Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Russia invades Georgia: Blame America First

[by Mr.Hengist]

When there’s trouble in the world, Western Liberals are usually sure of one thing: Somehow, America is to blame. Whether it’s war, famine, pestilence, or just a fly in your soup, it must be the result of some fault of the United States. We did the wrong thing - or nothing, we did too much - or too little, we started it - or didn’t stop it. At best, all other actors on this stage are reacting in response to us; at worst, they are like mindless forces of nature or animals acting on an instinctual level, unaccountable to their own actions.

Russia’s war of aggression on Georgia provides clear examples of this mindset. Yesterday, two senior Clinton Administration officials wrote an op-ed for the WaPo in which they said, in passing, “The West, and especially the United States, could have prevented this war.” No explanation is provided other than the magic Liberal pixie dust of Diplomacy and "transatlantic unity" as the preventative medicine which would have kept the peace, nor is any other needed for the Liberal readers of the Liberal MSM because for them it rings true. I'll refrain from speculation on what they might have had in mind and let the insubstantiation of their accusation speak for itself. Read this otherwise stinging piece, if only for the unintentional humor of their disdain when noting that Russia "hardly demonstrates its commitment to Olympic ideals."

Today the NYTimes published an article entitled, “After Mixed U.S. Messages, a War Erupted in Georgia", from which we can deduce that we are to blame for a war that “erupted” - almost like a natural disaster. War? It just sort of happens, like a tornado; the only thinking actor represented in this headline is the United States, and we are, of course, to blame. What’s remarkable is that there’s nothing in this article about mixed messages from the United States to suggest that our messages were mixed at all. Over and over, in the clearest possible terms, the article quotes Bush Administration officials as having warned the Georgian government not to succumb to the provocations of the Russians and their proxies, even as it makes the unsubstantiated assertion that “Georgia may have been under the mistaken impression that in a one-on-one fight with Russia, Georgia would have more concrete American support.”

As for the Russians, the NYTimes tells us that we provoked them. We provoked them by starting work on an anti-missile shield for Western Europe against missiles from Iran and Syria, friendly client-states of Russia, in the former Soviet slave-state of Poland. Self-defense, and the defense of our friends, is no excuse when it comes to thwarting the ambitions of our enemies, according to Liberals. We are also told we provoked them by recognizing the independence of a free Kosovo; the Russians are now citing this as analogous to their invading the Abkhazia and South Ossetia provinces of Georgia. Of course, we didn’t so much invade Kosovo as save them from the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs, also a friendly client-state of Russia.

Lest you think that Liberals believe that action in defense of the free or helpless is tantamount to aggression in the Liberal world of universal moral equivalence, I refer you to the ethnic cleansings in Rwanda and Darfur, where America has once again been cast into the role of being the world's only policeman only to be castigated for failure kiss the world's boo-boo's and make it all better. It might seem contradictory, but it’s not when you remember that for Liberals, what the U.S. does is wrong – and whatever we don't do, that’s wrong too.


Noocyte said...

What continues to astonish me is the veiled arrogance of the Blame America First (BAF) crowd. Implicit in its various (largely logically incoherent) arguments is the presumption of a kind of infantile illusion of omnipotence. If something needs doing and doesn't get done, then the Americans could have Done Something. If something happens in which Americans are involved, and it is perceived to have gone less-than-ideally, then Americans caused it to go south (irrespective of any other factors or actors involved).

As I've said before and will doubtless say again, it is the petulant adolescent quality of the BAF perspective which gives me such headaches.

Mr.Hengist said...

That implicit presumption of omnipotence was well-illustrated in the WaPo piece when they said, "Only strong transatlantic unity can stop this war and begin to repair the immense damage done. Otherwise, we can add one more issue to the growing list of this administration's foreign policy failures." Transatlantic unity requires European states to work with us cooperatively as allies, something they've shown little or no inclination to provide. Their failure as our allies is viewed by Liberals as a Bush Administration failure of diplomacy. What that means is anyone's guess - did we not convince them that it is in their self-interest to thwart the aggression of rogue nations? Perhaps we need Liberals to show them pictures drawn in crayon.