Ten years or so ago I remember a conversation between Larry the
Liberal and Right-Wing Ron that went something like this:
Larry: We don't belong over there. It's none of our business.
Ron:: It's a little bitty country that got attacked out of
nowhere, and we should defend them.
Larry: It's a little bitty religious monarchy and nobody cared
about half a dozen other little bitty countries that got attacked,
except this one has oil.
Ron:: Well, we need oil.
Larry: At the cost of how many lives?
Recently Larry and Ron were at it again. This time it went more
Larry: We gave them their chance, they blew it, we should nuke them.
Ron:: Christ, Lar, we can't just go nuking a bunch of starving
civilians. What would the world think?
Larry: The world can Fuck Off And Die. Okay, we don't nuke
them, we do like whats her name said and take over the pissant country
and convert them all to Christianity.
Ron: I thought you were a pagan?
Larry: I am, but I know who I'd rather have as a neighbor.
Ron: They're not our neighbors, they're half-way around the world
and we'd have to occupy their country for years.
Ron: Think of the casualties. Civilians. Our boys. Is it really
worth all that to straighten out Afghanistan?
Larry: You have to break eggs to make an omelette.
Liberals, as conservatives love to remind us, have a well-deserved reputation
for opposing any military action on the dual grounds that it kills people
and costs money that could be spent feeding the poor. But it is the tofu-
munching vegetarian PETA members who have been foaming at the mouth lately,
looking to wipe the Taliban off the face of the Earth regardless of the costs
to us or to Afghanistan.
The usual course of Leftist US war involvement is that the initial action is
protested on general principle as being unnecessary and barbaric. Then, as the
liberal community becomes familiar with the enemy they empathize and begin
laying out the arguments why we should go home. Noam Chomsky, seen on the
Front Page here at this moment, is doing this even now. But Chomsky is in
a vanishingly small minority. His people aren't listening.
Few protested the initial involvement because, well, we got attacked.
Duh. But as the second phase went into its usual gear, something different
happened. As the Left learns about Afghanistan and its recent history
they aren't empathizing. Instead they're becoming outraged because...
Liberals can't help but empathize -- it's what makes them liberals -- and as
the Taliban emerges from the anonymity of distance into the glare of close
examination, the liberal quickly realizes that this is an enemy like the
alien in Independence Day. You can't reason with them because all
they want to do is to destroy everything you've ever found beautiful or
meaningful in life, and they have proven a casual willingness to destroy
you too if you get in the way.
- Women treated like slaves, denied education, health care, and sunlight
- Men conscripted at gunpoint
- Aid supplies stolen to supply the ruling elite
- Destruction of priceless antiquities
- People put to death in public...
- ...for the equivalent of jaywalking
- And oh yeah, they may have helped on 9/11
Liberals aren't liberal because they're stupid, but because they try hard
to understand what it's like for the other guy. And what I am hearing from
the self-proclaimed bleeding hearts in earshot is that we should send in the
army, kill the Taliban, set up our own government, and run it as long as
necessary. And nuke the bastards if they don't go along.
These are the people who protested our involvement in Bosnia, protested our
involvement in Somalia, protested the Gulf War, protested Grenada, and
protested against Vietnam and Korea if they are old enough. They have
understood the enemy and they have Gotten It. Those who knew about
the Taliban before 9/11 have been loudly telling anyone who will listen
we told you so and reminding them that Bush Jr. gave the Taliban
$43 million earlier this year as a thank-you for their wonderful help in
the Failed War on Some Drugs.
The media and the Administration haven't Gotten It yet. They're still
worried how it will play when the civilian casualties start popping up
and the body bags start coming home. They forget how it played out the
last time this happened. They don't need to spin the news to make the
Taliban appear evil; the Taliban are doing a fine job of that all on their
own. The Right are responding to an attack in a measured way. The more
empathetic Left have figured out that, if the positions were reversed,
the Taliban would have already killed us all on general principles. The
only way to deal with them is the way you would deal with a rabid
dog, and that doesn't vary no matter how much you love dogs.
The Right, which is looking for an "appropriate response" to a role
of unknown magnitude in the bombing of a few buildings, don't realize
that for the Left it isn't about 9/11 any more -- It's about the Taliban.
9/11 has just shown that we can't ignore these shitheads any more just because
they're 10,000 miles away. Since we're going to put on the hip boots and
go over there anyway, these former doves reason, we might as well free their
women and straighten out their legal system while we're at it.
When the Administration puts out feelers about "moderate Taliban" to install
in power, the liberals I know are outraged. They have already figured out
that there are no moderate Taliban. Surely, they implore, there are plenty
of Afghanis who will be willing to pledge fealty to all that is opposite of
the Taliban. Find a couple of hundred of them and make them form a democratic
representational government with a Constitution and Bill of Rights like ours.
And look over their shoulders and shoot them if they don't go by it.
Don't think it will work? Look at the last country that did this. It took
us four years but we slogged our way in, nuked them, occupied their country,
forced them to adopt reforms, and today Japan is more capitalistic and modern
than we are, their people are more free, and they are among our strongest
The Leftists don't want us to leave the Taliban in power, like George Sr.
did with Saddam. (They will also remind you that before the Gulf War Iraq
was the most progressive of the Arab nations in terms of human rights,
particularly women's rights. Much of that has been reversed as Saddam
appeals to his own fundamentalist elements in the wake of the war.)
They don't care how many poor people could be fed with the money we spend
on the operation. They don't care about how many innocent bystanders get
blown away. (Liberals can blame the victim too.) They don't care about
how many of our boys get killed. (It's their job.) They don't care how
long it takes. (Finish the job.) They don't care what the rest of the
world thinks. (Fuck Off And Die.)
They just want the Taliban gone. And since we had a major role in putting
them in power, what with supporting them in their war against the Soviets
with our own modern weapons, we have a moral responsibility to correct
our mistake. So send in the bombers, send in the cavalry, send in the
nukes if it comes to that. And while you're passing the tofu, don't
forget to support the animal shelter.