Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats
1 comment

OpEdNews Op Eds

The Return Of Barbarism

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

"We came, we saw, he died," babbled our notoriously bloodthirsty Secretary of State as news of Moammar Gadhafi's grisly murder hit the headlines. Throwing her arms up in a gesture of mock-triumph, she averred -- perhaps sarcastically -- that she was "sure" her recent visit to Tripoli had something to do with the Libyan dictator's death.

It's hard to imagine a more inappropriate response to the revolting scene of Gadhafi's last moments, as captured on video: beaten and bloody, propped up on the hood of a jeep and paraded through the streets of Sirte by screeching rampaging savages. These scenes elicited revulsion even from some pro-rebel Libyans. Here's Andrew Gilligan in the Telegraph on how the ghoulish scene went down:

"In Benghazi, on the main square where it all started, they were slaughtering camels in celebration. There they sat, eight of them, feet tied so they could not move, quivering with fear as they were beheaded one by one. As soldiers fired rifles in the air, members of the cheering crowd held up the severed heads as trophies. They daubed their hands in the camel-blood, and gave the V-for-victory sign with dripping fingers."

This revolting scene illustrates why "democracy" -- in any sense of the term that makes sense to Americans -- will never come to Libya, not in a million years. In the politically correct world of our policymakers, and the view of the mainstream media, people all over the world are identical in their essence: they have "rights" that are supposedly universal, and first and foremost among these rights is self-rule. To call any of them savages, as I am doing without apology, is considered "racism," and to even suggest they will soon revert to their historical pattern of saddling themselves with yet another brutal dictator is derided as "cynicism," not to mention sour grapes in the face yet another "foreign policy success" by the Obama administration.

Let us look at these "triumphs," which, one and all, are marked by their lawlessness and bloodthirstiness: the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the drone killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, and now the lynching of Moammar Gadhafi by US-NATO proxies. The distinguishing characteristic of all three acts is barbarism -- a studied disregard for the rules of war and the common decencies that define what it means to be civilized.

That a US Secretary of State hailed the horrific death of someone -- anyone -- the way Hillary Clinton did in the case of Gadhafi would have been almost inconceivable in an earlier era: say, the 1950s or 1960s. That today no one so much as blinks tells us everything we need to know about the age in which we are living: to call it barbaric is to slander barbarians.

Insulated by distance, and inured to "old-fashioned" concepts of right and wrong, Americans are largely indifferent to this evidence of advanced moral degeneration: after all, these things are happening in faraway places, not here in the good old US of A. It's images on a television screen, or a computer screen: perhaps it is not real at all. They look at these images and turn away -- not out of revulsion, but out of ennui. It's just another day in the life of the American Empire.

Yet that empire is now embarking on a dangerous course, one that involves placing every American -- and every Westerner -- in mortal danger. In rampaging through the world, imposing "order" and "democracy" on nations that have never understood or experienced either concept, we are unleashing what will turn out to be a whirlwind -- one that will surely once again visit our shores in the form of a terrorist act, or, more accurately, an act of retribution against the heedlessly arrogant policymakers who made us a target.

We live in a dangerous world, say the interventionists: that's why we can't retreat into our castle and imbibe the joys of what they call "isolationism." We have a responsibility to exert our "leadership" over the rest of the world -- and never mind that all our efforts only increase the danger to ourselves and others.

The peculiar blindness that afflicts our elites -- epitomized by Hillary's unashamed variation on Julius Caesar's famous phrase -- is reflected, I fear, in the population at large. How else does one explain the response to the Obama administration's recent announcement that the President is -- finally! -- fulfilling his campaign pledge to get all US troops out of Iraq? In counting on the complete ignorance of the general public as to the crucial context of this announcement -- the breakdown in negotiations between Washington and Baghdad over the terms of a "residual" force remaining in country -- administration strategists were not far off the mark. The supposedly informed professional pundits, whose job it is to know -- and report -- the facts, glossed over the deceit of the administration's grandstanding, even as negotiations with the Iraqis for an extension of the deadline continue.

What both the administration and their sock-puppet pundits are counting on is the complete ignorance -- and indifference -- of the American public. And in that they are not likely to be disappointed.

Which leads me to my point, and it is this: moral degeneracy and stupidity go hand-in-hand. Whether one is the result of the other, or vice-versa, is for students of evil (evil-ologists?) to determine. I can only observe the growing phenomenon of an almost invincible ignorance that characterizes Americans on every level of the social ladder, from our politicians to ordinary people on the street. You can blame the education system, or the dumbing-down effect many claim to see in the new technology -- is it an accident that Twitter, which limits the user to a few words, is the preferred mode of communication among tech-savvy albeit dumb-as-a-brick Americans? However, my thesis is quite different.

The evil is the irrational -- a desire to defy the laws of nature and get away with it. It is, in short, the idea that one can cut corners on reality and attain some benefit, usually short-term, without having to endure the inevitably unpleasant consequences. Virtue, on the other hand, is a strict adherence to the natural laws of Reason, a relentless realism in the face of endless temptations to evade or somehow mitigate objective reality.

The American republic was birthed by a group of men who epitomized the old-fashioned realist virtues, and who -- for that reason -- warned their heirs and legatees against the temptations of militarism and imperialism. In this the Founders reflected the tenor of the times, and the revolutionary spirit of the rebellious colonists -- who distrusted all government, but especially the sort lorded over by hubris-besotted monarchs, like King George III, who, in their madness and impiety, could imagine no credible challenge to their rule.

The American empire, on the other hand, was birthed by a series of Presidents -- Wilson, both Roosevelts, and every modern chief executive -- whose sole concern and "achievement" has been the expansion of government power, at home and abroad. Far from avoiding the temptations of militarism and imperialism, they sought to redefine both as virtuous expressions of "humanitarianism" and devotion to "human rights." After a long and gloriously peaceful era of prolonged distancing from the quarrels and ambitious schemes of the European colonial powers, the Long Peace ended with the ascent of the first "progressive," the bombastic Teddy Roosevelt, militant imperialist and Morgan tool, who set the US on a course of empire.

In the "progressive" lingo of the times, the advice of the Founders in regard to foreign wars was derided as archaic. The liberal editors of The New Republic, echoing the rhetoric of the Wilson administration, considered World War I to be a progressive crusade on behalf of liberty and the principle of national self-determination. FDR disdained the "horse and buggy" restraints placed on government by the Constitution, and his "progressive" supporters argued for his foreign policy in similar terms: "isolationism," they declared, was outmoded by the reality of modern warfare. If we didn't stop Hitler in Europe, his stormtroopers would soon be marching down Fifth Avenue.

Next Page  1  |  2

Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (ISI, 2008), (more...)
Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Assange's Last Stand?

The FBI vs.

The Hollow Empire

The Israel Lobby and the Road to War

Is America a Force for Good in the World?

Gore Vidal: The Last Jeffersonian


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

I  wrote this article for the military town o... by Al Rodbell on Sunday, Oct 30, 2011 at 1:38:52 PM