It had been a few days since I visited Harrison's place at the The Possum Bistro, and I found some great posts, and reading one after another I finally had some ideas that I was going to post about coalesce! So in his Defence Against the Dark Arts post, I did what I always do - meander on in commentary. But, as it was a great post, and a number of good ones to finally get things more properly moving, mentally, I will give it to you, the poor reader, as-is. That said the number of wonderful posts that Harrison has warrants a visit to The Possum Bistro!
Here is my commentary, as follows, no corrections or any such done so you may know exactly how bad I write with an insulin reaction coming on:
Amazing how the West thinks in terms of who should and should not be divided! Yes North and South Korea and Vietnam worked out so well... didn't they? How about East and West Berlin and Germany? Why, thank god there are two of them! Lovely palliative, that, to not stand up to totalitarianism and say: we are war weary, don't grab at what you can't grasp as that will come back to haunt you. And so it did, as you note, in Hungary and the welded together Checzoslovakia. Yes, they were one Nation... now two because of incompatabilities in ethnic outlook. Then there is this thing that the West in its grand ideals, made of disparate peoples and called it Yugoslavia. That worked very well, didn't it?And there you have it, twisted syntax and all...
This 'deciding the fate of others' deal has a long history going back further than the Tripartite division of Poland, which resurrected itself out of the ashes of the Empires that divided it, only to be subjugated twice more due to Western inability to stick to its word: first to Fascist Germany and then to the USSR. 'Realism' is an excuse to put money ahead of liberty, and this idea that the West can do more than just guide post-war situations and *not* control them, is something we must get over. Western culture cannot force people to be free, but it can teach what the cost of liberty and freedom *is*.
Whenever we decide on the 'realistic' course, the US denies its history of being a Revolutionary Nation that has long-term commitment to its ideals. Strange to say, but 'idealistic' outlook can be quite pragmatic and yet understand that to coddle tyranny is abhorrent to a Free People.
And how dare the US put 'benchmarks' upon other governments when it can adhere to NONE of its own? While we are, indeed, committed to securing our own liberty, we do forget the responsibility of a post-war situation to help others understand what it means to secure liberty for themselves. That is *not* a cost-free situation, and yet we have a political class that believes otherwise.
No, let some magnificent 'moral equivalence' reign, in which black is white and torture is a bad night's sleep. Or that mere commerce is the be-all, end-all to liberty... forgetting that it is liberty that builds commerce to make one free to utilize the benefits of one's own work. The defeatism that we see is pure cowardice: an unwillingness to put any cost forward as worth it to build freedom and help others realize what it costs to secure liberty.
Fukiyama was blandly incorrect to assume an 'end of history' and the inevitability of Western culture and outlook. There is no such thing as inevitability in history. There may be 'tides in the affairs of men' but men are not King Canute commanding the tide, we ride it and sink or swim on our own basis... and sometimes we can get to higher ground and deny the tide its reach. That is contingency in history, based upon the actions of individuals. Our actions create history, even if the tide runs counter to it actions can and do make a difference. Even with the tide turning on human liberty and so many willing to see it gone, the goal of swimming for liberty and trying to reach higher ground to escape tyranny is worth the cost and struggle.
Because stopping is fatal.
Now we hear the insane ideas that running from helping others will have desireable outcomes... people that we committed to in overthrowing a tyrant. Be it right or wrong to do the overthrowing, the responsibility is to help guide these people on why we did it as a free people, and for them to determine their own course as a free people. I am more than willing to pay that price as a civilization, as *not* to pay it is lethal to us. That poison already drips into our mouths and its bitter taste is awful. Yet the sweet words of 'just swallow the poison' is heard again.
'We can't mediate a civil war.'
-Show me the 'civil war' by the ancient standards of honorably standing up a government and fighting FOR something, and I will tell you if it is something to take part in or NOT.
No, those ancient standards that we know are not the ones of modernity... *anything*, literally, is 'civil war' now. So blind terrorism masked as sectarian strife to give murderers cover... that is 'civil war'.
Not barbarians behaving barbarically against innocents.
'We can't figure out their problems for them, so just stand by the sidelines. Divide up their Nation.'
-Well if we can't figure it out, then 'why' is it a good thing to divide them? After THREE democratic elections, ONE to make a Constitution, a SECOND to ratify it and a THIRD to elect a government as a unified Nation, how can we say it should be divided? North-South, like Vietnam and Korea? East-West like Germany and Europe were? Or Tripartite like Poland?
Welding together people who did not want to be in a Nation together *failed* in the Balkans and for the Checzoslovakia.
The People there have spoken, wisely or unwisely, as a People. Can we abide by that or will we, as with Argentina under Allende, or S. Vietnam under Diem, invalidate their elections by our 'wisdom' being unable to figure the place out? Argentina and S. Vietnam worked out so well in this 'deciding for them' business, didn't it?
How come, in Austin Bay, I hear the same, old, tired and *wrong* ideals being given to us for the defeatist option and NO ONE willing to call them for the old, tired and *wrong* things they have given us in the past? I literally cannot name places where they have WORKED. The Ottoman Empire under lovely Wilsonian ideals? Free now with trade, right?
Those things are *excuses* not to do the right thing and hold on grimly to liberty as the cost of NOT doing that is an invalidation of liberty and freedom for ourselves. That cost was plainly told the US in the Revolution and for the world to witness: 'No taxation without representation' and 'The price of the Tree of Liberty comes in the cost of the blood of tyrants and patriots'.
'Divide up those that we cannot understand!
Or Unite them!
Or call genocide by the name 'civil war'!
For god's sake don't stay and FIGHT to be FREE!!'
What is the cost of liberty?
-The last free person on the planet FIGHTING to be free, and dying for liberty. Nations rent asunder to do that. Peoples dead for that. All treasuries spent for that. The planet laid waste because slavery of the human spirit and soul to tyranny is NOT worth the price of living as a slave under *any* system.
That started in 1776.
Yet I find few defenders of this concept any more.
How do you justify defeat when it means being a slave to the fear of death?
And soon just being a slave as those that threaten know no bounds.
It is a stark, nasty, and permanent cost to be paid again and again and again. Generation upon generation, until we see that All men are created EQUAL.
The cost of liberty is all Peoples realizing the cost of that freedom is liberty's awful and awesome tree... which gives shade and shelter from tyranny only if it is defended. In blood. Until all men are free.
I am an absolutist Jacksonian on warfare. You fight to win. You help the fallen after. You help those tyrannized to be free. You help up honorable enemies who abide by their word to find the path from tyranny.
And to those that will not give up on tryanny?
You fight until they are dead.
Or you are.
If we cannot hold to that ideal, as a culture, then no amount of 'volunteering to fight' will help, as the culture is debased and will not cash in on the good blood spilled to create liberty. A culture debased is not worth fighting FOR.
Run from this fight and we will find few defenders left, anywhere.
And the Revolution restarted here, in the US.
I do my duty as Citizen to BE Citizen to show the better way to ensure that blood spilled is liberty gained. Not just in Iraq. But here, at home.
"You must pay the price, to secure the blessing." - Andrew Jackson.