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Old June 11th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #1
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Some Thoughts Concerning Iran

Posted on June 8th, 2010



Goo-Goo Genocidaires: The Blood Is Dripping From Their Hands



Posted In: 2010s, History, Islam, Middle East, U.S. Foreign Policy



As the Security Council prepares to vote the next round of sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program, I’m thinking of some old debates about how to handle difficult regimes. The thoughts aren’t consoling; too many voices in the debate over Iran hearken back to some of the worst ideas in American and European history.



Of all the mass murderers, genocidaires and enablers of the twentieth century, one group of collaborators does not get its fair share of condemnation and moral loathing. Unfortunately Americans have never really come to terms with the terrible things they did, we have never really named and shamed them, and we have never diagnosed and exposed the bad ideas that led to some of America’s most fateful and costly blunders. Until we do, our society is at risk of repeating these errors.



The people I have in mind are the ‘goo-goo genocidaires,’ the willfully blind reformers, civil society activists, clergy, students and others whose foolishness and ignorance was a necessary condition for tens of millions of deaths in the last hundred years. Unreflective, self-righteous ‘activists’ thought that to espouse peace was the same thing as to create or safeguard it. As a result, tens of millions died. Unless this kind of thinking is exposed and repudiated, it is likely to lead to as many or more deaths in the 21st.



We all know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions; this turns out to be particularly true when it comes to the road to foreign policy hell. Over the years good people or at least people who wanted to be good or thought they were, motivated by what seemed to them to be the highest of motives, have taken political stands and made policy proposals that helped mass murderers gain power in their own countries and launch themselves on international careers of conquest and mayhem. At other times, fortunately, they’ve failed to change policy; still, they wasted a lot of people’s time and made life significantly more difficult for those whose plans to help the world ultimately worked.



Paving the Road To Hell



The most notorious example is the peace movement of the 1920s and 1930s. This movement enjoyed the enthusiastic backing of college professors, idealistic students, respected journalists, the union movement, and the mainline clergy. If you didn’t join in, you were criticized as a warmonger, a throwback, someone lacking the broad social vision and high sense of ideals that modern times required.



It was an understandable error. A mass civil society movement of earnest reformers, veterans scarred by their experiences in the trench warfare of World War One and determined that their sons should be spared this experience, students wanting a to build a better world, and intellectuals convinced that there had to be a better way did everything in their power to keep the United States and the western democracies out of war. They failed; instead they disarmed the West, left China defenseless against Japan, and prepared the way both for Hitler’s domination of Europe and Stalin’s imposition of the Iron Curtain.



The American peace and disarmament movement almost destroyed human freedom. The peace movement gave intellectual and moral respectability to the cause of isolationism: the belief that the United States could safely ignore the unraveling of the world’s fragile economic and political order as British power waned after World War I. But these idealistic professors, students, preachers and general all-around-good-guys were naive, self-righteous, and smugly sure that arms cause war.



Armed with a set of wrong headed prejudices (they called them ‘convictions’ and ‘ideals) that made it impossible for them to recognize deadly dangers staring them right in the face, they minimized the difference between imperfect friends (like then-imperialist Britain and France) and flamingly wicked mass murdering thugs (like Stalin, Hitler and the militaristic governments of Japan). Worse, they used all their considerable intelligence, power and media access to prevent Franklin Roosevelt from taking effective action to support the western democracies and China until it was far too late to prevent World War Two, and almost too late to win it. Even then, because the pathetically and self-righteously foolish and irresponsible ‘peace activists’ of the 1930s let the Axis get so far, we could only beat Hitler with Stalin’s help; the oppression of central Europe and the Cold War were the fault of the clergy, professors and civil society activists of the 1930s as well.



