also, this


But all this context is relevant as an indictment of the elite leadership class of the United States of America... If everyone cares as much about the loss of innocent African life as Libya interventionists say, then what on earth are they doing ponying up so little in foreign aid and doing so little to dismantle ruinous cotton subsidies? These aren’t really points about Libya... I see no particular reason to think that Libya will have any impact on malaria funding, but I do think the level of malaria funding is impacted over the long term by the existence of a substantial number of people ... who seem to advocate for humanitarian goals in Africa if and only if those goals can be advanced through the use of military force to kill other Africans.

(I clipped that down quite a bit, so I encourage you to read the post in full.)

This isn't to say that individuals in the American governing class actually prefer killing people in order to advance goals, be they strategic, economic, or humanitarian in nature. Just like I don't think anyone who advances escalating the drug war intends to effectively wage a war on poor urban minorities. But at some point you really have to take a step back and recognize that it looks an awful lot like that.

This is a systemic problem of having a gigantic standing military, or a massively militarized police force. When your only tools--or at least the ones in which you've invested an overwhelming amount of your resources--are big, shiny hammers, every problem you encounter starts to look like a nail.


Gino said...

add to that the desire of self apointed do-gooders, those who went to the right schools, and regurgitated the right words, and now sit in govt because they are morally superior to the rest of us doing 'good' with resources that require no sacrifice of themselves.

Dave said...

I think the best way to distinguish how the Left views military intervention with the Right's traditional view seems to be self-interest. That is, I think the left's comfort with staging military adventures is inversely proportional to the national interest involved. Obama seemed to suggest that the legitimacy of America's adventure in Libya was due to the complete lack of national interest involved. And Obama seemed to be saying that Libya should not be viewed as establishing an American foreign policy precedent because he said so, much like his suggestion that the US effort was not aiding the Libyan rebels, even when the air strikes/no fly zone obviously was. So the best I can tell is that the current administration really believes that it can control reality through its rhetoric.

Brian said...

Yes, but with the caveat that the Right's traditional view does not seem to be an awful lot of the "Right's" current view. No one has been cheering for Obama in Libya louder than Bill Kristol, who as far as I can tell has yet to met a war he didn't like.

You can say that Kristol doesn't speak for YOU, but he does reflect/determine what an awful lot (if not a majority) of what passes for "the Right" thinks these days.

Gino said...

i think you give kristol too much power within the right.
he has some, but its pretty small. he gets facetime because he has a mag, and his last name is kristol.

that said, it would be a good thing if the right would expel him outright, but i dont see it happening because he has too many freinds and because his name is kristol.

i'd say jesse jackson has more 'followers' on the left (though its not that big anymore, either) than kristol has on the right.

unfortunately, the right needs the neocons if it is to be a politically viable option to what is on the left.
thats sad.