (no, seriously.)
But I only realized the full on dysfunction when they started opposing the Iraq war before it started – and the Afghanistan campaign too – because we HAD been attacked. That is, we were going to war to defend our interests. Apparently this is bad, bad, bad, in the vile prog mind.
Why is it bad? I don’t know. I assume it’s uncouth, like defending your own race, your own species, or chewing with your mouth open.
I hang out with enough of them to have this idea they don’t have principles or reasons, they have good manners – things you say and do to “fit in” with your peer group. And these are things they started learning very early from their parents, their teachers and other figures of authority and they never once thought about them.
Because if they thought about them, they would realize that while there is virtue in not attacking other groups sight unseen, there is no virtue in letting the group you belong to be attacked just because. Of course there is no virtue in my defending any group (except maybe the Chinese) considering the salad in my DNA. (Have I mentioned Asian guys are hot? What? Deal.)
No, I confess I never heard a pre-school teacher say “we don’t have the right to defend our group, our nation or ourselves” – but I think it’s an extension from “you can’t defend yourself, because then you’re being as bad as the other guy.” That they do say. They say it all the time along with “Violence never solved anything.” I found out older son was reading Starship Troopers when in a conference, in front of me, he growled back “Tell it to the city fathers of Carthage.” (So proud.)
But I think that’s it. It’s this internalized good manner stuff. (And those on the right, stop preening. You don’t use it against foreign aggressors, but you use it in internal political fights. I’ve heard more than one of you reply, in response to an even mildly satirical and exaggerated take down of the left “we can’t lower ourselves to their level.” PFUI. Playing by the Marquess de Queensberry rules just gets your *ss handed to you.)
And that’s what I realized in the run up to the Iraq (and Afghanistan) war. It’s apparently the thing of uncouth barbarians to actually defend ourselves and our country (no? Iraq might not have been directly involved in 9/11 but in a region where half of it is inspiration and bravado, they were definite enablers.)
Now, we’re seeing the reverse of this coin, foreshadowed by Clinton’s Balkan adventurism. War is good and just when we have absolutely no interests of our own to defend. Hence, Libya. Hence us actually collaborating with Al Quaeda groups. Hence our not avenging the clear casus belli that was the murder of our ambassador. (A colleague of mine, in pre-history, in Techniques of Translation, when finding casus belli in the middle of an English document translated it as “the case for bells” – ask not for whom the bell tolls.)
And now we’ll go into Syria for the same ill-defined reasons. And probably cack it because this president has the mierdas touch. Everything he touches turns to sh*t.
The problem here is that the left claims to be against war, but they love some of the aspects of war. Remember the whole kindergarten thing? Yep. The aspects they love about war come straight out of there.
They love the uniforms, and having everyone do the same at the same time. They think of war as a sort of synchronized dance. And, you know, war causes support for the president to surge at home, and there’s national unity which they love. (Except they hated it after nine eleven, and a week in they were complaining about all the flags. They also missed that those are the circumstances under which fervor arises spontaneously. When we’ve been attacked. When our president is trying to do good abroad and appear manly? Not so much.)
They long for that imaginary time in WWII when the nation as one sacrificed and worked for victory. If they could they would have a war with rationing “so we’re all equal.” They have the bizarre idea that it was that unity, (and not the fact that most of the world except us was rubble afterwards) that caused the boom afterwards.
Again, war is sort of a synchronized dance crossed with the do-goodism of a particularly blinkered boy-scout troop.
So, is there anything we can do?
No. We’re going to war. That’s that. And it’s going to be run with crazy ROE and it’s going to be bad for everything, from our standing abroad to our interests in the world. Because that’s what’s considered an acceptable war by the vile progs.
So what can we do? We can teach our children well. I know it’s not being done in the schools, but our household at least reads and discusses history books, and has for years. (Starting at levels the kids could digest when very young.)
Note to the kids – and this might involve subsiding your own training – that nations are not moral entities. Nations are entities of self interest. Yeah, okay, the communists dressed the self interest as “liberating” other people. So did Napoleon. But in the end, they invaded other countries, not to overthrow oppressors but because communism in the world stage is like the ancient empires. The only way it can survive is by stealing. It fails to produce even enough to keep people in meager rations. So, like Napoleon, dealing with a devastated France, they make war to survive. The ideology just prettifies it.
I’m not saying the US hasn’t been moral abroad. We can all debate WWI till we’re blue in the face, and yes, it’s quite possible that FDR entered WWII so as to eliminate a rival for world domination – but it’s hard to deny that at least intervention in WWII was benign. The aftermath, including keeping the communists in power and supplied with wheat is something else again. BUT that was one good thing. And there have been other good interventions, yes, including the ones to support allies.
However, the vile progs love to beat up on the fact that we also do things for self interest – like keep dictators in power – as though it were a sin for a nation to look after its own interests.
It’s time to drum back that it isn’t. It’s only a sin if you believe in “the brotherhood of man” something communists (and French revolutionaries) preached as they filled mass graves. A nation is not a moral entity but a grouping for survival. The purpose of war is to ensure that the group survives.
A group that forgets this, doesn’t.
And our children will need to know this basic truth, because what is going on right now will make their survival and the survival of their children difficult enough. They’ll have to wake up.
Let the wakening start now.
Teach your children well.
War is not synchronized dancing. War is dirty, horror-filled and painful to innocents. It should be. And it should be engaged in only when your survival as a nation is at stake (though that often involves going in ahead of the enemy at your door.) And then it should be engaged in with full force, with gusto and with no holds barred.
So it doesn’t have to happen again. Or not with the same people. And so you live, to fight another day.
UPDATE: Different post over at Mad Genius Club.