Friday, June 29, 2007

Credit where credit is due ...

Like Rod, Mark is now starting to recognize the practical implications of his preferred policy that we withdraw from Iraq. Quoting Bacevich, he wants the United States to grant asylum to those Iraqis who have helped us in the course of the war, lest they be left behind to be slaughtered by al-Qaeda and Iran. I still disagree with Bacevich's position, but it's a morally consistent one that is missing among many opponents of the war.

And therein lies the rub. Among the anti-war right, there is, to speak in general terms, a profound aversion to matters of immigration. My thoughts on the immigration bill are somewhat irrelevant given that it is now a dead matter, but one of the things that has never endeared me to the paleocon right is that I think one can speak critically about immigration in a far more sensible manner than the type of invasion rhetoric that many paleocons tend to favor. And if they react this way with regard to the immigration of overwhelmingly Catholic Hispanics, one might want to pause to consider how they would when it comes to (at minimum) several hundred thousand Iraqi Muslims. Judging from at least one reaction, this is unlikely to be popularly adopted by many of Mark's paleocon brothers.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Blackadder says:

I suppose the Iraqis can all go to Idaho, next door to the homeland Mark has promised the Israelis in Montana.

I mean, really. If you think it was blindingly stupid to expect Iraqis are ready for democracy, then might the importation of millions of them to our country pose some problems? And while we're at it, what's to stop a few thousand Al Qaeda insurgents from becoming "refugees" ? The whole idea is daft.

Donald R. McClarey said...

A simpler plan of course is to win the war in Iraq and let the Iraqis live in Iraq. Naahh, can't have that. The neo-con "Bushies" must be proven wrong no matter what the cost!

Anonymous said...

Oh, please. Mark supported staying in for years after renouncing his initial support for the war. He doesn't support pulling out now because he wants Bush and Cheney to proven wrong (and success would hardly prove them right, unless one is a utilitarian), but because (rightly or wrongly) he thinks the war is unwinnable. More SDS (Shea Derangement Syndrome) on display. Take a break, stop reading Mark, and cool off. Frankly, Mark wouldn't be half so much of a loose cannon if he would have taken some of his readers advice to take more blogging breaks (and if he could and would shut down overheated threads like Amy Welborn likes to do). It's ironic that his detractors seem to suffer from the same disease.

Donald R. McClary said...

"but because (rightly or wrongly) he thinks the war is unwinnable."

Mark has never displayed any knowledge or interest in the facts of the war on the ground other than to attack the administration for the latest casualty figures. His hatred for the "Bushies" has grown over the years and should be obvious to anyone who has even a cursory knowledge of his postings. SDS is not the problem but BDS certainly is in his call for us to abandon Iraq but take millions of Iraqis with us.

torquemada05 said...

Mark supported staying in for years after renouncing his initial support for the war. He doesn't support pulling out now because he wants Bush and Cheney to proven wrong (and success would hardly prove them right, unless one is a utilitarian), but because (rightly or wrongly) he thinks the war is unwinnable.

Mark determined that the war was "unwinnable" after he read a news article in 2007 that described the infiltration of the Iraqi security forces in Mosul. To those who have been even peripherally following the situation in Iraq, this had been a huge problem for most of 2006 at minimum. It was a knee-jerk reaction, which is all too typical of Mark when he is talking about Iraq. Yes, he did defend staying in Iraq after renouncing his support for the war, but IMO he underwent a very significant evolution in his views on the subject once he really started to get on his secular messianism shtick when it came to supporters of the war. As I think Don correctly notes, to the extent that he gave a damn about the facts on the ground it was to bash the administration and supporters of the war.

As far as Mark not wanting Iraq to succeed because he wants to see Bush and Cheney proven wrong, I don't believe that he has anything resembling this articulate a worldview on this subject. To the extent that he does, it is largely due to what he reads from his tribal paleocon sources and I will hold that many of their leading light do want the US to fail in Iraq because they believe that it will lead to reexamination of what they see as a host of bad US policies (support of Israel, involvement in the Middle East, etc). Of late there is a real fear in these quarters (reflected on Mark's blog in typical hap-hazard fashion) that a US success in Iraq might lead America to attack Iran.

Take a break, stop reading Mark, and cool off. Frankly, Mark wouldn't be half so much of a loose cannon if he would have taken some of his readers advice to take more blogging breaks (and if he could and would shut down overheated threads like Amy Welborn likes to do). It's ironic that his detractors seem to suffer from the same disease.

I just go with the material that he provides me. I'm also not above praising him when I think he does good work, as he did when it came to higher criticism and the Gospel of John. He was a loose cannon with a habit for caricature, ad hominem, and bad arguments a long time before the Coalition for Fog was around.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

The problem with people like Mark and Rod on the issue of Iraq is that they don't understand (or care to understand) the practical implications of their positions. They are hyper-focused on theory and ideology almost to an esoteric extent. This, unfortunately, is all too Catholic a response, especially in the fear of looking "consequentialist." But whether we like it or not, ethics are situationally defined(Exodus 21-23 make this clear) because ethics is the implementation of values to practical situattions -- and, whether we like it or not, the consequences of acting or not acting become part of the evaluation.