Bring Back the South of France
By Thomas O. Meehan, Community Blogger | Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013 8:17 am
The way in which things were done in the bad old days frequently comes to mind as solutions to the problems of today. For instance, we are frittering about on the cusp of war with Syria. Our goal as stated by the President: the removal of Assad. In order to do this we are arming rebels who have committed acts of cannibalism, torture, public decapitations and the defilement of Churches.
The nexus of this odd alignment of American progressives and Muslim cannibals is a fixation on the removal of one man and we and our cannibal allies will settle for nothing less than the destruction of that man and his family. I can’t speak for our cannibal friends but the progressive mind set is easy to read.
The progressive, egalitarian mind finds its expression most fully through the profession of law. That is, the use of the mechanics of law to effect what they want. This tactic of using the legal machinery of society to browbeat, transform and pilfer the citizenry works very well within the confines of our closed system. They can pick our pockets and toy with us but usually nobody goes to jail or gets shot in the street.
This legalistic thinking fails badly when applied to the world of international relations however. Progressives who can impose their will via domestic courts fail to grasp that beyond our borders, their expectations and ideals mean very little.
This leads to the awful tendency for progressives to insist on the unconditional surrender of enemies under conditions in which surrender means death. And not just the death of the dictator, but the deaths of multitudes of relatives, supporters, bystanders, and refugees. In the Middle East Christians are always among the victims. If our legalistic faux humanitarianism persists, there will be no Christians left alive in what we used to call the Holy Land.
Like many baleful things this nonsense began under Franklin Delano Roosevelt. By announcing that our war with Germany could end only with unconditional surrender, he made the elongation of the war inevitable. Hitler’s generals had no reason to act against him if the price of peace was their destruction in any case. Another echo of our present silliness is that while we ally ourselves with cannibals now we allied with communists then. We having already fought a war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya about the disposal of one-man regimes. All these cases revolved around our demands that said strongmen throw themselves on our mercy.
But there is/was another way.
Memories of my youth are filled with tales of dictators, kings and others all enjoying sunny retirement on the South of France. Sometimes a coup was involved. Many times El Supremo sniffed the wind and fled without the need of any bloodshed whatsoever. I can’t count the number of Central and South American officials who were exiled to Provence. Statesmen of old saw what today’s community organizers and rights lawyers fail to see. It’s simply better to leave an escape hatch for scoundrels than to scythe through whole populations in order to have the satisfaction of hanging one man.
Was the satisfaction of seeing Saddam Hussein hang worth the costly exercise of transforming Iraq from a dictatorial hell hole into an anarchic hell hole? Was our ten year folly in Afghanistan worth the cost? We killed Ben Laden in the country next door and Mullah Omar is still issuing his rants from some squalid bolt hole in God knows where.
This is what comes of lawyer driven foreign policy. Perhaps if more prosecutors got shot trying to effect the arrest warrants they issue, the legal mind might evolve into that of the statesmen. On the international level this is never the case.
The planet is too big a neighborhood for Obama to organize along the lines of what he learned in law school. Nations are cold monsters said de Gaulle, and he was right. Assad will never submit himself to the international court of criminal justice. To do so would mean that his family, clan and many thousands of supporters and allies would fall directly into the hands of our cannibal friends. Would you dear reader? Or would you fight to the end, hoping for a miracle?
A policy that demands of others what we would never do to ourselves in like circumstances is deluded and immoral in itself.
Note: I just saw President Assad interviewed on American Television. He presented himself as an intelligent, urbane and persuasive leader. He answered all questions with grace and aplomb. How odd that this “Arab Tyrant” carries himself like an articulate Frenchman, while our Chief of State comes across as a Third World hipster.