Front page
Silflay Hraka?

Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Hrairoo is the proprietor of a quality used bookstore
Kehaar is.
Woundwort is a professor of counseling at a private university

The Hraka RSS feed

bigwig AT

Friends of Hraka
Daily Pundit
cut on the bias
Meryl Yourish
This Blog Is Full Of Crap
Winds of Change
A Small Victory
Silent Running
Dr. Weevil
Little Green Footballs
Fragments from Floyd
The Feces Flinging Monkey
Dean's World
Little Tiny Lies
The Redsugar Muse
Natalie Solent
From the Mrs.
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
On the Third Hand
Public Nuisance
Not a Fish
Electric Venom
Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo
Common Sense and Wonder
Neither Here Nor There
The Greatest Jeneration
Ipse Dixit
Blog On the Run
Redwood Dragon
Greeblie Blog
Have A Cuppa Tea
A Dog's Life
Iberian Notes
Midwest Conservative Journal
A Voyage to Arcturus
Trojan Horseshoes
In Context
The People's Republic of Seabrook
Country Store
Blog Critics
Chicago Boyz
Hippy Hill News
Kyle Still Free Press
The Devil's Excrement
The Fat Guy
War Liberal
Assume the Position
Balloon Juice
Iron Pen In A Velvet Glove
Freedom Lives
Where Worlds Collide
Knot by Numbers
How Appealing
South Knox Bubba
Heretical Ideas
The Kitchen Cabinet
Bo Cowgill
Raving Atheist
The Short Strange Trip
Shark Blog
Ron Bailey's Weblog
Cornfield Commentary
Northwest Notes
The Blog from the Core
The Talking Dog
WTF Is It Now??
Blue Streak
Smarter Harper's Index
nikita demosthenes
Bloviating Inanities
Sneakeasy's Joint
Ravenwood's Universe
The Eleven Day Empire
World Wide Rant
All American
The Rant
The Johnny Bacardi Show
The Head Heeb
Viking Pundit
Oscar Jr. Was Here
Just Some Poor Schmuck
Katy & Bruce Loebrich
But How's The Coffee?
Roscoe Ellis
Sasha Castel
Susskins Central Dispatch
Josh Heit
Aaron's Rantblog
As I was saying...
Blog O' Dob
Dr. Frank's Blogs Of War
Betsy's Page
A Knob for Brightness
Fresh Bilge
The Politburo Diktat
Drumwaster's rants
Curt's Page
The Razor
An Unsealed Room
The Legal Bean
Helloooo chapter two!
As I Was Saying...
SkeptiLog AGOG!
Tong family blog
Vox Beth
I was thinking
Judicious Asininity
This Woman's Work
Fragrant Lotus
Single Southern Guy
Jay Solo's Verbosity
Snooze Button Dreams
You Big Mouth, You!
From the Inside looking Out
Night of the Lepus
No Watermelons Allowed
From The Inside Looking Out
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Suburban Blight
The SmarterCop
Dog of Flanders
From Behind the Wall of Sleep
Beaker's Corner
Bad State of Gruntledness
Who Tends The Fires
Granny Rant
Elegance Against Ignorance
Say What?
Blown Fuse
Wait 'til Next Year
The Pryhills
The Whomping Willow
The National Debate
The Skeptician
Zach Everson
Geekward Ho
Life in New Orleans
Rotten Miracles
The Biomes Blog
See What You Share
Blog d’Elisson
Your Philosophy Sucks
Watauga Rambler
Socialized Medicine
Verging on Pertinence
Read My Lips
The Flannel Avenger
Butch Howard's WebLog
Castle Argghhh!
Andrew Hofer
Moron Abroad
White Pebble
Darn Floor
Pajama Pundits
Goddess Training 101
A & W
Medical Madhouse
Slowly Going Sane
The Oubliette
American Future
Right Side Redux
See The Donkey
Newbie Trucker
The Right Scale
Running Scared
Ramblings Journal
Focus On Reality
Wyatt's Torch

September 24, 2002

Moral Imperialism Paul Krugman smells

Moral Imperialism

Paul Krugman smells a "definite whiff of imperial ambition in the air once again." Of course, to Paul that's a bad smell, worse than a fart in the elevator, and certainly as rude.

Of course the new Bush doctrine, in which the United States will seek "regime change" in nations that we judge might be future threats, is driven by high moral purpose. But McKinley-era imperialists also thought they were morally justified. The war with Spain — which ruled its colonies with great brutality, but posed no threat to us — was justified by an apparent act of terror, the sinking of the battleship Maine, even though no evidence ever linked that attack to Spain. And the purpose of our conquest of the Philippines was, McKinley declared, "to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them."

It's probably sarcasm, though if so it's certainly well concealed, but does it strike anyone else as odd that the first thing Mr. Krugman says about the new Bush Doctrine is that it is "driven by high moral purpose"? Of course, that's not enough. The fact that Spain was a brutal oppressor was not enough because Spain did not threaten us. All Spain was doing was killing little brown people, so what's the problem? Forgive me, but when did a high moral purpose cease to be sufficient as a cause for action in the Left? If a high moral purpose forces us as a nation to feed the starving and heal the sick citizens of the world, then it certainly suffices as a reason for action against despotic regimes. Without a high moral purpose behind the British Empire, suttee and thuggee would not be eliminated in India, and the caste system plaguing that country would be even stronger. The fact that it took the explosion of the Maine to propel us into war with Spain is our eternal shame, but not for the reason Krugman thinks it is.

If our purpose in the Philippines was to educate, uplift, civilize and Christianize, then we did a bang up job.There was one other major island in Spanish hands, if you recall. Cuba. The Philippines today is a functioning democracy. Cuba is not. The Philippines has a per Capita GDP of $3,500. Cuba has a per Capita GDP of $1560. What happened in Cuba was that we failed in our Imperial responsibility to the people of that nation after we removed a despot. We did somewhat better in the Philippines. Yes, lots of civilians died, but not at the hands of The United States Army. They died due to starvation and disease, conditions endemic in that country due to its previous rule by Spain, not because of the removal of that rule.

Let's see a show of hands;

How many of you would trade the life of one sadistic thug to end clitorectomies?
How about two thugs. Is it ok to kill two male oppressors so that little girls can avoid having their clitoris dug out with a piece of heated steel?
As many as it takes?

You can sign me up for the last one, because I'm not a cultural relativist, despite my anthropology major. Some things deserve to be extinct, and if you can look evil in the eye and then tell me that it is not evil then you are best an apologist for it. At worst, you are its quisling. If the argument that Saddam is evil is not enough for you, then no argument will be. The idea that he must first demonstrate that evil, not simply on other human beings, which he has already done, but on Americans and with incontrovertible evidence, before we can take action against him, is racist, cowardly and despicable. How's that for a trifecta, Paul? If a person still insists on that chain of events, then they should be willing to admit that the murder of 6 million Jews would have troubled them not a whit in the 1940's, and that the Cambodian genocide would have engendered a similar lack of feeling.

If genocide is only a problem to you when it kills white people, or Americans, then you have no right to call yourself a moral being. America is not perfect, but to insist that we must be before proceeding on any course of action is to provide aid and comfort to those demonstrably evil, to give yourself a false curtain of morality to hide behind. Yours is not the hand that holds the knife at the throat of an innocent, yours is the hand that holds the gun that could kill the owner of the knife hand. But you refuse to fire it, because you're not perfect. I've got news for you. You'll be even less perfect after the throat is slit.

Posted by Bigwig at September 24, 2002 01:06 PM | TrackBack
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
Post a comment Note: Comments with more than two dashes per line will be blocked as spam.

Remember personal info?