Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Papa Mark and Iraq

AnonymousIV (does that mean that there are 3 previous generations of Anonymous?) writes:
I don't consistently keep up with Mark (like Mark, I skim things), so I'd actually be interested in seeing the citations, if it's not too much trouble.

I do know that in the past, he has heaped scorn on the "to hell with them hawks" and quoted the Vatican's point that America going into Iraq has assumed a great responsibility.

I remember that post. Of course, in it he also conflated Derbyshire's positions with those of neoconservatives, as Dan Darling noted so eloquently in the comments:
Conflating Derbyshire with neocons who supported the Iraq war for the purposes of democratization is at best a category mistake and at worst a deliberate caricature. Derbyshire, like many of those on the right who were either extremely lukewarm with regard to democratization or basically believe that bin Laden is essentially correct in his view and interpretation of Islam (neither of which are "neoconservative" positions) never had much invested in the Iraq venture to begin with so it makes perfect sense that he would be more willing than those who did to give up on it.

Anonymous agreed, noting:
Derbyshire is/was a war supporter in only the most literal sense - he thought we should go in and kill a bunch of bad guys, mostly for the deterrent effect. If freedom/democracy came about... well cake meet icing.

So to conflate his semi-agnostic "realist" views with those of us who supported the war in more than the literals sense is unfair.

Derb fits under the Conservative umbrella, but social-, neo-, crunchy- etc. he is not.

I know it's much easier to make your point about conservatives if we are all one big mammon/torture/war worshipping bunch - but we ain't.

Now at the time, Mark stated in response:
This is the sort of cheap lie that gets people booted. I've never claimed any such thing about Cons.

But what a difference time makes, as in his latest anathema sit against American conservatism (supported, all-too-predictably, by a citation from The American Conservative) Mark writes:
That, in essence, is why the Right and I have moved apart. I stayed with Catholic teaching. The right, of its own free will, declared itself an "ideology" and then proceeded to be guided by that ideology instead of paying attention to common sense and prudence. (Not to mention, justice, fortitude, and temperance).

Hopefully, they will get over their infatuation with the crazies who have decided that Big Government Conservatism--a sort of Great Society with Guns--can bring about an End to Evil via Endless War for Endless Peace. Till then, I will criticize them as I criticise the equally crazy statists of the Left for their various assaults on human dignity and common sense.

It is also worth comparing the praise of himself as the one true voice of Catholic obedience and fidelity in contrast to the corrupted right to a historical parallel found in Luke 18:9-4:
"Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this:

"God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get."

But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!"

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."

It is exactly this type of attitude that led to Victor coining the term "torture Pharisee" to describe Mark, if memory serves. And if his endorsement of the American Conservative article that basically holds that we cannot beat our enemy in Iraq or anywhere else is any indication, the shoe fits on both counts.


Anonymous said...

anonymousIV says...

The original Anonymous IV was the name given to the unknown writer of a treatise on Parisian liturgical music around 1000-1100, if memory serves me. They obviously found three other treatises first. An early music collective was named after him as well.

It seems that Mark is approximately saying that after conservatives throw out the Weekly Standard folks, and find a via media between NR and AmConMag, he'll join up again. It's a little different from saying that all conservatives are whatever horrible things we may be. Still, I like Frum, Perle, Kristol, Barnes, Podhoretz, and the rest of 'em. I feel more affinity to their worldview than to Pat Buchanan's.

torquemada05 said...

As you can no doubt imagine, I have some major problems with this approach. The argument that the Weekly Standard is some kind of pernicious influence on the conservative movement from someone like Mark is fairly ridiculous given that he has also alleged that the GOP leadership cares nothing about the pro-life cause. You can criticize the Standard all you like, but not on that score.

I'm not sure how you can find a via media between NR and TAC as neither are monoliths. Still, his characterization of the Right as having an "infatuation with the crazies who have decided that Big Government Conservatism--a sort of Great Society with Guns--can bring about an End to Evil via Endless War for Endless Peace" strikes me as pretty monolithic. And if Endless War = his conception of being hawkish the War on Terrorism, I'd be very interested to know what he would substitute for it. The kind of Tokugawa America that Buchanan envisions isn't likely to gain much appeal in the event of a major terrorist attack, even if it wasn't a Darwin Award foreign policy.

Anonymous said...

anonymousIV sez...

I see what you're saying.

Tangentially, there's a classical temperaments four-square thing going on in the conservative coalition between social conservatives, neoconservatives, paleoconservatives, and economics-first libertarians (libertarians who put civil liberties before economic issues are called "liberals"). Someone gets thrown under the bus in every situation, but the weird thing is that social cons and neocons coexist the best. So, that remains the core of the coalition.