Palin is shifting her foreign policy positions to be less interventionist, as seen in her speech Monday, in which criticized the “ill-defined” mission in Libya. “We can’t fight every war, we can’t undo every justice in the world,” Palin said.
Scheuneman and Goldfarb were also “were also something of Palin’s last link to Washington’s political establishment,” Smith writes. Schweitzer, who writes columns for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Peace, has compared the intervention into Libya to Vietnam and criticized Obama for supporting Egyptian protesters over longtime ally Hosni Mubarak.
So Palin’s new anti-intevention in Libya friends also opposed US pressure on Mubarak. Other prominent critics of the intervention include the political scientist turned consultant hack Benjamin Barber, who was a consultant to the Gaddafi regime. Barber thinks that anyone who disagrees with him is stupid, clearly he thinks this is just true in general, but particularly with regard to Libya, and are people who have not read Alexis de Tocqueville. Well, I have read Tocqueville who is one of my favourite political thinkers, and I do not agree with Barber. French communist philosopher Alain Badiou, a strange partner for American establishment hack Barber, but with a rather similar tendency to regard anyone who disagrees with his expert analysis of Libya, well cliched conspiracy theories about neocolonialism and the media, as stupid.
Alright there are stupid an annoying people who support he intervention, French ‘thinker’ Bernard-Henri Lévy springs to mind very quickly. There are some people I respect who strongly oppose the intervention, like Matt Welch, editor of the leading US libertarian publication Reason Magazine has got remarkably cross, for someone usually mild mannered and reasonable, about Obama’s interventionism, in Libya and elsewhere. I can’t get into all the rights and wrongs of Obama’s interventions here, but this sweeping condemnation represents the strong element in American libertarianism which is isolationist. That means less problems caused by bad American interventionism, but it also reflects a form of American nationalism which thinks America will be truly itself and perfect it is avoids entanglements with foreign places. There are lots of bad examples of American interventionism I can think of, links with many anti-democratic coups are the most obvious examples. However, there are good examples: First Iraq War which undoubtedly freed Kuwait, Bosnia and Kosovo which would have been even further devastated by Serbian ultra-nationalists (itself bring about massacres by Kosovo Albanians and Bosniaks) than they were, without that intervention. These interventions and others were certainly accompanied by massive manipulation of reality to sell the interventions and massive self-interest. Bosnia and Kosovo have continuing severe ethnic problems, but without systematic killing. The moral and pragmatic justifications are nevertheless clear in those cases, and clear now in Libya. Welch is foolish enough to refer to dismiss the case for intervention in Libya as
providing the overwhelming military contribution to a muddle-headed mini-war against a nasty sovereign who might haveotherwise massacred some rebels.
That is very very foolish, the use of murder and terror by the Gaddafi regime against opponents is very well established, and it is not some mere idle hypothesis mongering to refer to massacres by Gaddafi, as Welch misguidedly applies. On a secondary issue, I doubt that the American contribution to the intervention is as overwhelming as he suggests.
If Welch simply believes that no justification could ever exist for the US using its military force to aid an already partly successful insurgency against an extremely nasty dictatorship, he and others should say so, instead of hiding behind the feeble claim that regime terror against insurgents is baseless speculation.
There are a variety of people behind both sides on this argument, and I certainly respect some people on the other (anti-interventionist) side from mine, but the anti-intervenionist arguments have attracted a disproportionate amount of the appeasers and hangers of dictatorship, those inclined to tragic intellectual vanity. and jumped up mediocre opportunistic local politicians like Palin. It has brought out the worse in people who should know better; some genuine people have resorted to the most implausible arguments. If they would just put forward a case against all, or very close to all, forms of military intervention, I would have more respect.