Liberals And Their Selective Outrage
By: Robert E. Meyer
Liberals often view conservatives as a bunch mindless robots taking orders from a few central charismatic figures who programmed them. The famous and familiar mantra that “progressives” regurgitate in regards to this belief is: “Think for yourself.” As if the liberal perspective is the natural outcome of independent introspection. Interestingly enough, when it comes to foreign policy, they tend hold the opposite view.
As a country, we were, and continue to be, roundly criticized for “going it alone” in Iraq (or with a coalition of the coerced), when much of old Europe couldn’t be persuaded to form a united front against Iraq. It seems that “Thinking for yourself” in this instance has its limitations as a virtue.
Why do we assume that the Europeans are somehow more “enlightened?” in matters of diplomacy and foreign policy? Such is a gratuitous assumption of the highest order. Perhaps they are merely more apathetic and greater procrastinators. It could be that they have even less noble motives for their opposition.
Many people in this country and abroad will repeat the line, like a pull-string doll, that Saddam was never a threat. But what does this really imply? In 1990, shortly before Iraq invaded Kuwait, U.S. News and World Report had an article casting Hussein as the world’s more dangerous man. What made him so dangerous? His weapons, his manpower, both which were formidable, or more than anything else, was it his character and track record? This is where so many arm-chair analysts fall down on the job. Hussein’s capabilities were certainly greatly curtailed. On the other hand, many nations have nuclear capabilities, yet can hardly be considered a threat. So by simple deduction, what are we left to conclude? How about the fact that his demeanor and willingness to act? Who scares you more, your neighbor with an arsenal of weapons in his gun cabinet, or some maniac who swears he is going to kill you, but can’t get his hands on a lethal weapon at the immediate moment?
How often we hear from the radical liberal camp that this country should be sanctioned–nobody has more WMD’s than America possesses. Again, it comes back to an issue of character. We could have brought the world to its feet and kept it there after WWII. We instead rebuilt our foreign enemies into economic powerhouses. That is our nature.
Europeans are very fortunate. They know that when push comes to shove, the U.S. will be there to defend them, but in the meantime, they can bad-mouth this country to their hearts’ content and feel good about themselves in the process. If they actually believed Bush was the villain they portray him as, we would see more eggshell diplomacy from those quarters. Have you ever noticed that no country ever seems worried about making the U.S. mad at them?
Many of the people in this country are even more hypocritical in their approach. Isolated incidents of mistreatment of enemy prisoners or atrocities against civilians, are treated as though they are standard operating procedures. We hear the hue and cry: “Human rights violations.” Where were these critics when Hussein was filling his mass graves?
Where are these critics now for that matter? Even when two American soldiers are systematically butchered, they could care less, other than to blame America that the soldiers were over there to start with. I suppose itâ€™s just our own fault for making them mad at us, right?
We are often reminded that we the supplied a lot of the weaponry Hussein used in his military and civil atrocities, ergo, we are to blame for his escapades. Again, this sort of thinking pits our past foreign policy against decisions that might have been made in a perfect world. I believe most political decisions are choices between lesser and greater evils. If you buy your son a shot gun for hunting when he is 16, but he saws off the stock and uses it to rob a bank years later, do you lose the moral right to condemn his actions?
Remember that we aided Iraq when they were at war with Iran, the country that took many of our embassy personnel as hostage for over a year, and really got the contemporary Islamic revolutionary mind set rolling in high gear. Let’s not forget that Iraq’s tanks and Scud missiles, which we encountered in Dessert Storm came from the Russians. Maybe we thought it was better to arm Iraq and know what they have, then allow them to crawl in bed with Mother Russia in exchange for armaments. They were obviously playing both sides.
There is something twisted about a mentality that continually exonerates the perpetrators of these acts, yet finds at fault the people who are trying to stop them.
Our founders called the American mandate of self-government an “experiment.” This is because some misguided people will use the exercise of their own personal freedom to ultimately destroy freedom itself.