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Good Wars, Real or Imagined

Anti-War Activism

The Syrian question has come to an important stage, the reemergence of the liberal hawks. We’ve reached the point in the cycle of American military adventurism — a rhythm as predictable and unchanging as the progression of the seasons — where some progressives and liberals dip their toes into support for the latest war. I don’t mean to overgeneralize; almost every prominent military conflict at least provokes inter-liberal debate, and some of the most effective critiques of bombing Syria have come from liberals.

Good Wars, Real or Imagined

by Freddie deBoer
Jacobin

The Syrian question has come to an important stage, the reemergence of the liberal hawks. We’ve reached the point in the cycle of American military adventurism — a rhythm as predictable and unchanging as the progression of the seasons — where some progressives and liberals dip their toes into support for the latest war. I don’t mean to overgeneralize; almost every prominent military conflict at least provokes inter-liberal debate, and some of the most effective critiques of bombing Syria have come from liberals. (Scott Lemieux of Lawyers Guns and Money, for example, or Amy Davidson at The New Yorker, or Juan Cole of the University of Michigan.) What’s inevitable, however, is a very public debate among prominent liberals on the question of the next righteous conflict in the American adventure. These debates have the character of ritual; they appear, often, as arguments that exists not to be settled but to be seen.

For those who are dedicated to the appearance of “seriousness” in the way typically meant in our national newsmedia, the goal frequently seems not to be reaching a correct or moral position but to be seen agonizing in reaching any position at all. This is the fetish for being perceived as reasonable taken to its logical ends, in the shadow of war.

There are consequences. Conservatism is intellectually and socially dominated by militarism. The Republican party is owned, in a quite literal sense, by the defense industry and national security state. The occasional “paleocon” aside, any hope for an American antiwar constituency must come from the Left. The combination of a right wing that is committed to self-destructive military projection and a center-left that is committed to not being committed to anything in particular has unhappy consequences for our foreign policy. While there are very prominent and well-compensated pundits who will support any American military action whatsoever, there are no comparable people who are opposed to American military action as a matter of principle. Indeed: it’s hard to imagine a single stance that is more likely to disqualify one from professional success in political commentary than being consistently antiwar.

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Good Wars, Real or Imagined | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Good Wars, Real or Imagined
Authored by: space1980 on Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 08:29 PM CDT

Intervention in Syria: damned if you do, damned if you don't. The anti-intervention crowd will damn the US for every civilian casualty that happens if the US military attacks Assad's forces in Syria even if Assad's forces use human shields which they probably will. The pro-intervention crowd will damn the US for every civilian killed by Assad's forces in the future if the US military does nothing. The US will be damned either way so how should the US be damned?

Good Wars, Real or Imagined
Authored by: ArchStanton on Saturday, September 07 2013 @ 02:24 PM CDT

The "US" should be damned to the seventh circle of hell. Just like every other criminally insane empire.