Some Reason from the Left on the War

November 8, 2004

One hears so much Michael Moore-ish views on the War in Iraq that one almost starts to think that the entire Left actually believes it is all a war-mongering oil conspiracy that has nothing to do with freedom or democracy. I will admit that before the war, I fully supported the invasion based on the threat of WMD. With the clarity of hindsight, I agree that the Administration rushed in–but I can say that with hindsight, which is of course, 20/20–and can we really judge Bush and his decision based on our perception of things after the fact?

A thinker of the left, Larry Diamond gives a very reasonable explanation of his view of the rush to war and the war itself–and it doesn’t even sound like he has rabies:

I opposed going to war in Iraq last year. Indeed, I publicly warned (in the January 2003 Hoover Digest) that the greatest danger facing the United States was not Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs but “imperial overreach and the global wave of anti-Americanism that it is already provoking.” I worried that the United States would be perceived throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds as invading Iraq only because it wanted to control its oil and dominate the region. I felt that Americans would pay a heavy price for going to war without “compelling evidence that Saddam’s regime has flouted its obligations to disarm” and without broad international support. And I counseled against an “extended, unilateral American military occupation of Iraq” that would “turn American soldiers from liberators to occupiers.”

Still, I reject the characterization of the war as “imperialist aggression.” The Bush administration was convinced that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and that if it did not take military action soon, Saddam would break out of the international sanctions box and once again threaten the region and the United States. I think the administration was wrong in its rush to war. The error is even more starkly apparent today, as Iran races to develop nuclear weapons while the United States remains bogged down in Iraq, with no evidence of Saddam’s WMD. But there is a difference between strategic error and “imperialist aggression” in order “to control the entire Middle East” and “to dominate the international oil market.” A scholar of Smith’s stature should provide evidence for such a grave and provocative allegation. That these wild charges are pervasively believed in the Middle East [and by Michael Moore and his ilk] should sober us, but it does not make them true. (Foreign Affairs, November/December 2004, p. 131.)

It was truly refreshing to read this in the pages of Foreign Affairs. Diamond goes on to say something that speaks to the shocking schadenfreude that oozes out of every European newspaper on a daily basis and which truly seems to immerse the American left as well in their eagerness to oust Bush, a man they hate with irrational fervor. Diamond states that, even as someone who leans left,

If the war was a strategic mistake, it still opened the possibility for historic political progress in Iraq. And if the Bush administration bungled the postwar planning and management, as I believe it did, this did not preclude significant improvements and a more positive outcome down the road. I therefore do not regard my service in Iraq as a “fool’s errand.” Nor do I believe that the thousands of brave and dedicated individuals working for the United States, other coalition allies, the UN, and a myriad of democracy-and development-promoting NGOs are tools or fools, tilting at windmills.

Believe me, I am uncomfortable with Bush’s foreign policy and wish that he had not alienated out closest allies (besides the UK). I supported Kerry’s effort to bring a multi-lateral view back onto the table. But Diamond’s words are measured and rational. They are a model for the left. Somehow, I doubt many will follow.


Willkommen, Herr Petrus

November 8, 2004

Wir sind gesegnet, Petri Herablassung hier zu erfahren. Peter ist ein ausgezeichneter Connoisseur der aktuellen Kultur (ich meine das im Vergleich zur modernen Kultur, die eigentlich schon etliche Jahrhunderte zurück liegt). Ich vermute, Petri Gedanken bezüglich des Evangeliums und der Pop-Kultur werden uns vieles in Betracht ziehen.

Announcing Allison!

November 8, 2004

We want to welcome Allison Welch Fowles to the blogosphere. It looks like she took Danithew’s advice to heart. Now she can be found at notes from the nest. She welcomes all Bloggernacle regulars or their spouses. She won’t be discussing politics so much as real life issues, it looks like. Please pay her a visit!


November 7, 2004

Hier wollen wir in Fremdsprachen bloggen.

Very Funny

November 5, 2004

A fellow associate pointed this out to me today at work. Check out the hip-hop debate. I especially like the “Money Walk.”

From Abroad

November 4, 2004

There’s not exclusively negative press coming out of Europe after Bush’s reelection. But much of it is predictably negative, even arrogantly condescending (how could so many Americans be so stupid, and all that).

On this discussion board (sorry it’s in German), some of the comments are balanced and a few are optimistic that they can resolve themsevles to get along with Bush’s America, but many of these comments pass judgment on Bush and on America’s intelligence. The article that these comments stemmed from discusses the widespread view that America is one step away from totalitarianism. It’s interesting that Germans really look at the prevailing moral values in America as fascist. That is something that I really can’t understand.

Anyway, one of the commenters said that he hoped that Bush will get impeached soon into this term for one of the allegedly many impeachable infractions that from that German’s perspective Bush has commited in his first term. The frustrating thing about the fact that it is the vogue in Europe to depricate Bush and America for voting for him is that if I as an American were to post something like that about the German government, then I would be accused of imperialism. It is just so tiring sometimes.


November 2, 2004

Just a few hours away from casting my vote, and I’m still undecided.

Can I really sacrifice the babies just to make France happy? (I.e. put aside my very strong moral disgust at our infant holocaust in this country in the interest of a more measured and multilateral foreign policy?)

Conversely, can I really justify continuing an alienating foreign policy just to save what the abortionists consider mere “reproductive matter” with no more ontological significance than feces? (I.e. put aside my discomfort with unilateral use of power and an alienating foreign policy in the interest of saving something that many, including those who kill it, don’t even consider human?)

My dilemma. (Allison is still struggling with this decision too.)

On a side note, Marianne, our three year-old daughter, has announced that we should vote for . . . . Christmas! When pressed, though, as between George Bush and John Kerry, she chose John Kerry (however, this might have to do with the fact that we said Kerry’s name after Bush and with the fact that her dad’s name is John). . . .

Anyway, I consider myself an informed voter (I should be after the many hours spent reading the media in several different languages and on the blogs), but it isn’t helping me make what is becoming an existential moral decision between two ideas of America (both of which have some attraction, but neither of which comes close to my ideal–a millenial government in which Christ himself reigns as King and the Saints live in Zion).