July 20, 2006

Thank You, Democratic Warmongers

In the last several days, I've heard Madeleine Albright and Joe Biden both point ominously to Iran as the ultimate power and manipulator behind events unfolding in the Middle East. They both spoke about how "clever" and "manipulative" Iran is being. Yes, just like those darker-skinned peoples are always so "clever" and "manipulative." As a very modest concession to more enlightened sensibilities, people like Albright and Biden could at least attempt to disguise their racism, rather than offering it in the repellent form found in movies from the 1930s. But even that is asking too much these days. Most other prominent Democrats have expressed similar views.

They thus reconfirm one of my overall themes: with less than a handful of exceptions, Democrats and Republicans all work out of the same fundamental perspective -- one of "Western exceptionalism," which implies our "right" to "civilize" the rest of the world on our own terms, and to remake it in our own image -- and our history of aggressive, endless foreign interventionism knows no party boundaries. The underlying view of the United States as a "redeemer nation," with its necessarily related and immensely destructive racism, has a long history in our foreign policy, going back to the entirely sickening episode in the Philippines.

I don't have the strength or the patience to go through these issues again. Besides, I've discussed all of them in great detail. I will briefly note one aspect of all such comments: it would be awfully nice if Bush, Albright, Biden, et al. offered even one piece of evidence for their views about Iran's role (and very often that of Syria, as well). But none of them does: they make these statements as flat, uncontested assertions of fact. However, as I have pointed out in a number of essays about the irrelevance of intelligence to foreign policy decisions, to engage in such a debate is to ensure the greater likelihood of a wider war. To make the point still one more time: if they or anyone else wants "evidence" or "intelligence" that Iran is behind these events and is therefore the "real" enemy we need to confront, they will find or manufacture it. But it should be noted that, in this all-important respect, Albright, Biden and all the other prominent Democrats I've heard speak in recent days are no better than the worst of the neocon warmongers such as Bill Kristol.

Since I have covered all of this in detail, I hereby refer you to some of my relevant earlier essays:

Trapped in the Wrong Paradigm: Three Handy Rules

And Still One More Time: Stop Helping the Warmongers

Why It is Not "Our War"

Our Date with Armageddon

Morality, Humanity and Civilization: "Nothing remains...but memories"

Folly Marches On -- and Seeking a New Direction

The National Myth that Sustains Us -- and Its Inevitable Racism

The Folly of Intervention

A Decision of Policy -- and the Intelligence Won't Matter

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