Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Making War, Left and Right

I'm sure Ross Douthat is a very nice guy, but I was reminded again why I simply cannot not read his column with any regularity without absolutely blowing my top.  He's supposed to be a conservative presence at the very liberal newspaper, The New York Times.  He either wants very much for his liberal editors to like him nevertheless, or he's really no conservative at all.  I'm increasingly convinced it's the latter.

Anyway, he wrote one of those "balanced" pieces the other day about Obama's intervention into Libya, "A Very Liberal Intervention", and if is a reliable indicator, it's been read now by a good number of people now.  I just got around to it. 

Let me summarize his argument for you:  Liberal war-making is more moral, but less effective, while conservative war-making is less moral, but more effective.

I wanted to scream.  OK, I will.  Ahhhhhh!!!!!!!

Besides being unfaithful to the facts, this way of thinking about war, where the highest of stakes are involved, is almost embarrassingly simplistic and juvenile.

So, you mean to tell me, that if the international community (Whatever the hell that actually is, by the way) had been unwilling to participate, or at least approve (Do you need 100%? Do the North Koreans have veto power? If not, why not?), it would have been immoral for George Bush to prosecute the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the former of which supported the latter, which was itself directly responsible for 3,000 American dead on 9/11?

And, you also mean to tell me, that if the approach and very limited action taken thus far by the Obama Administration with respect to Libya ends with Gadafi still in power, with the surviving rebels in very real fear of their lives as he seeks vengeance and retribution, with billions spent in the increasingly short supply of American capital, with some very real number of American lives lost in the effort to oust or control him (or whatever the lowest common denominator purpose the coalition, such as it is, finally agrees to), that simply because it was all pursued in a "liberal" fashion, it was for that reason alone more moral?

I could go on in this vein almost forever.

Please Mr. Douthat, stick to reviewing books and movies, would ya?  

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