Monday, September 23, 2002

Tonight's the night a class on campus has a discussion on Iraq where nobody in favor of war against Iraq will speak. David Brooks suggests that these people operate under The Fog of Peace. Brooks describes most of the left commentary on the war as one flavor or another of parochialism, "the inability to consider the larger global threats because one is consumed by one's immediate domestic hatreds." Here on this campus, it's very much a "we're not worthy" mentality.

For a third branch of the parochialists, Iraq is not the issue, America is the issue. The historian Gabriel Kolko recently declared, "Everyone--Americans and those people who are the objects of their efforts--would be far better off if the United States did nothing, closed its bases overseas, withdrew its fleets everywhere and allowed the rest of the world to find its own way without American weapons and troops." For peaceniks in this school, the conditions of the world don't matter. Whether it is Korea, Germany, the Balkans, or the Middle East, America shouldn't be there because America is the problem. This is reverse isolationism: Whereas the earlier isolationists thought America should withdraw because the rest of the world was too corrupt, these isolationists believe that America should withdraw because the United States is too corrupt.

...Writers in this school derive an almost sensuous pleasure from recounting how much people in the rest of the world dislike America; whether those anti-Americans also, by the way, kill homosexuals, oppress women, and crush pluralism is relegated to the background. For these parochials, the immediate priority is hating America.

So well done! (Courtesy of Instapundit.)