Sunday Sermon: Anti-Imperialism Is Not Pacificism

Brought to you by Glenn Greenwald:

That is why war opponents on the “left” — including bloggers — were and still are deemed Unserious even though they proved to be correct. Their opposition was not based (at least principally) on the belief that we were using the wrong “force deployment packages,” that the timing was wrong, that we should have waited a little longer (that type of “opposition” was the only permitted type). Rather, it was largely based on the notion that the war itself was illegitimate because Iraq had not attacked us and could not threaten our national security, and that going around bombing, invading and occupying other countries which haven’t attacked us is both immoral and/or self-destructive.
Yet these days, expressing that rather ordinary belief — that it is wrong to start a war against a country except where they attack you, are about to, or directly threaten your national security (such as by harboring terrorist groups waging attacks on your country) — will subject you to the accusation that you are a “pacifist,” a term Daniel Drezer incoherently (though revealingly) applies to me.
That is how far we have come, how low we have fallen, how recklessly and extraordinarily pro-war we are as a country as a result of our Foreign Policy Community. Now, if you believe that we should wage war only when a country actually attacks us or threatens our national security, then you are a “pacifist,” an unserious leftist who is removed from mainstream discourse.

You shouldn’t invade the wrong fucking country. The Very Serious Foreign Policy experts need to get that.

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3 Responses to Sunday Sermon: Anti-Imperialism Is Not Pacificism

  1. cuchulkhan says:

    Kosovo didn’t attack the US either. Yet if I recall correctly the left supported it and many on the right didn’t (I’m thinking Cheney, and others on the paleoright who didn’t want to help muslims against christian serbs)

  2. bigTom says:

    I think its at lot more than just our Foreign Policy establishment thats at fault. We see major Democrat contenders sounding pretty bellicose. The average Joe on the street has bought into our aggressively imperialistic stance.
    Thucydides 2400year old observation seems to be just as true today:
    “Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question inaptness to act on any.”

  3. cuchulkhan,
    You’ll be happy to know that I believe the Kosovo intervention was misguided at best, and I happen to be a leftist. I’m joined by many in my camp and have been less than pleased with much of the so-called “anti-war” lefts’ credulity toward it and Clinton’s other “humanitarian” efforts.
    As for the paleoright, many of them are still opposed to the Iraq war. Buchanan is an example, so is William Lind. The divide on foreign policy isn’t so much between left and right but between interventionists and anti-interventionists on both sides of the former axis.
    Political opportunism and partisanism aren’t the exclusive pedigree of any particular ideology.

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