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Thursday, July 17, 2003

Krauthammer: the Liberals' NO to War in Iraq but YES to intervention in Liberia

"A perversity born of moral vanity"
" . . . The only conclusion one can draw is that for liberal Democrats, America's strategic interests are not just an irrelevance, but also a deterrent to intervention. This is a perversity born of moral vanity. For liberals, foreign policy is social work. National interest -- i.e., national selfishness -- is a taint. The only justified interventions, therefore, are those that are morally pristine, namely, those that are uncorrupted by any suggestion of national interest.

Hence the central axiom of left-liberal foreign policy: The use of American force is always wrong, unless deployed in a region of no strategic significance to the United States. The war in Afghanistan was an exception, but it doesn't count because it was retaliation against an overt attack, and not even liberals can oppose a counterattack in a war the other side started. Such bolts from the blue are rare, however. They come about every half-century, the last one being Pearl Harbor. In between one has to make decisions about going to war in less axiomatic circumstances. And that is when the liberal Democrats fall into their solipsism of righteousness.

This is the core lunacy of Democratic foreign policy. Either it has no criteria for intervening militarily -- after all, if we're going into Liberia, on what grounds are we not going into Congo? -- or it has a criterion, and its logic is that the U.S. Army is a missionary service rather than a defender of U.S. interests. . . "