05 April 2007

And It Is Tom Lantos

I've been trying, the last few days, to come up with something to say about Tom Lantos and his claim that "We have an alternative Democratic foreign policy." Preferably my comment would be pithy, rooted in American history and constitutional law, and gently point out the Congressman's error in an eminently reasonable fashion.

Unfortunately, every time I start thinking about this deeply stupid statement I boil over. It might strike Congressman Lantos as good clean fun to chip away at the corner stones of our nation but, as he of all people should realize, if you bring down the edifice the first people who will be hurt are those sheltering beneath it. The very idea of a political party acting on a foreign policy at odds with the policies of the government is ... is ... is ...

I give up. It is bad. It is so bad that I can't even say how bad it is.


joe shropshire said...

You know, if we really are going to hell this time, then what we need is a faster handcart. Nobody learns anything useful from a long, slow collapse.

Peter Burnet said...

Well, if I can define my own reality, why can't I have my own foreign policy? Or, come to think of it, my own income tax code?

Joe, does this not all revolve around the unstated assumption that American military toys are so advanced that there is really nothing to worry about, so we can all play make-believe with geo-politics? I sense some of this thinking in Oro's comments and sometimes Skipper's. Nobody seems the slighest bit worried by the fact that the West and even the US have proven themselves no match for an enemy that will just keep on coming whatever the cost.

I wish I had been a fly on the wall in fourth century Rome.

David said...

"[M]y own income tax code."

Now, there's a movement I can get behind.

joe shropshire said...

Peter, the last thing I ever posted at oj's place, before he banned me, went something like this: Diagnosis, not argument, is the only proper response to that. As I am not qualified, here we shall stop.

Can't do any better with Congressman Lantos. Sorry. I have got no idea what's going through these people's heads.

Harry Eagar said...

. . . as bad as Bishop Walsh's peacemaking?

Peter, the only reason the US has proven itself no match is that it hasn't played. If the other side wants asymmetrical warfare, we can make it as asymmetrical as anyone could imagine.

We will, too, eventually. Nobody can say he hasn't been warned.

Maybe we should cash in a carrier group and buy every Iranian a trip to Hiroshima, with me as tour guide.

Anonymous said...

What Harry said.

The U.S. have been playing with Marquis of Queensbury rules; the opposition in Iraq and Afghanistan have been using the customs of 19th century Mississippi river bargemen.

The American secondary goals of not too-badly offending European sensibilities, and of leaving behind a working Iraqi society, cause the conflict to be mostly about policing, from the American perspective.

Should the U.S. stop worrying about those secondary goals, then any opposition will find out what "just keep on coming" really means.
They could watch the movie Terminator to get a preview, keeping in mind that there won't be any hero-from-the-future for them. (Mostly because they have no future, irrespective of what America does. They're dead-enders, like the parrot-hunting Stone Age tribes of the Amazon).

David said...

What's really sort of surprising is that they (the Democrats and our enemies) expect us to act better than they do -- and we do.

Harry Eagar said...

True, up to a point.

I was going to say that it's perhaps past time to be surprised about it. We have, after all, considerable experience now. We should be able to anticipate how other people will behave.

Or they should. I guess I am surprised that they think they can poke the lion's flank endlessly without the lion ever turning around to face them.

More faith or more ignorance?

There's not much justification for them to be ignorant.

Peter Burnet said...

What are you suggesting, Harry? That the Marines behead a mullah and post the video on the Internet? Flatten Mecca?

Sure, you would be formidable in an existential fight, but have you not noticed that since 9/11 the enemy has been brilliant at convincing us we are not in an existential fight? In fact, in addition to mastering the arts of the atrocity and demeaning taunt, they have been brilliant at confusing us completely as to who the they actually are and what our war aims should be. Not that it was that hard to do, given the influential minority/now growing majority among us that was/is desperate to believe it.

I'm a little surprised after Abu Ghraib/Guantanamo/torture-that-ain't-torture scandals, etc. to see you all pumped up for asymmetrical warfare. In the name of what? Democracy? The Judeo-Christian tradition? Free trade? The destruction of Islam? Do you think you could get more than minimal support for any of those? Surely it is obvious almost everyone now wants out fast and if the price is the return of the Taliban or Iranian nukes, that is the price that will be paid.

Since '04, Bush and Blair have been desperately trying to defend the war on the opposition's terms and with its lingo--international law, the UN, sanctions, allies, exit strategy, etc. All they have succeeded in doing is undermining faith in their cause and completely demoralizing (and terrifying)the moderates in the Islamic world you say don't exist. We have forced them to promise us they will never tell a fib and always fight squeaky clean, which is what the Western public and media demands--just ask Israel.

We keep trying to tell you that the rational secular paradise you live in is creating a society where hardly anybody sees any particular reason to risk lives to free Iraq, worry about genocide or pay five cents more a gallon for gas, and certainly not because their government tells them they should. In fact, more and more think if the government had done things right, everybody would get along swimmingly. Asymmetrical warfare ain't in the cards. The West has bet the pot that American technological superiority will be forever so great that they are safe enough to crap all over it and play endless tranzi games at the UN. Resiliance, honour, pride, retaliation and belief in evil or indeed anything other than immediate self-defence are out, and I don't see them coming back soon.

Be careful, Harry, or you will end up like one of those religious nuts hoping for a catastrophe in order to raise the stakes and redeem us all. In the meantime, you should get out more. Try reading the latest People or watching Dr. Phil for a week to learn what is really on everyone's mind. In the meantime, the enemy will continue to take full advantage of unanswered terror, kidnapping, etc. while the Pelosis of the world pay homage to their patrons, the MSM solemnly reports the casualty numbers every hour and minor European judges make names for themselves by issuing warrants against powerful Americans in the name of the Geneva Conventions.