Saturday, July 22, 2006

"Fools' Crusade" part ix

Good heavens--part nine and I'm still on page 2? And this book is due back at George Mason University in two weeks; there are used copies out there. I might end up having to buy one. At least it would be used--no way in hell I'd buy a new copy and give Ms. Johnstone a penny in royalties.

I'll wrap up section one now--when we last checked in with Johnstone, she was lamenting the lack of left-of-center opposition to the Kosovo War. She dismisses any calls for humanitarian intervention thusly:

"In most Western countries, only a few drastically weakened fragments of left-wing movements and isolated individuals still remembered that humanitarian intervention, far from being the harbinger of a brave new century, was the standard pretext for all the the Western imperialist conquests of the past."

Her blanket statement about 'all' Western imperialist conquests is a typically broad statement. And Johnstone, needless to say, ignores the possibility that many people, left-wing and otherwise, failed to make the connection between intervening to stop a crime against humanity and past U.S. foreign military ventures for the simple reason that there isn't one. It will be a common tactic in the pages to come to damn the present with the past; another common tactic Johnstone shares with Serbian nationalists.

One last quote before we kiss "Turning Points" goodbye:

"On the contrary, [this comes after further dismissing presumed spinelessness and muddle-headed thinking by the Western Left] much of the most pertinent challenge came from right-wing analysts, whose minds were kept relatively clear, either by awareness of traditional realpolitik or by libertarian suspicion of official propaganda."

So there we have it--in her zeal to find ANY coherent critique of U.S. and NATO actions in Kosovo, Johnstone has embraced the realpolitik of the Kissingeresque right wing. The enemy isn't right-wing, authoritarian politics, or ethnic nationalism, or far-right anti-democratic ideology. The enemy is the United States and its NATO allies; and if the left has to join forces with a right-wing that scoffs at individual human rights issues in the interests of balancing the interests of competing states, then so be it.

While scoffing at the 'brave new world' of post-Cold War America, Johnstone has mapped out a pretty bleak dystopia of her own.


Owen said...

Like Living Marxism and Deichmann, Johnstone seems comfier with ideological opponents who share her black and white view of the world. Humanitarianism blurs the certainties of that world view and so it seems she has to find a way of removing it from the equation.

Kirk Johnson said...

Could not have said it better myself.