When ‘Understanding’ Becomes Collaboration



Worse, some of the ‘good guys’ sympathized with and made excuses for the bad. Germany was resentful and bitter, they said, because the Treaty of Versailles was unfair. Let Adolf Hitler have his ‘reasonable’ goals of reuniting ethnic Germans under one roof, and Germany would become a peaceful and satisfied country, a bulwark of European order. This sounds crazy now, but it was the conventional wisdom among the intelligentsia and literati (except for the Communists and their closest sympathizers) during the 1930s; this is why voices warning of war like Churchill were so isolated. War was so destructive, argued the false prophets of fake enlightenment, that only a madman would start one. And while Hitler was alarming, the apparatus of the German state was sane. There were moderate Nazis, with limited goals; given western forbearance, wise concessions and enough time, the moderates would edge the Nazi radicals out of power.



That was the standard refrain about Germany from 1933 through 1939 and at every crisis or turning point academics and journalists stepped forward to plead for patience and to predict an imminent triumph of the ‘moderate’ Nazis over the ‘radicals’. In the meantime, anti-Nazi rhetoric and boycotts in the West only empowered Hitler and united German opinion behind him. Give him the Saar, Austria, yes and the Sudetenland: sooner or later he would calm down and the world would be at peace. When Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich proclaiming that simply by giving Hitler the Sudentenland (the then-German speaking part of Czechoslovakia that happened to include the country’s mountainous border areas and natural defenses) he had won “peace in our time”, nobody was happier than the fatheaded peace clergy — unless it was the enlightened class of journalists and professors who set the tone for upper middle class enlightenment at the time.



It was the same thing with Stalin. Half of the peace movement was in love with Communism; the other half thought that poor Stalin had no choice but to be brutal and tough because he was surrounded by hostile states. Recognize Stalin, trade with him, stop calling him nasty names. Treat him with dignity and respect, they said, and everything will work out for the best. There had been plenty of sympathy for Stalin in the West during the thirties — even as he was carrying out mass murder on a scale that poor Pol Pot could only envy, Stalin never lacked for apologists and defenders among the chattering classes in those countries where they were still permitted to chat.



Understand and sympathize with their legitimate aspirations: that, the professors and preachers constantly told everyone else, was the sophisticated, modern and enlightened way to deal with these problems. Before the war it was the poor Germans, so shabbily treated by the Treaty of Versailles that Hitler represented a necessary phase of Germany’s search for self-respect. Before and after World War Two they said it about Stalin: communism was simply payback for the excesses and crimes of capitalist greed. Yes, they sometimes went too far: but surely that was ‘our’ fault for having permitted these terrible conditions to occur in the first place.



They weren’t completely wrong. The social upheavals and injustice of early industrialization did create sympathy for communism and popular anger; German suffering after World War One was a necessary (though not a sufficient) condition for the rise of Hitler. But what the earnestly intellectual and empathetic goo-goo genocidaires missed was the character of the political movements that had come to power on the basis of these feelings. Hitler and Stalin weren’t interested in justice; the parties they led were more like barbarian hordes organized for plunder than like groups of good folks who, once their legitimate grievances were addressed, would peaceably disassemble and go home. Addressing German grievances and working class poverty would have been very wise steps before Hitler and Stalin seized power; once they got in, the situation changed.



Fortunately the destructive doves weren’t able to fool FDR about the Nazis. “You can’t turn a tiger into a kitten by stroking it,” he once said — but the pious nincompoops and delusional intellectuals were persuasive enough here and abroad so that France, Britain and the United States were unable to step while Hitler was still weak and prevent World War Two by enforcing the peace. After the war, the chorus of goo-goo appeasers switched focus to trying to stop Truman and the West from opposing the spread of Stalin-dominated Communism in a war-devastated Europe. Poor, timid Stalin, said liberal Christian writers in magazines like Christian Century and their political leaders like Henry Wallace, has been so intimidated by American aggressiveness that he had no choice but to clamp down in Eastern Europe. The Marshall Plan wasn’t just attacked by isolationist nutballs on the right; it was attacked viciously and venomously by the so-called ‘peace’ movement and the Progressive Party.



If the Nazis and the Communists between them didn’t overrun the whole world in the terrible 1940s, it was not because the international peace movement didn’t do everything in its power to leave the democracies trembling and helpless before the totalitarian threat. Had these people wised up and supported moderate programs of rearmament in the early 1930s and insisted that the western democracies take a stand against Hitler early on, there would have been no Nuremberg Laws, no Holocaust, no mass terror bombings of European cities, no Stalinist occupation of central Europe — and no Cold War.



