I wrote before about the kind of double barreled hypocrisy that progressive minded Americans have to deal with when it comes to right-wing thought. Conservatives accusing Democrats on one hand of being communists and then on the other hand rich elitiests. The culture wars are not the only area in which conservatives mindlessly attack using one argument one day and the ideologically opposite the next. I pointed to this post at Pandagon previously and it so happens that a conservative troll serves up an example of what I mean,
I will never understand how 300,000 bodies in mass graves along with the existence of rape rooms and torture chambers were not enough for most liberals to fervently support military action in Iraq. If that’s not enough, if you think the figures from Darfur aren’t enough to override any negative consequences, then what the hell is your tipping point?
So his point is that we're in Iraq to save the Iraqi people ( lets set aside for the moment that conservatives were Iraq's allies when most of those atrocities happened). For the humanitarian argument to stand, the neocons and their supporters have some explaining to do,
Other then a few boilerplate speeches about spreading democracy which all modern presidents have given Bush never broached the subject of a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq, not to the American people or Congress in order to liberate as it were the people of Iraq. If the specter of Iraqi suppression and deaths by a brutal dictator was compelling in September of 2001, why wasn’t it urgent enough to adress directly and unequivically in Janurary or May or July of 2001. That it became so urgent to free the Iraqi people after 9-11 denotes clever manipulation of public sentiment, not a sincere concern for the Iraqi people.
Though to really get a solid argument against conservatives warm fuzzy embrace of the Iraqis one need look no further then a recent editorial by xonservative Shelby Steele in the WSJ and a far-right zealot named Jeff, Greenwald on Steele
Which is why there are times when we really should turn off the “smart” bombs and show our seriousness by putting the world on notice that, when we believe the situation calls for it, we are willing to ignore the inevitable bad press and the howls of protest from human rights groups, and exhibit a show of strength and military professionalism that is politically disinterested and tactically thorough and lethal.
Glenn Greenwald notes what I have suspected since the run up to invading Iraq; the poorly fitting mask of right-wing humanitarianism has finally been shed,
Looking at the bright side of this deranged rhetoric, it is, in a sense, refreshing to see that many of these war supporters, in their great frustration, are finally relinquishing their solemn concern for the Iraqi people and the tearful inspiration caused by the Purple Fingers. Instead, they are now just calling for some good old-fashioned carpet bombings and mass killings. As Jeff tells us: "there are times when we really should turn off the “smart” bombs." After all: "no one wishes to see innocent civilians die . . . But at the same time, from a practical standpoint, there is nothing wrong with fighting a war as if it is a war."
Does it really have to be said that the reason we can't carpet bomb Iraq and "win the war" is because we are supposedly there to build Iraq, not to destroy it? Let's review a few basic, undisputed facts about our current occupation of Iraq — undisputed because the administration itself acknowledges them. Once our original, predominant justification for our invasion disappeared — that would be the whole bit about WMDs — the only one we had left, the one we have since trumpeted over and over, is that we are there in order to improve that country, to enhance our reputation in the region, and to win "hearts and minds."
It would have been a little more fun to examine the two headed conservative creature that complains with one head that they can't practice free speech because of political correctness, while the other conservative creature's head complains that liberals are all foul mouthed and rude. This hypocrisy about saving the Iraqi people while at the same time not using enough deadly force to kill them more of them is not something that Steele or Jeff just recently invented, Who is Michael Ledeen?
Quotes from Ledeen's works reveal a peculiar set of beliefs about American attitudes toward violence. "Change — above all violent change — is the essence of human history," he proclaims in his book, "Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules Are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago." In an influential essay in the National Review Online he asserts, "Creative destruction is our middle name. We do it
There is some truth in Mike's view of history, but just maybe some of us are not horse riding butchers with swords anymore. I'm not a Quaker or pacifist, though I respect their POV, sometimes violent force is neccessary. The right, as they are known to do take the idea to the extreme, we're bogged down in Iraq because we're not using deadly and indiscriminate force like carpet bombing or a tactical nuke or two. Besides the fact that we were conned into Iraq, once we got there the war was micromanaged by the a guy who's claim to fame was that he once owned a few percent of a baseball team and protected the skies of Texas from the Vietcong. This entire cabal has a wierd tendency to believe in themselves dispite all having quite a collection of personal and political historical reasons not to.
It is characteristic of historic miracles that they seem almost impossible until they happen, and when they happen, it sometimes looks as if it had been easy. It is therefore no great thing to recognize a historic miracle that has happened. One must believe in ones yet to come.
That is the important thing about the big historic events of the past year. The people did not waver during the difficult tensions that were involved, and had to be involved. The broad masses of the people have a primitive and incorruptible ability to believe that everything is possible and reachable if one devotes one's full energies and fights with a strong and courageous heart.
This ability to believe is rather weak in some circles, above all in those with money and education. They may trust more in pure cold reason than a glowing idealistic heart. Our so-called intellectuals do not like to hear this, but it is true anyway. They know so much that in the end they do not know what to do with their wisdom. They can see the past, but not much of the present, and nothing at all of the future. Their imagination is insufficient to deal with a distant goal in a way such that one already thinks it achieved.
They were also unable to believe in the victory of National Socialism while the National Socialist movement was still fighting for power. They are as little able today to believe in the greatness of our national German future. They perceive only what they can see, but not what is happening, and what will happen.
That is why their carping criticisms generally focus on laughable trivialities. Whenever some unavoidable difficulty pops up, the kind of thing that always happens, they are immediately inclined to doubt everything and to throw the baby out with the bath water. To them difficulties are not there to be mastered, but rather to be surrendered to.
One cannot make history with such quivering people. They are only chaff in God's breath.
from a collection of Joseph Goebbels' (Hitler's propaganda minister) speeches.
Goebbel's words are a little different, but the tone and motif are the same as Steele, Jeff, Leeden, and many of the commenters on the conservative blogs. You just have to believe, show no moral restraint and victory will be ours. I know, God forbid I should compare these paper patriots of Conservastan to their ideological peers.
COME with rain, O loud Southwester!
Bring the singer, bring the nester;
Give the buried flower a dream;
Make the settled snow-bank steam;
Find the brown beneath the white;
But whate’er you do to-night,
Bathe my window, make it flow,
Melt it as the ices go;
Melt the glass and leave the sticks
Like a hermit’s crucifix;
Burst into my narrow stall;
Swing the picture on the wall;
Run the rattling pages o’er;
Scatter poems on the floor;
Turn the poet out of door.
To the Thawing Wind by the great American poet Robert Frost