Tarry for the Nonce

July 11, 2003

Liberty in Liberia

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 10:56 am

Charles Krauthammer has an interesting column where he chides:

It was the left that led the opposition to war in Iraq. Now it is the left that is most strenuous in urging intervention in Liberia. Curious . . .

The only conclusion one can draw is that for liberal Democrats, America’s strategic interests are not just an irrelevance, but a deterrent to intervention . . . The only justified interventions, therefore, are those which are morally pristine, namely, those which are uncorrupted by any suggestion of national interest . . .

This is the core lunacy of Democratic foreign policy. Either it has no criteria for intervening militarily – after all, if we’re going into Liberia, on what grounds are we not going into Congo? – or it has a criterion, and its logic is that the U.S. Army is a missionary service rather than a defender of U.S. interests . . .

Foreign policy is not social work.



  1. i am i conservative because i kind of agreed with that column? i felt dirty after i read it.

    Comment by julia — July 11, 2003 @ 4:46 pm

  2. Somehow got to Laura’s blog here from Pavan’s webpage and noticed this interesting entry on Libreria.

    This is the crappiest column I’ve ever read. It starts out kinda iffy but by it’s conclusion it had me laughing out loud. The author concludes that we should only intervene in Liberia if Europe goes with us and helps us out in Iraq. Ha!

    Also he contradicts himself:

    > What should be our criteria for military intervention? The answer is simple: strategic and moral necessity. Foreign policy is not social work. Acting for purely humanitarian reasons is wanton and self-indulgent. You don’t send American soldiers to die to assuage troubled consciences at home. Their lives should be risked only in defense of their country.

    He answers the question that our criteria for military intervention should only be strategic and moral necessity. That easily could mean anything, including good old “American interests”. Whose interests? Who knows.. somebody up in the executive branch.

    Anyways, then he says “Their lives should be risked only in defense of their country.”

    Sounds like a neo-con to me. Of course if we pointed out to him that it wasn’t Saddam who destroyed the World Trade Center he’d probably snap out of it and realize his errors right? I mean how can he justify the war against Iraq when we clearly were the attackers. We were not attacked, irregardless of whatever happens with the purported WMD claims.

    When you think about it wouldn’t “defending” this country pretty much mean that we would have to be attacked? That’s how I interpret the word, anyways.

    My guess is that his idea of the word ‘defense’ is only relevant if it involves American interests or to put it in his own words, “strategic and moral necessity”. I guess the question for this guy is why was the invasion of Iraq justified by a “strategic and moral necessity”?

    Comment by philip — July 14, 2003 @ 3:13 am

  3. “When you think about it wouldn’t “defending” this country pretty much mean that we would have to be attacked? That’s how I interpret the word, anyways.”

    That’s absolute madness! I guess my only hope would be is that sometime in the future, or perhaps in the present, you do not hold any sort of postion with power so as to have influence on the defense of the United States. One of the fatal flaws from September 11th was NOT identifying and neutralizing the threat from terrorists organizations BEFORE they could strike. Precisely was the rationale with Iraq. Not that Iraq would pose a necessarily direct threat to the United States as a nation thousands of miles away, but to the national interests. And while oil is certainly one of those interests, it certainly isn’t the only one; stabilization of the region, security for Israel (only democracy in the Middle East), and reducing support for terrorist organizations who received financial and logistical support for their activities against the U.S. and other western targets. Only taking action when one is attacked is completely illogical. If one observes that he or she is going to be stabbed with a knife, does that individual wait until he or she is stabbed and suffering severely until taking action against the assailant? A bit of common sense, please!

    Comment by Mueller — July 16, 2003 @ 7:03 am

  4. OK, this is just too inviting to sit back and watch, so here goes.
    In regards “defense” and the statements of the previous posts:

    1) Of course you don’t need to suffer injury before you defend yourself, but there must be a definite, clear and imminent danger.

    It was whether Iraq posed a definite, clear and imminent danger to the U.S. is of course the nexus of the issue last fall.

    The pro-war side argued that Iraq was such a type of a threat. It was alleged that they had WMD and supported terrorists and that Iraq may have nuclear capabilities or at least the ability to purchase them. This was no great secret, anyone can read “Saddam’s Bombmaker” and read as much. (The book is written by the man who headed up Iraq’s nuclear weapons program for over 20 years. It is an excellent read and enables one to see just how difficult it is for a nation or a group or a sole human being to obtain the means to make or obtain a nuclear device. It also demonstrates how inept the U.S. intelligence community can be as after the author risked his and his family’s life to escape from Iraq, the U.S. intelligence was not even aware of who he was, his significance and did not even make a serious effort to obtain him, let alone help him. He had to hide in various areas of the world until he was finally able to get U.S. intelligence to take him seriously. The book also chronicles how Iraq’s nuclear program was utterly destroyed before he escaped.)

    In the end the war side “won out” as if there was a contest.

    2) Bush made a political mistake when he allowed the humanitarian issues of Iraq become a significant reason for the war.

    3) Bush made another huge mistake when he didn’t check his sources.

    4) Bush is making more mistakes trying to defend his garbage sources.

    –I wanted Clinton impeached as much as anyone, and now a stain on a dress seems less significant to making false allegations, especially volatile allegations, ones of a nature that you had best be sure of before making them. The equivalent of accusing someone who you have seriously quarreled with in the past and who has threatened to blow up your house was just around the corner buying a bunch of C-4 out of a trunk of a car and going to the cops with the information. You had better be darn sure about your information.

    Bush set himself and this country up. Period. Now we get to continue to pay for his mistakes, with lives and money. Yeah. Where do I sign up.

    What really makes me sick is where were all these guys with this information regarding Bush’s information back in January? Hello? Ticks me off.

    In the words of that great political commentator Yakoff Smirnoff, “What a country!” Oy Vey.

    Comment by Marty — July 17, 2003 @ 1:38 am

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