Thursday, October 27, 2011
Auster still at it
My recent characterization of Auster as having a "monomaniacal rhetorical obsession affecting reason" increasingly seems to be less of a half-facetious exaggeration, and rather a sober description. The guy is either deranged or hypocritical. Given his obsessive, almost feminine sincerity, one must opt for the former, as a third option seems wanting.
He's already touted Diana West's appropriate analysis as the same as his own, when it's clearly not: she focuses on the error of supporting jihadist anti-Kaddafi rebels only because they are more jihadist than Kaddafi; whereas Auster consistently opposes our actions against Kaddafi mainly (if not only) because it's wrong for us to take violent action against any other country's leaders who are ostensibly cooperating with us (even though it is excruciatingly reasonable to have considered Kaddafi suspect, eternally).
Now, he touts another appropriate analysis, by Andrew McCarthy of National Review Online, as the same as his own, when again, they are not the same:
To borrow [Chris] Wallace's phrase, I am not "suggesting that we would be better off with the Qaddafi dictatorship still in effect." I am saying it outright. If the choice is between an emerging Islamist regime and a Qaddafi dictatorship that cooperates with the United States against Islamists, then I'll take Qaddafi. If the choice is between tolerating the Qaddafi dictatorship and disgracing ourselves by lying about the reason for initiating a war and by turning a blind eye to the atrocities of our new Islamist friends--even as we pontificate about the responsibility to protect civilians--then give me the Qaddafi dictatorship every time.
The reader can easily see that McCarthy bases his opposition, as does Diana West, solely on the fact that those, whom we have been supporting, who opposed Kaddafi are worse than Kaddafi in their Islamism. Nowhere does McCarthy say, or even imply, as Auster keeps doing over and over and over again in his rhetorical obsession gone mad, that it is wrong in principle to take violent action against a Kaddafi for other reasons -- say, for example, that the rebels were actually anti-Islamic.
In a previous statement on his blog, Auster revealed his fallacy tellingly in a phrase:
These self-described real conservatives think that what America is about is going around the world overthrowing tyrants who haven’t threatened us.
Kaddafi wasn't a mere "tyrant" "around the world". He was a Muslim, and a deranged Muslim at that. As such, he does not fit into the category of your garden-variety "tyrant". He fits into a category that is unique, and uniquely dangerous to the West, and to the world; and the only calculation to make with such a category is ruthlessly with an eye to our self-interest, with not an iota of an ethical qualm about committing "crimes" against him. And Auster should know that, but his Austeritis has, in his hectic obsession with pursuing the fevered logic of his own rhetoric, overtaken his mind, like some Mr. Hyde-like potion. Kaddafi mass-murdered innocent Westerners on a civilian airplane, for God's sake. He deserved no quarter, ever. We should only have spared him our wrath for our own self-serving interests, period. Auster should be ashamed of himself, control his obsessive-compulsive disorder, and button his lip on this matter. He won't, of course; but that doesn't mean he shouldn't.