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April 29, 2006

Interests

By Ezra

Tim Cavanaugh is writing in bad faith:

what's the clear categorical distinction between intervening in Iraq (which I think it's fair to say Clooney and many other Darfur hawks opposed) and this one? Why does it always seem like progressives support any intervention that clearly does not advance any American interests? (I don't think invading Iraq advanced our national interests, but people made that case, which you definitely can't in the case of Sudan.)

The crucial question here is, of course, what constitutes the national interest. Cavanaugh doesn't think invading Iraq was in the national interest, and nor did Clooney, or many of the "Darfur hawks" (it's indicative of the post's intellectual dishonesty that Cavanaugh tags Clooney for denying the benefits of a war Cavanaugh thought senseless and harmful). So they didn't support the invasion. Seems about right. Indeed, Cavanaugh seems to forget how few recent American invasions actually have been clear cases of the national interest. The Afghanistan invasion, which "Darfur hawks" supported, was such a case, and the unanimity around that venture demolishes Cavanaugh's implication.

As for his plaintive query regarding all these humanitarian hawks who support invasions that don't measure up to the cool calculations of foreign policy realists, what he's actually talking about is support for genocide interventions in Rwanda, Kosovo, and Darfur. And while such instances may not be exemplars of the national interest, many of us believe that stepping in to prevent the wholesale extermination of a people is in our interest as human beings. Cavanaugh wants to spin that into some wooly-eyed weakness or, better yet, subtle attempt to undermine the country's international welfare. That, it seems, is his interest.

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Comments

Wouldn't that be the right good christian thing to do anyway?

Posted by: Tony | Apr 29, 2006 1:54:49 PM

and while such instances may not be exemplars of the national interest, many of us believe that stepping in to prevent the wholesale extermination of a people is in our interest as human beings.

cough*MORALLEADERSIHP*cough

Posted by: Daniel A. Munz | Apr 29, 2006 1:58:32 PM

Funny how it is that countries with oil attract the national interest crowd, but countries with black people or muslims, not at all. Genocide, tribal warfare, totalitarnian dictatorships, and ethnic cleansing are just artifacts of a messy world in thier eyes.

Notice however, that Nigeria confounds the national interest rightist warhawks - lots of oil, lots of black people, and mass killing. I guess they feel they can focus first on Iran, postponing any need to cry out about the mass killings in Nigeria - which would surely put their racist boxer briefs in a weggie.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Apr 29, 2006 4:27:45 PM

Well, Jimmy, I haven't seen many Democrats railing about the need to go into Nigeria, nor Darfur. As we see daily, you don't have to be the party in charge to propose national agenda.

So are all the Democrats racists as well?

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 29, 2006 5:23:38 PM

Remember Bosnia and Kosovo, baby Freddie? And the shrieks of outrage from the conservatives about Clinton's attempts to halt the ethnic cleansing by Milosevic's aryan 'christian' purges? I seem to recall the conservatives saying it wasn't worth ONE US soldier body in a bag.

Repubs: If there is no oil, their is no problem.

As to the current Dems, they don't do enough, clearly. But no Dem. proposal is EVER allowed to pass in committee and no Dem. proposal is EVER allowed to be voted upon on the floor of the House. (EVER being hyperbole, but nearly accurate).

Majoritarianism has been transformed into totalitarism by the Repubs in Congress.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Apr 29, 2006 5:42:27 PM

To take an entirely amoral, totally financial perspective: interventions conducted with a large international coalition, even with the US taking a front-seat role, are cheaper than unilateral ones. Likewise, interventions that aim to separate belligerents and repatriate refugees are far cheaper than those that involve toppling a government and rebuilding it from the ground up. (We're talking orders of magnitude here of 1,000x cheaper.)

Posted by: Serx | Apr 29, 2006 6:53:48 PM

...they don't do enough, clearly. But no Dem. proposal is EVER allowed to pass in committee.....

That is a weak defense you make for the Dems. Clearly, the Dems have plenty of pulpit to get any message out they wish. They have no problem with anti-Iraq war message, the message of their desire to normalize homosexuality in our culture, the message of race preferences (read Whites need not apply) and event he message of big government. So, why would anyone believe that they are muted and can't be heard? It simply isn't true.

What exactly *HAVE* Dems done differently than the Republicans on Darfur and Nigeria?

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 29, 2006 7:15:08 PM

...they don't do enough, clearly. But no Dem. proposal is EVER allowed to pass in committee.....

That is a weak defense you make for the Dems. Clearly, the Dems have plenty of pulpit to get any message out they wish. They have no problem with anti-Iraq war message, the message of their desire to normalize homosexuality in our culture, the message of race preferences (read Whites need not apply) and event he message of big government. So, why would anyone believe that they are muted and can't be heard? It simply isn't true.

What exactly *HAVE* Dems done differently than the Republicans on Darfur and Nigeria?

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 29, 2006 7:15:09 PM

Well, the media covers anti-Iraq messages in a way they don't cover Darfur issues. Just to start, five Democratic congressmen got themselves arrested last week to protest our country's inaction. How's that for difference, for putting your freedom where your message is?

Posted by: Ezra | Apr 29, 2006 7:21:58 PM

Nice framing, Fred.
"Desire to normalize homosexuality in our culture"
Is that the same as not allowing the state to persecute a legal minority on the altar of sheer cussedness ?
"Whites need not apply".
Riiight. Where are the stats on white unemployment to back this garbage up ?

Posted by: opit | Apr 30, 2006 1:39:07 AM

...five Democratic congressmen got themselves arrested last week to protest our country's inaction. How's that for difference, for putting your freedom where your message is?

Admirable. However, I would argue that this was not a concerted political effort of the party, but of individuals. Now, if they stood on the floor of congress and introduced helpful bills or even if they had a plank in their party agenda, I would buy into your argument. But civil disobedience by a few outside their official capacity does not earn the Democratic party this distinction.

Where are the stats on white unemployment to back this garbage up ?

In every affirmative action race preference program. Simply prefering one race over another is offensive. You hate it when this application is made at an exclusive golf club but love it when it's applied to jobs or medical school slots. So, anything that promotes your preferred race seems OK. Too bad for those who were born the wrong color. Kinda like reverse Jim Crow.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 30, 2006 8:45:39 AM

"Desire to normalize homosexuality in our culture"
Is that the same as not allowing the state to persecute a legal minority on the altar of sheer cussedness ?

Please show us all evidence of your assertion that homosexuals are a 'legal minority'.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 30, 2006 11:27:23 AM

Pretty much what I thought, you lying bastard....

Posted by: Fred Jones | May 1, 2006 1:24:27 PM

Kettle to pot: when are you going to answer some of our pointed questions, Fred?

Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft | May 1, 2006 3:53:15 PM

My pressuring opit was just for fun. I know they are not a legal group....and so do you.....*and* so does opit.

Posted by: Fred Jones | May 2, 2006 10:35:48 AM

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