November 2, 2002
Max Sawicky, on his own weblog and on Stand Down/No War Blog, discusses the idea that it’s improper for liberals and left-wingers to ally themselves with the “so-called isolationists of the right.” Observes Sawicky:
This canard is a clear violation of Godwin’s Law, since it harkens back to American Nazi sympathizers of the 1930s. It’s bad analysis, bad history, bad politics, and a steaming pile of monkey crap. […]You may not agree with either Marshall’s or Sawicky’s central points, but both of them are playing at a higher level than most of blogland. [12:59 PM]
Isolationism connotes at best a selfish indifference to events outside the homeland. At worst, it implies a failure to recognizing looming threats that form at a distance. In other words, you are immoral for failing to empathize with the downtrodden Iraqi people, and foolish for not seeing that Saddam is coming to get us.
By contrast, the objection of both left and right regarding Iraq stems to an important extent from doubts of the power of any government to construct a peaceable society from the outside with force. In other words, it derives from inherent skepticism as to the efficacy of state power in this endeavor. There is no implied disregard for the well-being of the Iraqi people’s tribulations under the Hussein dictatorship. To the contrary, I take a general apprehension to stem from aversion to destroying villages in order to save them.