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Saturday, July 29, 2006

 
Peas In A Pod

by digby


So we come to this: increasingly violent exhortations from the right to clap louder --- leading inexorably from public musings about torture to actual torture and now, possibly, from public musings about genocide to ... actual genocide? I certainly hope not, but I have no reason to be optimistic.

Greg Djerejian at Belgravia Dispatch writes:

J-Pod concludes his piece by asking: "(c)an it be that the moral greatness of our civilization - its astonishing focus on the value of the individual above all - is endangering the future of our civilization as well?"

Sounds so reasonable, doesn’t it, J-Pod's closing, heart-felt query? But I fear it's nothing more than hyperbole born of deep paranoia, one married to serious incompetence, given that the tactics J-Pod would have us consider would, not only lead us towards a savage race to the moral gutter, and thus immense catastrophe in terms of the decent society America has been able to, almost miraculously, preserve these past two odd centuries plus—but also not even achieve the intended result—as fighting an insurgency movement in such fashion, as any serious West Pointer would tell you, is absolutely, drop-dead, out of the gates, doomed to failure. Utter, total, mega-failure.

[...]

The cornerstone of our polity and civilization, that what distinguishes us from our fanatical, nihilistic foes, is our respect of law, including the laws of war enshrined in the post-WWII, post-Holocaust era. To throw these by the way-side, in favor of the law of the jungle, is to defeat ourselves. We will have done the bidding of the Osama bin Laden's of our own volition, hoisted ourselves on our own petard, condemned ourselves to reversing the great human gains obtained via the Renaissance, Enlightenment, and modernity. This is too terrible to contemplate, and we cannot allow it to come to pass as a polity. I remain confident it won’t, though in my darker moments I wonder what awaits us if greater 9/11s visit our shores.



I'm going to make an obvservation that is inflammatory and politically incorrect so beware. I think it has to be said, though:

In many ways Osama bin Laden and and the J-Pod's are not all that different. They both hold with a simplistic, hyper-masculine belief that life is determined entirely by perceptions of strength and dominance. They are, of course, not the first. ("The whole world of nature is a mighty struggle between strength and weakness --- an eternal victory of the strong over the weak.") Nor are they alone.

As you continue to read things like this and wonder what are the consequences of the US losing both its moral authority and its powerful mytique, think about this:

The Soviet defeat produced in bin Laden not just a feeling of pride and self-confidence, but megalomania. He speaks about his dream of creating a unified Islamic empire, encompassing 50 countries, stretching from North Africa and the Balkans, encompassing the whole Middle East (including Israel, naturally) and former Soviet Central Asia, all the way to Indonesia and the Philippines on the Pacific. It turned out that bin Laden regarded the Soviet Union not as the primary enemy, but merely as the weakest link in the chain. He turned his attention to waging war against his erstwhile ally, the United States.


Please tell me in what substantial way these goals (if not entirely the means) differed from the post cold war PNAC plan for American global hegemony?



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