Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Unholy Alliance Between Realists and Peaceniks

The War in Iraq completely changes the political paradigm. The left-right political divide over the war no longer no longer make any sense. It brings out the best in people – including people who I normally disagree with such as Christopher Hitchens. But it also brings out the worst in people. The devil reveals his true self. Who would have thought ten years ago that Brent Scowcroft would be the hero of the Left? Scowcroft is praised (among the Left) for his scathing statements toward President Bush and the war in Iraq. There are those on the right who criticized the President before. William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer had criticized the President conduct of the war (here, here and here). I have criticized the President conduct of the war. But, often the criticism is direct toward the on how it is fought – rather on why it was fought. Scowcroft criticism is unique among the right because he criticized the very reason for going to war.

It seems that those on the Left who praise Scowcroft must have forgotten who Scowcroft is and what he stands for. Scowcroft philosophy is not a secret – he speaks of it openly and is quite proud of it. This is a man who believes in “our-son-of-the-bitch.” And the sons-of-the-bitch include mass murderer (Saddam Hussein), corrupt tyrant who rob from his people (Ferdinand Marcos), drug dealer (Manuel Noriega), and general low life criminals. Scowcroft calls himself a realist – euphemism for cold-blood calculating Machiavellian. Scowcroft show public distain for humanitarian causes. Humanitarian intervention is not his concern. But Scowcroft is no pacifist. He opposed the intervention in the Balkan, East Timor (Scowcroft was the patron to the Indonesian military) and elsewhere – but had no problem waging war to defend the House of Sabah and the House of Saud – oppressive regimes in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. I supported the First Gulf War too, but for a reason different than Scowcroft. I opposed tyrant (Saddam Hussein). Scowcroft defended tyrants (Saudi Arabia and Kuwait). It was therefore no surprise when Scowcroft stood by and watch the massacre of 200,000+ Iraqi Shiite civilians. His clients, the House of Sabah and the House of Saud, were safe. The lives of the oppressed Iraqis were irrelevant in the realist calculus.

Charles Krauthammer wrote a good respond to Scowcroft.

This coldbloodedness is a trademark of this nation's most doctrinaire foreign policy "realist." Realism is the billiard ball theory of foreign policy: The only thing that counts is how countries interact, not what's happening inside. You care not a whit about who is running a country. Whether it is Mother Teresa or the Assad family gangsters in Syria, you care only about their external actions, not how they treat their own people.
So the praising of Scowcroft by the Left say less about Scowcroft (who’s view is well known), but say much more about the Left. At least Scowcroft’s view has been consistent. At least realists like Scowcroft do not pretend to be moral. It shows how morally bankrupted the Left is. It shows that their past criticism of the US foreign policy is simply pretext for anti-Americanism. They must not have believed in what they said then. If we travel back in time to from the 70s to the 90s – the Left main criticism of the US foreign policy is the very same realist position they now praise. The sudden reverse on position must make you wonder about their true intention.

PS: More fisking of Realism and Realists in the next post.


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