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.


Nobody said...

I agree that Gadaffi/Qadaffi (however he is spelt) was a villain, and I'm not unhappy @ the way he was lynched: the icing on the cake here was that it put Islamic barbarism on for full display.

However, aside from the question of whether the rebels were worse, fact remains that the Libya did, after the Iraq war, abandon its WMD program, and the US did ultimately normalize relationship w/ Libya. The latter is something I opposed then, but as Debbie said, we made our bed, and have to sleep in it. This is b'cos countries that we sign treaties w/ have to know that we'd stand behind them, and Gadaffi thought the same, having finally 'come clean'. Now, since the US was among those who helped overthrow him, any future leader who either the US has problems w/, or the rest of the world has problems w/, would balk @ signing any agreements w/ the US.

I know Libya is a somewhat bad example, so let's take Serbia. They co-operated w/ the US in the war against Iraq by supplying intelligence on what Milosevic had given Saddam Hussein. Fast forward several years, and the US turned around and stabbed Serbia in the back by recognizing Kosovo.

So why would any country trust the US, or choose to help during campaigns against its enemies? Why would Israel, for instance, believe that the US is not capable of doing what Stanley Cohen wants, and supporting the Palis in carving a state out of Israel?

Hesperado said...


"The latter is something I opposed then, but as Debbie said, we made our bed, and have to sleep in it. This is b'cos countries that we sign treaties w/ have to know that we'd stand behind them, and Gadaffi thought the same, having finally 'come clean'."

As I have articulated in my various Islamrealik comments and essays, what you articulate above should only apply to non-Muslim nations.

With regard to Muslim nations, all bets are off -- there should be no civility or law on our part: we should only behave with a ruthless eye to our benefit; and that includes breaking treaties whenever we please: Infidel Hudaibayya, so to speak. The reason justifying this should be clearly evident to anyone who knows about Islam and about Muslims.

If this makes Muslim countries distrustful of us and unwilling to negotiate with us in good faith, well... HUH!!!??? They do that already, for crying out loud! And anyone who believes Kaddafi was sincere about his turnaround should have his head examined, particularly when they otherwise show perspicacity about Muslims (shame on Debbie Schlussel, then).

The point with regard to the constellation of Muslim nations and our international geopolitics with relation to them is to reconfigure into a more candid state of war against them.

Nobody said...

I don't disagree, but if the West, or particularly the US, adapts that policy, not just Muslim, but even non-Muslim countries might get that message. Serbia is already living proof of that, and they are probably the most anti-Muslim country there is, given the number of dhimmi countries everywhere else.

It would be different if other non-Muslim countries thought/knew that this is just the US pulling a fast one on the Muslim countries. I however doubt that that's what they'll think.

Hesperado said...


Well, there are different things going on here.

First, there's what we should do ultimately, but which given the current geopolitical circumstances (including continuing myopia about Islam in various Western countries) we can't do.

Then there's what we at least should do now, in a limited way. When a Muslim leader is beginning to go down in flames due to a national rebellion, we have (in our current impaired context) certain options:

We can help him.

We can help the rebels.

We can refrain from helping either side and allow the civil war to happen, and meanwhile plan for what to do after the smoke clears (which seems to be what we're doing with Syria).

I don't see it as a horrible mistake to help the rebels topple Kaddafi -- as long as

1) the situation became so devolved, it would have eventuated anyway

2) we do not help them after that and

3) we consider them our enemies, probably worse enemies, after that.

Surely, it's possible for our politicians to pat their heads and rub their stomachs at the same time: they can facilitate the toppling of Kaddafi and at the same time oppose the rebels after the smoke clears. Getting embroiled in an actual Iraq-style war to "help" Muslims, however, I am opposed to. But sending a few missiles to help rebels is not in the same ballpark as the indefinite war we have committed ourselves to in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The point of my articles about Auster on this is that it seems clear by now that he is against helping to topple Kaddafi on principle, no matter what, irrespective of how evil Kaddafi was and the fact that he was a Muslim leader.

Again, if Libya were a non-Muslim 3rd world country devolving into civil war, and Kaddafi had been a typical 3rd world tinpot dictator, non-Muslim, then I would tend to agree with Auster. But the Muslim factor totally changes the calculations.