Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Et tu, Shea?

This strikes me as having a remarkable amount of chutzpah for someone who has repeatedly argued that Islam posits a master-slave morality between God and Man and that Muslims are simply unable to restrain themselves from slaughtering Christians if given any degree of freedom from an oppressive police state. This, combined with Mark's argument that the West has failed to live up to his Platonic ideal of Christian morality and is therefore unable or unworthy to export democracy (one wonders what he would have said about doing so in 1940s, when the evil of racism that is intrisically opposed to the Christian view of the human person was quite well-entrenched in American society) has been a major reason as to why he has heaped so much scorn on the administration's campaign to bring democracy to Iraq. One would think that he would be happy that the neocons (according to him and his new prophet of foreign policy) are finally starting to come around to his point of view.

As for the rationale for why the US likely to fail in Iraq, here's an answer to his new patron paleocon saint Daniel Larison: Iraq is likely to fail because of the rank political opportunism of its opponents (i.e. people like himself and Mark Shea) combined with the administration's singularly inept inability to maintain political support for the war. As John J. Reilly recently noted, Bush has tried to have Churchill's foreign policy and Calvin Coolidge's domestic policy and the result has not been pretty. There is also his singular inability to defend himself from his enemies within government that should also be mentioned in any discussion of his ineptitude, among them the fact that he let the Valerie Plame matter simmer for the last 3 years without any pushback or that he was politically out-maneuvered for over a month (and pretty much remains so to this day) by a woman whose views on foreign policy appear to correspond to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion when she isn't busy sucking up to Hugo Chavez.

People want to talk about the mistakes that were made in Iraq. There are quite a few of them, a number of them still-uncorrected (see for instance recent questions in the New York Times about whether or not sending more troops to Baghdad would encourage dependency at a time when the city has degenerated to Haiti-level conditions outside the Green Zone) that you can read about in Cobra II, Fiasco, and all the other relevant literature on the subject. However, can one seriously say that worse errors weren't made in World War 2, the Civil War, or the Cold War? I certainly don't see how that would be possible, but the difference between those conflicts and the one we are facing today is that in the others we had the will to fight. Near as I can determine, the administration is now planning to make one last push in Iraq before surrendering its foreign policy to the Bush 41 "realists" who are more than happy to sell the Iraqi people down river.

And oh yes, about Mark Shea. If he really cared so much about the Iraqi people as a collective body rather than merely as individuals perhaps he might have wanted to note his opposition to US withdrawl from Iraq as anything other than a half-hearted addendum. But that might mean acknowledging that perhaps there's something to the effort of salvaging Iraq, which I don't think Mark has any inclination of doing for fear that it might be possibly interpreted as justifying the current neocon position, a view that I don't think his creeping paleocon ideology will let him do.


roger h. said...

Shea's basic response: I'm not an ideologue because I said I'm not. I'm also not a paleocon because I've only cited Larison 3 times in my blog writings, and he said something which "sensibly" supports my "prudence".


Anonymous said...


Well, roger h., Shea has cited Pat Buchanan more than three times (far more) in his blog.