Gunboards Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Silver Bullet member
Joined
·
36,341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why Fight For Anyone's Freedom?

By Michael Gerson
Wednesday, October 10, 2007; A17 Washington Post

In the backlash against President Bush's democracy agenda, conservatives are increasingly taking the lead. 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. It is easier for traditional conservatives to be skeptical of this grand project, given their history of opposing all grand projects of radical change.

Traditional conservatism has taught the priority of culture -- that societies are organic rather than mechanical and that attempts to change them through politics are like grafting machinery onto a flower. In this view, pushing for hasty reform is likely to upset some hidden balance and undermine the best of intentions. Wisdom is found in deference to tradition, not in bending the world to fit some religious or philosophic abstraction, even one as noble as the Declaration of Independence.

A conservatism that warns against utopianism and calls for cultural sensitivity is useful. When it begins to question the importance or existence of moral ideals in politics and foreign policy, it is far less attractive.

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.

And the democracy agenda goes a step further. It argues that the most basic human rights will remain insecure as long as they are a gift or concession of the state -- that natural rights must ultimately be protected by self-government. And this ideology asserts that most people in all places, even the poor and oppressed, are capable of controlling their own affairs and determining their own rulers. If this abstract argument seems familiar, it should, because it is the argument of the American founding.

Traditional conservatism has many virtues -- and a large historical problem. Certainly, established traditions concerning family, manners and military honor deserve our respect, because the human race is often wise while the individual is often foolish. But few human traditions were more deeply rooted in history than human slavery. Many traditional conservatives (though not the Whig Edmund Burke) defended this tradition and criticized the disruptive, religious radicalism of abolitionists such as William Wilberforce. Lord Nelson argued: "I was bred in the good old school, and taught to appreciate the value of our West Indian possessions, and neither in the field nor the Senate shall their just rights be infringed, while I have an arm to fight in their defense, or a tongue to launch my voice against the damnable doctrine of Wilberforce and his hypocritical allies."

The unavoidable problem is this: Without moral absolutes, there is no way to determine which traditions are worth preserving and which should be overturned. Conservatism assumes and depends on an objective measure of right and wrong that skepticism cannot provide. Without a firm moral conviction that independence is superior to servitude, that freedom is superior to slavery, that the weak deserve special care and protection, the habit of conservatism is radically incomplete. In the absence of elevating ideals, it can become pessimistic and unambitious -- a morally indifferent preference for the status quo.

History does teach that reform is easier to start than finish well. But history also teaches that some organic social arrangements are rotten and wormy; that it is not utopian to rescue a human life from oppression, it is justice; that events without reference to universal ideals of freedom and human rights can become a hell of permanent, unchallenged slavery. It is not a coincidence that the great movements of conscience have generally come not from skeptical traditionalists but from men and women of faith and conviction who taught that loving your neighbor is inconsistent with enslaving him; who rescued children from the nightmare factories of the Industrial Revolution; who asserted that the long tradition of racial segregation created 10,000 petty tyrants; and who believed that the Declaration of Independence is actually true, for us and for all.

Traditionalism can save moralists from a foolish utopianism. But a moral vision is equally necessary to save traditional conservatism from its worst instincts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,503 Posts
If you are going to fight for freedom, you don't need to be losing it at home.

But its nice that you endorse a Woodrow Wilson/Democrat foreign policy.

I wonder, did you oppose our intervention in Bosnia back when Clinton was President?
 

·
Silver Bullet member
Joined
·
36,341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
1. Wilson was a pacifist who failed to adequately prepare the USA for war and thus had no influence on bringing a fast resolution of WWI except for war. His influence on the treaty and league has been grossly exaggerated.

2. No, but I wanted to arm the Bosnians first, rather than intervene. Clinton accepted and supported the UN arms embargo that nearly destroyed Bosnia, which was perfectly capable of defending itself if it had been properly armed. When Yugoslavia broke up Serbia got most of the arsenals and arms industry. But its campaign against Bosnia revealed that the Serb army had no effective battle plan, refusing to attack after the first unopposed advances and instead using desultory long range shelling against Bosnian and Croatian cities, regardless of the military significance of the targets. With any effective armament in Bosnia the Serbs would have been defeated with no need for NATO military intervention. The Croats were initially as weak or weaker than Bosnia but got arms shipments through Slovenia. They did much better in their war, after the 1st 2 years they were on the offensive in Serbia and Bosnia, so much so that restraining them was a major NATO diplomatic problem.