Morally of course this was nowhere near as bad as what the Nazis and Communists did. The peaceniks didn’t will the slaughter of millions of innocent people: out of ignorance and conceit they merely created the conditions which let it happen. But while the peace movement wasn’t as evil as the dictators, the dictators could never have achieved their goals without their sanctimonious and timorous enablers in the western world.



Continued here:



Goo-Goo Genocidaires: The Blood Is Dripping From Their Hands - Walter Russell Mead's Blog - The American Interest



© The American Interest LLC & Walter Russell Mead 2009-2010
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Old June 12th, 2010, 06:57 AM   #2
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Here's a thought for those not wishing to read baloney's long-ass post: Iran sucks!
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Old June 12th, 2010, 07:16 AM   #3
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Iran sucks because their dead leader still runs the country. The late-Khomeini still has a bad influence on Iran's president.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 08:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pensacola_niceman
Iran sucks!


This conclusion sums things up, concerning my thoughts on Iran, rather nicely.



Thanks.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baloney_detector
This conclusion sums things up, concerning my thoughts on Iran, rather nicely.



Thanks.




Then why the over-written pontification ? D:
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Old June 12th, 2010, 09:48 AM   #6
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Iran was a democracy before the oil companies in the US wanted a stake. Oil encroachment via military bases is why the AlQaeda attacks us...they hate our presence in their nation..and I can't say as I blame them.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 09:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. CJ Parker
Iran was a democracy before the oil companies in the US wanted a stake. Oil encroachment via military bases is why the AlQaeda attacks us...they hate our presence in their nation..and I can't say as I blame them.




All I can say is, there's no need to go digging for oil with machine guns.



Also, Al Qaeda doesn't run the nation, its not "their nation." Its the nation of all the people living there and not everyone living there is Al Qaeda. Saying its "their nation" its like all Caucasian Catholics saying the U.S. is their nation, its pure arrogance, and they need to get a rude wake up call.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 09:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaperAlchemist
All I can say is, there's no need to go digging for oil with machine guns.



Also, Al Qaeda doesn't run the nation, its not "their nation." Its the nation of all the people living there and not everyone living there is Al Qaeda. Saying its "their nation" its like all Caucasian Catholics saying the U.S. is their nation, its pure arrogance, and they need to get a rude wake up call.




Doesn't matter who runs it...Osama bin laden did not care for the death of his older brother at the hands of the Bush family when he was there helping with the oil company Arbusto or something, and he doesn't care for the US military base.



Sides, the Saudis still fund the AlQaeda with money. As a member of the elite bin laden family, he's as much part of Saudi Arabia as any other.



It's like saying those veterans in this nation who protest the war aren't part of this nation...it's true.



Regardless of who you THinK speaks for the SAudis, many Saudis obviously feel as though the US occupation of Saudi Arabia with their military bases is wrong.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 10:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. CJ Parker
Doesn't matter who runs it...Osama bin laden did not care for the death of his older brother at the hands of the Bush family when he was there helping with the oil company Arbusto or something, and he doesn't care for the US military base.



Sides, the Saudis still fund the AlQaeda with money. As a member of the elite bin laden family, he's as much part of Saudi Arabia as any other.



It's like saying those veterans in this nation who protest the war aren't part of this nation...it's true.



Regardless of who you THinK speaks for the SAudis, many Saudis obviously feel as though the US occupation of Saudi Arabia with their military bases is wrong.


Actually, the US turned over the control of those bases to Saudi Arabia around seven years ago and today there is just a very small US military presence in Saudi Arabia for training and technical support purposes.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 10:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. CJ Parker
Iran was a democracy before the oil companies in the US wanted a stake. Oil encroachment via military bases is why the AlQaeda attacks us...they hate our presence in their nation..and I can't say as I blame them.
The liberals in congress forced the US to not exploit our own natural resources so if you blame the oil companies, blame the Democratic Party for insisting we not disturb our pristine environment here in the US for oil the US demands.
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