Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Martin LeFevre: Plunderers, Barbarians, or Tyrants

Meditations (Politics) - From Martin LeFevre in California

Plunderers, Barbarians, or Tyrants?

The Bush Administration and their media hacks are being hoisted on their own petard this week over a revenge leak. But the award for ballsy duplicity goes to Thomas L. Friedman, the influential columnist for the New York Times and chief apologist for the Bush/Blair war in Iraq.

This big-media mouthpiece consistently and effectively argued for a "war of choice," yet now he says, "Bush is deeply morally unserious" about it. It may be human nature to try to have things both ways, but as an American, I think my countrymen have perfected that regrettable tendency to a high art.

Inching up to the line of blatant hypocrisy, Friedman gives a half-assed acknowledgement of complicity: "The war to oust Saddam Hussein was always a war of choice (a good choice I believe)." (Italics mine.)

Mr. Friedman speaks out of both sides of a posterior orifice when he quotes, with unintended projection, a Yale professor: "There is a disparity between the words people use to describe a challenge and any honest appraisal of what it's going to take to succeed."

What is this idiocy about "wars of choice?" The only people in the history of the world who ever chose war were plunderers, barbarians, and tyrants.

Thomas Paine, the writer sometimes credited with saving the American Revolution by injecting a desperately needed dose of morale into George Washington's ragged and demoralized troops at a crucial moment, understood this when he wrote "The American Crisis."

In it he said, "I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent."

Friedman and his ilk in the media helped get us into this blood and treasure and spirit-sucking war, and now they are distancing themselves from any responsibility for it. They feign astonishment that "Bush is deeply morally unserious." In truth, the entire media superstructure is deeply morally unserious.

It is a moral lapse of the worst kind when intellectuals promote war, since they know full well that starting a war is indefensible no matter how abominable the regime. Tony Blair is still whining about averting future acts of terrorism. The speciousness of that argument is now undeniable to everyone who is not in complete denial (or in power).

Besides, terrorism was only the pretext for invading Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction. And even if there were, you don't invade countries because you think they might some day supply terrorists with them.

Americans profess astonishment that so many people in the world hate the US. But it takes no great leap of perception to understand how a government that makes and manipulates devils for its own ends comes to be viewed as "the Great Satan."

Going after the mass murderers who planned and carried out the 9/11 attacks is one thing. But waging war on states when the threat is essentially a stateless one is stupid and wrong. Starting "wars of choice" is all the more disgusting when one considers that the United States refused to intervene as genocides were taking place in Africa and Europe, and even blocked the UN from doing so.

The idea of a "war of choice" is grotesque, an affront to any thinking and feeling person. Messy as things are, history is already drawing that lesson. Just don't expect Bush and his apologists to learn. They're incorrigible.

************

- Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He has been publishing in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe (and now New Zealand) for 20 years. Email: martinlefevre@sbcglobal.net. The author welcomes comments.



© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news