And the NATO campaign against Serbia was very poorly run, with a bogged down attempt at invasion through Albania and a highly criticised bombing campaign where the AF actually managed to lose an F-117.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,503 Posts
1. Wilson was a pacifist who failed to adequately prepare the USA for war and thus had no influence on bringing a fast resolution of WWI except for war. His influence on the treaty and league has been grossly exaggerated.
"The world must be made safe for democracy."

http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/4943/

The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them.
2. No, but I wanted to arm the Bosnians first. Clinton accepted and supported the UN arms embargo that nearly destroyed Bosnia, which was perfectly capable of defending its self if it had been properly armed. When Yugoslavia broke up Serbia got most of the arsenals and arms industry.

And the campaign against Serbia was very poorly run, with a bogged down attempt at invasion through Albania and a highly criticised bombing campaign where the AF actually managed to lose an F-117.
So you accept the democrat foreign policy of intervention? As I remember the Republicans were actually conservative during that time.

“You can support the troops but not the president.”–Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

“Well, I just think it’s a bad idea. What’s going to happen is they’re going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years.”–Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

“Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?”–Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

“[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation’s armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy.”–Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)”

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy.”–Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

“If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy.
–Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

“I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . I didn’t think we had done enough in the diplomatic area.”–Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

“I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today”–Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

“Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.”– Governor George W. Bush (R)-TX
 

·
Silver Bullet member
Joined
·
36,341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He never gives up, does he?

The scene:

Octiober 10, 2067
The floor of the House of Representatives. The representative from West Millcreek, MausercodgerM48, speaks:

Mr. Speaker, the honorable members of the House of Representatives. I fear that paper money, easy morals and the Trilateral Commission have put the United States in dire danger. There is only one solution for all our problems. Elect Ron Paul. For your consideration I submit the following, the 47th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

"The requirement of the 45th Amendment - also known as the Reagan Amendment - that any candidate for the office of President of the United States not be dead, shall be waived in the case of twat doctors from Texas."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,503 Posts
He never gives up, does he?

The scene:

Octiober 10, 2067
The floor of the House of Representatives. The representative from West Millcreek, MausercodgerM48, speaks:

Mr. Speaker, the honorable members of the House of Representatives. I fear that paper money, easy morals and the Trilateral Commission have put the United States in dire danger. There is only one solution for all our problems. Elect Ron Paul. For your consideration I submit the following, the 47th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

"The requirement of the 45th Amendment - also known as the Reagan Amendment - that any candidate for the office of President of the United States not be dead, shall be waived in the case of twat doctors from Texas."
You never give up do you? You just can't face facts. You are a coward. You resort to this petty name calling and slander because you can't argue against the facts.
I may not know everything but it appears you know absolutely nothing.

Except of course what Sean Hannity and Rush tell you to think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,114 Posts
Why would JJK308 want to arm the Bosnians? Isn't it obvious they had connections with AlQaeda back then?
 

·
Silver Bullet member
Joined
·
36,341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Nope - al Queda tried to take advantage of the Bosnian war but seems to have failed, the average Bosnian being as good a muslim as I am (pause for laughter). I'd guess that they've moved any operations to Albania since that country is still in a state of Libertarian kleptomania and its easy to smuggle arms and operatives in and out.


Wikipedia article on Al Queda.

Bosnia - Main article: War in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The October 1991 secession of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia opened up a new ethno-religious conflict at the heart of Europe. After its secession, ethnic Serbs and ethnic Croats within Bosnia, supported by irredentist movements in the adjacent states of Serbia and Croatia, engaged in a three-way conflict against the Muslim Bosniak population. Radical Islamic veterans of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan seized on Bosnia as a new opportunity to defend Islam. Besieged on two fronts and seemingly abandoned by the West, the new government of Alija Izetbegovic was willing to accept any help it could get, military or financial, including that of a number of Islamic organisations, such as al-Qaeda.[112] Several close associates of Osama bin Laden (most notably, Saudi Khalid bin Udah bin Muhammad al-Harbi, alias Abu Sulaiman al-Makki) joined the conflict in Bosnia.[112]

While al-Qaeda might initially have seen Bosnia as a possible bridgehead enabling the radicalization of European Muslims for operations against other European nations and the United States, Bosniaks had been secularized for generations, and their interest in fighting was largely limited to securing the survival of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian state. The "Bosnian Mujahideen" (comprising largely Arab veterans of the Afghan war and not necessarily members of al-Qaeda) thus operated as a largely autonomous force within central Bosnia. While their bravery in the fray initially attracted a large number of native Muslims to join them, their brutality against civilians[113] came to appall many native Bosnians and repel new recruits. At the same time, their vigorous attempts to Islamicize the local Muslim population with rules on appropriate dress and behavior were widely resented and thus went unheeded. In his book Al-Qaida’s Jihad in Europe: the Afghan-Bosnian Network, Evan Kohlmann summarizes:

In spite of vigorous efforts to 'Islamicise' the nominally Muslim populace of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the locals could not be convinced to abandon pork, alcohol, or public displays of affection. Bosniak women persistently refused to wear the hijab or follow the other mandates for female behavior prescribed by extreme fundamentalist Islam.[112]

The signing of the Washington Agreement in March 1994 brought to an end to the Bosniak-Croat conflict in Bosnia. While the "Bosnian Mujahideen" remained to fight on in the war against the Serbs, the Dayton Peace Accord of November 1995 ended the conflict for good, with international aid contingent keen on the disarmament and deportation of foreign volunteers. However, a certain number of former mujahideen who had either married native Bosnian Muslim women or who could not find a country to go to were permitted to stay in Bosnia and granted citizenship by the Bosnian government. In 2007 the Bosnia's authorities started reviewing these permits.

And John - Try not reading the MB post. It makes lots more sense that way and you wont be as upset about the problems with America's educational system, or with the ability of anyone with intelligence, access to the internet, but not wisdom or even common sense to zip around gathering quotes without context to support their strange beliefs.

IMHO its perfectly OK to make fun of someone who puts themselves in the political limelight, while viciously distorting and lying about the meaning of what public figures say is really beyond the pale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,503 Posts
Still avoiding the issue here. You clearly see that Republicans USED to be conservatives. Apparently you endorse this neo-conservative idea of a feel good foreign policy of policing the world and committing troops indefinitely.
 

·
Silver Bullet member
Joined
·
36,341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
When Republicans used to be Conservative:

Harding "Banana Wars"
Coolidge "
Hoover "
Eisenhower Lebanon
Reagan Nicaragua, Grenada, Lebanon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,503 Posts
Almost all of those sticking to the Monroe doctrine.


Also, Reagan pulled out of Lebanon.

Again, we didn't start any preemptive wars, we didn't go around looking for fights and George Bush campaign on this foreign policy in the year 2000.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX-FiXTgKFo

We used to be Conservatives....
 

·
Silver Bullet member
Joined
·
36,341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
More Paulist Libertarian Stalinism from MB48. Rewrite history to suit yourself and snip out the offending bits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,503 Posts
More Paulist Libertarian Stalinism from MB48. Rewrite history to suit yourself and snip out the offending bits.
Yes because Ron Paul is a stalinist...:rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,949 Posts
Yes because Ron Paul is a stalinist...:rolleyes:
Why yes, in the way he does his history. I think jjk was precise on that point, did you need it explained better?
 

·
Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
Joined
·
96,415 Posts
Actually, the Reptilicans started out as very bad people indeed - launched a (sadly successful) war against part of the US, stole and destroyed much property and then committed ten years of military oppression on the attacked part of the nation. From which it still hasn't completely recovered...

Of course the Demonrats have been well known as the party of Rum, Romanism and Rebellion for many years, which is a reminder they ain't any prizes...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,503 Posts
I got a really good and rare opportunity to sit down face to face and talk to two Iraq War veterans. One served two duties the other one; all in Iraq.

What really got to me was what one of them said about when he realized that what we were fighting for over there was not democracy.

He said when he first went over there he was all for it. He felt we were doing a good thing and protecting our Constitutional government. When he finally got access to a PX, the only magazine in there was some sort of World Affairs magazine. In it, he read about how the Patriot Act had been passed and just what it did. He felt enraged that the thing he was supposed to be fighting for, "democracy", was being dismantled at home. He told me his politics changed that day. His view on the war changed once he realized what a farce it all was. What a complete hoax it was.
 

·
Platinum Bullet Member
Joined
·
8,124 Posts
Yes, I'm sure you had that rare opportunity to acquire the information from those two vets for your last post. The only thing missing from it child was background music. I'm sure vets are just lining up to talk to you, with all of your worldly knowledge. JJK, ask the child about his background and where he works, etc. He'll go from evasive to critical to sarcastic, and you still won't get an answer. Why? Because he's eighteen years old and thinks he knows everything. The only value he serves here is comic entertainment for those of us overseas. He calls you a coward JJK? Ask him if he's ever served.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,292 Posts
Yeah...
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top