July 7, 2007

Natan Al Mahdi

Seen objectively, the aggression instigated by our political leaders against Iraq is no less motivated by a utopian, millennialist vision of how-the-world-must-be than the violence perpetrated by those who wish us all to be better off under the benevolence of a world caliphate. Evangelical liberal fundamentalism has led to rather more deaths in the world just recently than its fundamentalist Islamist counterpart: you might conclude that they are two sides of the same coin. This may seem to be an argument for cultural relativism of the worst kind; after all, we cleave to the values of liberal democracy because we know them to be right and thus worth fighting for — and, of course, imposing, at the point of a gun and a bomb, upon other people who may not yet have seen the light. Well, perhaps. But in which case it is difficult on objective grounds to adopt outraged expressions when those other people attempt to impose their equally implacable vision of how-the-world-must-be on us, at the point of a gun.

--Ron Liddle, again, via Larison
Once uttered, this point seems to me compelling. To spread "democracy and freedom" (not the same thing, BTW) at gunpoint (or worse, from pilotless drones) has a certain moral equivalency to spreading Bolshevism or Islam by the same means, or at least may be seen to have it.

This is not to say, lest some Giuliani seek an opening, that American policy, or even 200 years of European colonialism is responsible for 9/11 and its sequelae, merely that the eternal war for democratic freedom, without so much as a by-your-leave from the invaded populace, is in question, and some of what has transpired since is a reaction.

And Natan Sharansky is not the Mahdi.

1 comment:

Dr. Deb said...

Great words and insight, GOM. I agree wholeheartedly with you.