Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Death Shall Have No Dominion

Taylor Marsh criticizes Juan Cole for criticizing Barack Obama's bombing of Pakistan. Marsh says Cole is aiding the enemy. Cole says he's stating facts.

Bombing Pakistan unilaterally is illegal in international law where Pakistan has
not attacked the United States or where there is no United Nations Security
Council resolution authorizing such an attack. Please see the Charter of the
United Nations, to which the US is a signatory. If the US had a formal treaty
with Pakistan, signed off by the legislatures of the two countries, that
permitted hot pursuit of militants from Afghan territory, that would bestow a
basic legality on it. But the only warrant for the US to shoot Hellfire missiles
into Pakistan and kill Pakistani women and children along with militants, is the
Bush Doctrine, which I want to be abolished and which I had understood Obama and
his team to object to, as well. Contravening US treaty obligations and
international law is a war crime.
Marsh is in the wrong here. Every bomb dropped and life lost is a failure of morality, intelligence and leadership. Every single one.
The danger of Obama becoming mired down in Afghanistan and Pakistan is very real, and is obvious to anyone who knows the history of imperial interventions in the former. Warning Obama that he started out on a bad foot in Pakistan and suggesting that he take some time to consider charting his own, original course, is not injurious to Obama. Blind support for whatever he does is what would harm him.
Most people are authoritarians, in varying degrees--about 67%. They might argue or quibble or parse, but in the end they do what they are told and support their leader with very few questions, or none at all. That includes intelligent people who should know better, but who refuse to acknowledge that they are looking for something Obama can't give them, something they never had in childhood, or never had enough of. When parents demand obedience and reward or punish their children by giving or withholding love, the child grows up and continues this pattern. It is the foundation for his relationship with his religion and country as well, as they are often substitutes for parents in people's minds. God the Father and Uncle Sam are personified for a reason; we are familiar with the family unit, so we tend to think in those terms. Our country is our Fatherland, God is our father, and if the father demands obedience in exchange for love and acceptance, the authoritarian will act the same way towards God and his president that he does towards his father. We are human, and we will do anything, anything, to feel loved and accepted.

Even kill.


Righteous Bubba said...

I dunno what the new guy in Pakistan's deal is, but the previous Pakistani government would claim responsibility for American attacks even when it was obvious bullshit. So the key is
(A) Whether or not the US is acting unilaterally
(B) Whether bombing is a war crime in general or particularly

I kinda think bombing non-military positions is a war crime in any case so (A) wouldn't matter.

Taylor Marsh's approach to it is bullshit of course.

Susan of Texas said...

I hope the economic situation will prevent us from spending so much money killing people, but you never know. Killing seems to be a priority for us.

I dunno. Bombing is too easy. It makes armchair warriors of people, makes war seem fun. Fighting in a war man-to-man is so horrific that people lose taste for it much more quickly.