Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Nature Of Defeatism

Via The American Thinker, the conservative Lawrence Auster mocks the Bush Revolution :

Bush turned a set of rights long established in America and for Americans into a requirement for all of humanity. It wasn't just that we regarded the enumerated rights as self-evidently true. It was that we regarded their practical establishment in the whole world and particularly in the Muslim lands as, first, a non-negotiable moral demand, and, second, as the only way to assure a world safe from terrorism. There was a specious logic in the latter argument that passed for great wisdom in some quarters. The past policy of cooperating with Arab and Muslim dictatorships hadn't prevented the growth of Muslim extremism. Therefore we had to try the opposite tack, of democratizing the Muslim countries.

In New York Times, Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose chimes in:

The Bush doctrine has collapsed, and the administration has consequently embraced realism, American foreign policy's perennial hangover cure.

What explains this utterly absurd defeatism?

Two independent dynamics have collided here to create a very dangerous confusion in some minds. On the one hand, there is terrorism spewing out of paleo-political ideologies pretending to be Islam. On the other, there is American hyper-power status. How people weigh the threat from each versus the other determines where they stand on this war.

Most sensible people understand that whether or not we wage war on terrorists, terrorists will wage unrelenting war on us. Therefore, the only valid course is to take war to where it spews from -- regardless of the short-term cost.

There's, in opposition, a sizable & amusing coalition of isolationists, pacifists, naive liberals, and some Muslims who feel that waging war on terrorists only provokes them further. Instead, they argue, civilized world should essentially concede even illegitimate terrorist demands (really clever excuses for their murderous nature) to avert future attacks.

Finally, and crucially, there are many (especially on the left) who are appalled at the present dominance of the world by America and her allies. They are enraged by American leadership of the war on terror not because this is a war on terror but that it is an American-led war. They'd rather see America retreat even if it means continued life for terrorism.

This is also the view of some Americans who see the war on terror as the building blocks of an American empire. To them, the war against terror (and more generally, the war against local disorder with global impact) is really an excuse to re-design the global order where a handful of great powers dictate policy to everyone else. This they cannot stand.

The exact same fear offends many in the developing world whose memories of colonialism are still fresh.

Consequently, there's a faux-romantic tendency to see all manner of frivolous and damaging claims against even democratic great powers as being valid root-causes, the paralyzing and paralyzed UN as a noble entity, dictatorships and corruption as matters of sovereignty and, worst of all, terrorists as freedom fighters and insurgents.

This is the nature of the defeatism in our midst -- the terrorists understand and exploit this quite well. It is up to democratic societies to find the steel in their character to resist this devilish exploitation and stay the course on an entirely just and necessary war of survival.

1 comment:

Kaunteya said...

Well put. I read an op/ed in USA-Today a couple of days ago and found it interesting.

Bush-FDR

The fact is - you just cannot reason with Terror.
Yasser Arafat showed that at Camp David 2000, when he was given the best possible deal. A deal that he rejected.

Whether it was Arafat or Prabhakaran or any Naxalite leader, these people always preyed on or will always prey on, terrorism. They will always come up with a reason not to give it up.Its their strength. It is what makes them powerful and have followers.

Followers

Blog Archive