20 April 2011

Why do liberals keep going to war ?

An article at AlterNet discusses the "slippery slope of humane intervention" -
Liberal hawks never seem to learn that you can't get healthcare, decent schools and less unemployment by bombing smaller nations. Military adventures trump domestic rehab every time. We Americans have a very long history – going back to Teddy Roosevelt in Cuba and Woodrow Wilson in the first world war – of progressives going to war for the best, most irreproachable, humane, idealistic reasons, whether that meant saving Belgian babies from fiendish Hun bayonets or rescuing Benghazi civilians today.

It's extraordinary to watch progressives like NBC's Rachel Maddow, the New Republic's John Judis, Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, Juan Cole and many others cheerlead the "Obama doctrine" of humane intervention – that is, meddling militarily at "low cost", usually ending in disaster for all concerned. Such liberal war hawks have serious records of fighting for good domestic causes. But what a disconnect!...

We are no longer an infinitely rich country. Our bridges, dams, pipelines and roads are falling apart. Our people are on food stamps and can't find work. Spilling our money on the desert renders it positively reasonable to cut, slash and degrade – that useful military euphemism – help for the poor and middle class...

The arithmetic is brutal. Each Tomahawk cruise missile fired from a sub, ship or land costs roughly $1m, and we've probably shot over 200 of them onto Libya... The Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments estimates that the Libyan operation costs the US between $100m and $300m per week, so we're heading toward the $1bn mark even if, as advertised, we pull back marginally....


  1. "Slippery slope of humane intervention." I like that, it's a good term for what's going on. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't.

  2. Did Obama get the US in Iraq ? Is the US sending troops into Libya does the cost of a multinational NATO backed intervention overpass the cost of a unilateral air-land &sea offensive against one of the largest Arab nation? Here is a question how would bush react to the Libya incidents or should I say Cheney?

    In any case the us is attacking Libya for the same reason it attacked Iraq, which is to exert control over the middle east region and its resources. This has always been a us foreign policy target. Therefore any us gov. Would react with the same or even more ferocity given the opportunity to attack a state in the middle east region especially one that has resources so desperately sought by US corporations. I m not saying it is right or moral and I doubt "hawks" really think by those terms.

  3. Why?

    Because war is the health of the state, and "Liberals" are statists.

    Because people who believe themselves intellectually superior to their fellow men will inevitably seek to control them, and this libido dominandi does not stop at borders.

    Because democratic socialism is an evangelical religion.

    Because the Democratic party is just as entrenched in the military-industrial complex as the Republican party, even it they cover the fact with more rhetoric.

  4. Us liberals are not statists you ppl in the us have no idea what statism or socialism is... And you shouldn't be talking sh!t. The democrats aren't even social democrats at best they can be described as progressives on the contrary republicans Are a mixture of conservatives, Christian democrats and anarcho-capitalists.

  5. War is the ongoing stimulus package that both major parties can agree on.

  6. The US spends less of its per capita income on foreign aid. So it's OK for the world's wealthiest nation to spend money on Egypt, Palestinians and Israelis so they won't kill each other? It's a real crime we didn't get involved in Rwanda or the Sudan?

    But try to stop tribal civil war in Libya and you're a war monger?

    Give peace a chance?

    Give genocide a chance?

    Not all wars are created equal. This requires some thought.

  7. Anonymous don't pretend to suppose what any of us does or does not know. That's not an argument; it's just an ignorantiam ad hominem.

    Republicans and Democrats in the US differ only in how they would run our lives; they don't even bother asking if anyone has any business running the lives of another person or another nation. That is Statism.

    Thus far the US reserves it's inhumane butchery of others mostly to foreigners in the name of peace, but that only tells us that it is not an advanced statism. The Constitution my slow it's cancerous progress, but statism is alive and well here.

  8. I think this article confuses liberals and conservatives with Republicans and liberals with Democrats. The line between these four very separate categories have been getting very blurred lately, mostly due to media style politics. Conservatives have been traditionally concerned with small government but have been recently pushing regulations that are counter intuitive of this. Liberal and Conservative have become broad terms which can equate someone with a group while they may still have differing views on many things. I'm a liberal in the sense that I am pro choice, do not wish to militarily intervene unless necessary (like WWI, WWII necessary), legalize marijuana, am against big business, go green, etc. As you can see from previous comments, there is a large and spiteful anger coming from both sides and it is not going to stand much longer. I know as a liberal I'm very tired of seeing average people get shoved aside by conservative views of big business and am tired of seeing obviously inept people like Sarah Palin and celebrities like Donald Trump end up as their candidates. They seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel for any sort of viable political figures. At any rate, I think the fact that we have gay republican conservatives is enough to make my point.

  9. Humane intervention is only the scam.

    The real reason is the oil.

    All the hype about Darfur? Guess what? That is the area of Sudan that has the oil, and the oil companies wanted a change there, so what happened? South Sudan seceded from Sudan.

    Afghanistan: All the blabber up to 9/11 was about how the Taliban was treating women so badly and had destroyed some important Buddha statues. But what was going on behind the scenes was bidding on the gas pipeline across Afghanistan to the Persian Gulf. Just before 9/11, the Taliban government awarded the contract fo building the pipeline to an Argentine company instead of the U.S.'s UNOCAL. When 9/11 happened something like 13 out of the hijackers were Saudis and most of the rest were Egyptians. So, did we invade Saudi Arabia to get rid of the Wahabi sect? No, we argued that the Taliban were at fault, and invaded Afghanistan. UNOCAL got their pipeline, and the U.S. got control of it.

    Why all the hubbub about Hugo Chavez, when there are penny-ante leaders all over the world that our government could castigate? Oil.

    Why does the U.S. fund the insurgents in Bolivia's eastern provinces, against their lawfully elected President, pushing them to also secede from Bolivia? Oil is in them thar hills.

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that when we want their oil, we demonize them to justify military action, coups (as in the one funded by the CIA that overthrew Chavez for a couple of days), and "popular" secession movements (also funded by the CIA).

  10. Really, Stan, you believe we invaded Afghanistan over a pipeline and not 9/11? That is actually disgusting. You compliment that poster who suggested the fact that we didn't invade Saudi Arabia proves our stated goal of destroying the Taliban because they enabled al Qaeda to thrive was a lie? Ridiculous.

  11. Ignorantiam ad hominem?

    That's not even a term. You confused argumentum ad hominem and argumentum ad ignorantiam.


  12. Anon, I know that's a cobbled term.

    Perhaps I should have said (Ignorantiam) ad hominem to clarify that it was an ad hominem specific to ignorance, or guessed that it should be ad hominem ignorantum, but I'm not a Latin linguist. Mea culpa.

    Does this confute my argument?


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