Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Fools' Crusade" Postscript: Perpetual War [5]



Another one-page section, and easily summarized--the "fist" in the title is the US military. To quote the end of the first paragraph:

"The night fireworks over Baghdad in 1991 and over Belgrade in 1999 were displayed on television screens all around the world was [sic] a reminder of what happens to designated "rogues". "

The connection between Milosevic and Saddam isn't novel to Johnstone--Saddam himself spoke on in support of his fellow genocidal tyrant. The linkage is revealing, however--both dictators certainly fought against American imperialism in order to defend the sovereignty of their states. It is kind of Johnstone to provide such frequent and blatant reminders of her priorities.

The second and final (and long) paragraph implies that aggressive actions by the United States serve to keep other nations in line. She claims that the bombing of Yugoslavia served to intimidate Bulgaria and Romania into complying with the requirements of NATO membership against the wishes of their populations, as if the leadership of those two nations weren't already clamoring to join the Western club. She claims that NATO membership serves mainly as a guarantee that a nation will not be the victim of NATO aggression in the future; I cannot imagine what NATO might have bombed Bulgaria for in 1999, but I suppose there's an oil well somewhere she could blame it all on.

She ends by pointing out that NATO member Turkey gets away with numerous human rights violations against the Kurds. A fair point, except that she both ignores the real pressure placed on Turkey over the years--but even so, this would not be the only double-standard the United States has held regarding its strategic allies. Which does not excuse the hypocrisy, but complaining about the hypocrisy raises this point--which is worse, the hypocrisy of not taking action in Turkey, or the hypocrisy of taking action in Yugoslavia? Johnstone and other critics of American interventions love to point out inconsistencies, but she and most other like-minded scolds consistently fail to articulate what exactly the fault is. If the United States sometimes fails to insist on civilized and humane treatment by other countries, is that a reason to condemn the US when they do?

My question from the previous post still stands--what would Diana Johnstone's response be to unilateral American military intervention in Darfur? I very much doubt she could articulate a reasonable and coherent response to that hopeful scenario.


Shaina said...

Somewhat off topic: but on May 23rd Dr. Mustafa Ceric will be giving a presentation on "Islam in the West: ideas and realities"
Information, including location, RSVP info etc. can be found here:

Anonymous said...

Did she really write "rouges" (not "rogues")?

Anonymous said...

I suppose saying "Reds" in French made them sound worse.

Kirk Johnson said...

Oops! No, that was MY misspelling--I've corrected it.

The typo in the text that the "sic" refers to is the "was" which should probably be an "as."

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Kirk, I couldn't resist that!