The Left and the Military
Lieven in his review of Bacevitch's new book: The New American Militarism, in the excellent London Review of Books, suggests an approach for the American Left in which they can be both pro-military, and anti-imperialism. Lieven assumes that the war in Iraq is an imperialistic enterprise, which I believe is an error, unless he seeks to re-define imperialism as intellectual or cultural imperialism rather than territorial: I do not believe that the US wants to occupy Iraq, but that we want outta there ASAP. And Lieven, and Bacevitch, see Iraq as evidence of American "militarism" - which I do not: one data point does not make a pattern.
The US is in Iraq in an effort to stabilize and civilize the Middle East by creating a successful popular government which hopefully will not threaten the US, or aid enemies of the US. I believe that is an entirely justifiable and worthy and debatably moral use of force by a great power which is facing a global battle with an imperialistic Jihadist movement which has already made great inroads in Europe (via immigration/invasion) and around the world, but only time will tell whether the theory works. I hope it works: the Left hopes it won't.
One further word about that "imperialism" word: When, since our own Civil War (definitely an imperialist venture), the Indian Wars, and the Spanish-American War, has the US Government behaved imperialistically? We have been mainly anti-imperialist in our military ventures: saving Europe from imperial Germany twice, defeating an imperialist and expansionist Japan once (with no thank-you from China), and attempting to save many parts of the world from an imperialist, expansionist Soviet Union. And now, we are anti-imperialistic against a multi-national Jihadist movement. The Marxist propaganda, or Marxist "interpretation", does not hold up to reality.
Like many Leftists, Lieven concludes his piece by suggesting that the US reduce its military potency, which is of course what Bill (Make love, not war) Clinton did as President, and become isolationist. Why do "progressives" always want to disarm themselves in a dangerous world? I think that is the key question. Read the piece and see what you think.
Update: See further comments posted on Tues, Oct. 25
Just got turned on to Maggie’s Farm and I am liking what I see. From their masthead: We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and...
Tracked: Oct 25, 02:41