Sunday, 30 October 2011

Liberals these days

There are a myriad of issues I'd like to talk about but seeing as I dealt with one issue in particular just last night I decided to blog my reflections and comments to the experience. I was talking with a friend of mine last night and it was not too long before the discussion moved to politics. I believe the transition was made when he boasted of attending the Occupy Montreal demonstration the day prior. It wasn't long before we were arguing about the effect of America's global influence. One thing in particular which sticks out is when he disparagingly brought up the complex issue of Iraq and I replied "it was a noble cause," he actually laughed out loud. I stand by what I said and I'll clarify what I mean. It was noble to try to get rid of literally the worst human being on the planet. Period. Its wasn't easy to argue was a smart decision at the time and its harder still to say it was worth it now, but its not hard to argue it was a noble cause. To put it another way if I was given a button which systematically erased every genocidal, sadistic dictator on Earth my finger would not hesitate. Would yours? I don't blame him for it, in fact I suggest his over the top reaction was more due to the fact he just had never heard anyone make that point. I seriously doubt he had ever heard a moral argument for the Iraq War. Who would have thought it would be hard to make a argument on the morality of deposing a genocidal, sadistic, terrorist-sponsoring despot? To paraphrase the brilliant polemicist Douglas Murray, liberals are not used be being told they are morally wrong, they are used to being told they're wrong, in fact they are wrong a lot of the time, but they're not used to being morally wrong. Therein lies the shock.
But how did we get here? How is it a liberal position to look at the suffering of Iraqis under Saddam or Libyans under Qaddafi or Iranians under the Ayatollah and oppose any action against the dictators as meddling in the domestic affairs of others? That sounds to me like a conservative opinion. So much of far-left thought (particularly that flying around college campuses) is based on the conclusion that America is the boogeyman and any action by America is automatically bad. It makes supporting otherwise liberal ventures, such as the liberation of Iraq unsupportable. It's easy for you to rail against American power and influence while you live in a free and open society but had we not invaded Iraq, try explaining to a would-be liberal Iraqi imprisoned by Saddam in Abu Ghraib (yes it was a prison pre-US invasion, much nastier in fact) why he doesnt have your support.

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