Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The World Freedom Tour's Twisted Morality Play
It is inherently difficult for liberals to argue against the expansion of social and political liberalism in oppressive parts of the world -- though, in a fever of Bush hatred, they try their best.Gerson, who retired as Bush's speechwriter in 2006, should consider what the Iraq quagmire has done to American interests. If we are going to provide leadership in a global drive for freedom weakening this nation hardly serves the best interests of democracy movements around the world.
The argument that liberals must support the President in his Iraq quagmire or, by default, find ourselves opposed to freedom and democracy around the globe is sophomoric, and easily refuted. How is it that wanting oppressed people to be free means that liberals must support an occupation? Occupy them to bring them freedom... it sounds like the very definition of oxymoron.
Does Gerson believe that being a liberal means necessarily supporting a gigantic growth in the military in order to support military interventions on behalf of oppressed peoples the world over? Thats what it would take if you follow Gerson's logic regarding "expansion of social and political liberalism in oppressive parts of the world" to conclusion.
Gerson is absolutely correct in noting a fever of Bush hatred from the left, which fever I freely admit drives my perspective. In fact I am proud of this deepset loathing of what this President stands for in the name of America. It is our duty as patriotic Americans to defend our ideals and our constitution, and it is Bush's attack on these ideals which drives my attitude towards the President. I will trumpet this repudiation of President Bush from the rooftops and do so with pride.
Gerson himself gives a tiny insight into why liberals hold this President in such ill repute. Look at how Gerson describes the very worst traits of tyrants:
At the most basic level, the democracy agenda is not abstract at all. It is a determination to defend dissidents rotting in airless prisons , and people awaiting execution for adultery or homosexuality, and religious prisoners kept in shipping containers in the desert, and men and women abused and tortured in reeducation camps. It demands activism against sexual slavery, against honor killings, against genital mutilation and against the execution of children, out of the admittedly philosophic conviction that human beings are created in God's image and should not be oppressed or mutilated.[bold and italics added by me]
I for one wonder why Gerson would pick these particular atrocities to demonstrate what we are fighting against. He is describing several policies which the world full well knows President Bush has authorized against human beings. Gerson is making a plea for liberals to agree with going to war in order to stop several policies taken by President Bush, but he wonders why we detest the President.
Not to mention the fact that we are allied with many nations which routinely practice all of those atrocities, and the Bush administration carefully fosters these alliances because of the war on terror. I wonder how Gerson would feel about invading Saudi Arabia, or Egypt in order to overthrow those repressive regimes and occupy those lands in the name of freedom? Of course he would oppose it. So would Liberals who, despite that opposition, would keep their morals, regardless of not supporting those moves in the American drive to bring liberal democracy to the world.
It seems to me that the militant democracy drive as envisioned by today's neocon is aimed mainly at overthrowing long time enemies of the United States rather than against all tyrants. They are trying to hide a virulently militaristic approach to our historical enemies in the cloak of America driving a world wide freedom train.
Liberals need not feel morally obligated to hop on the neocon bandwagon, no matter how enticing they try to make it seem in the name of spreading freedom around the world. We couldn't accomplish that mission even if we drafted every able bodied person of fighting age and occupied most of the known world.
It is up to the peoples of these nations to bring themselves democracy, if they want it badly enough. It is up to us to support these freedom movements diplomatically even if they form in repressive nations which are allied with us.
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