Monday, April 10, 2017

Overwhelming majority thinks Assad a threat to US

Reuters-Ipsos ran a poll in December and January querying people on whether or not they thought "Syrian President Bashar al-Assad" poses a threat to the US. The results, for everyone, for Trump voters, and for Hillary voters (n = 3,246):




To call this highly discouraging would be an understatement. It is that, but it's also a hard reality check. When the bombs dropped last week, I thought "why would an America First populist allow himself to be dragged into this mess?" without realizing that the question contains the answer--because doing so was popular, overwhelmingly so.

The answer to Ron Paul's rhetorical question in reaction to the airstrikes may be "never":


Even if Assad hoodwinked the world over the last few years by making it believe he didn't have chemical weapons before using them at the most inopportune time to kill 70 people in a civil war that has claimed 400,000 lives, it's still difficult to see how one gets from there to the understanding that he is a threat to the US.

A secular ruler who shaves his face every morning before putting on his suit and tie, who protects religious minorities--including Christians, dead without him--is ISIS' biggest enemy in the area, and has been desperately hanging on by a thread to part of his little plot of sand (that doesn't contain much in the way of natural resources) is a threat to America?

Maybe some of that 70%+ of the American public would point to Syria allowing groups like Hamas to operate within its borders as constituting the threat, but I bet they're in the minority. Most probably can't articulate a way from here to there at all.

So maybe America First, no more being the world's police force, making our allies pay their fair share, etc works in the abstract but the invade-the-world specifics remain reliable winners. After all, letting God's babies be gassed is not "who we are".

At least we still have reason for guarded optimism on the even more important invite-the-world front, right?

Oh boy, and here comes Kevin Hassett:
President Donald Trump has picked an economic advisor who believes in growing the nation’s economy by importing workers and consumers, and by expanding free-trade outsourcing, despite Trump’s “buy American, hire American” campaign promises.
How does a guy who seemed to feed off all the hatred and disgust he generated over the last two years fold now, when he has maximum leverage and a base so loyal that it's hard to think of any amount of blackmail that could lead to impeachment?

I expected a mixed bag as president, with some solid stuff and some silly stuff and lots of internal sabotage, but I'd be lying if I said I thought we'd see what looks like a capitulation coming from the top.

27 comments:

pithom said...

I suspect a majority of Trump voters' primary sources of information remain Fox News and similar outlets. What do you expect?

BTW, most Americans really are frighteningly ignorant of anything going on outside U.S. borders. The major bastions of non-intervention in the U.S. are college towns (thus, the massive anti-Bush swings in them between 2000 and 2004).

The attack was "overwhelmingly popular" among Romney voters, but was less popular among the public overall than any U.S. intervention in the past 30 years other than the instructive example of Libya.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/208334/support-syria-strikes-rates-low-historical-context.aspx
I expected there to be some degree of backstabbing due to Trump's notorious lack of principle. I did not expect the administration to be so stupid.

Sid said...

What makes "invade the world, invite the world" absurd is that it makes enemies abroad, and then gives them a way in. As the Derb pointed out, it's inexplicable that more Muslims have immigrated to America in the 15 years since 9/11 than the 15 years before the attack. It's truly bizarre that this became the Establishment's dominant ideology, but so it is.

In contrast, Trump and FOX News' "invade the world, but don't invite the world" has a crude, barbaric logic to it. We're going to be making foes, so let's not give them a way to strike back!

The democratic socialist perspective of "don't invade the world, but invite the world" is well-intentioned but hopelessly naive, as we saw in Sweden recently.

The alt-right, along with Ron Paul as a source of inspiration, adheres to, "Don't invade the world, don't invite the world." We find this most appealing, but "we" is a relatively small slice of the population.

Personally, not inviting the world is more important to me than not invading it. That might make me more a chimpanzee than a saint, but I got into HBD through an interest in human evolution.

IHTG said...

Trump's entire economic team is that way, it's not just Hassett. I get that people are paying more attention now but why get upset about him and not about Gary Cohn months ago? At least Hassett is a Republican!

Anyway, these guys aren't in charge of immigration.

Sid: That's not barbaric, it's the Anglo-Saxon way! http://takimag.com/article/one_if_by_land_two_if_by_sea_steve_sailer/print

Audacious Epigone said...

Pithom,

That ignorance--which is easily comprehensible with an understanding of Dunbar's number--is how we get sympathy with Trump's expressed sentiment that we take care of our own and stop trying to be the world's police while simultaneously seeing support for an unprovoked attack without congressional consultation let alone approval being higher than Trump himself.

Sid,

Couldn't have put it better myself, thanks.

Audacious Epigone said...

IHTG,

Paulson is a contrarian and a quasi-goldbug and Peter Navarro is unthinkable if Trump isn't president, but in general your point is well taken. Part of it is how the scales seem to be dipping against Bannon/Miller/DonTrumpJr and in the favor of Cohn/Kushner/Mnuchin. It seemed plausible that Pence would be the archetype--someone comfortable with the establishment who would be an ambassador of Trump to said establishment. It's starting to feel more and more like rather than converting people towards Trumpism, Trump is delegating without his putative signature level of detail orientation.

Giovanni Dannato said...

Had to remind myself most Americans couldn't say what the difference is between a Sunni and a Shia nor what their age-old quarrels are, let alone the geo-political conflicts of Sunni and Shia states and their proxies.
Americans hate bullies and love underdogs so the initial strike is, I hate to admit it, possibly some decent marketing.
The down side though for them, is the popularity boost from new and exciting hostilities is short-lived. Wasn't W. Bush one of the most popular presidents ever for awhile?
When you start fighting, people put faith in you and you have a store of political capital...that's easily exhausted, especially with modern attention spans. I mean, we're now looking at the possibility of dramatic foreign policy shifts in 48 hours or less?

It is creepy and disturbing seeing how the same nice people who liked safety pins and coloring books change their minds instantly as soon as missiles are flying.
Jim Donald of Jim's blog recently opined that it's the nice people who often end up standing amongst pyramids of skulls...for the sake of niceness.

chris said...

I am reserving my judgment for seeing how this all plays out.

Trump would be privy to knowledge that we aren't.

And there is one reason to interfere in the middle east a tiny bit, establishing safe zones so none of them rapefugee their way over to the west is one. Although I still think that is more trouble than it's worth, but then again Trump is privy to more information than us.

Feryl said...

Alright, so what do the least popular post Kennedy presidents have in common? Doing way too much, too soon. LBJ was done in by a ghastly combination of excessive expansion of social/domestic liberalism and the escalation of Vietnam. While the by then growing number of left-leaning elites played dumb about what was causing rampant crime, riots, and broken families, Middle/older Americans blamed politicians and judges for failing to enforce policies conducive to peace and stability. They began to detest the changes being imposed on society by arrogantly ambitious elites, and they retaliated swiftly against LBJ and subsequent Dems who were slow to react to just how unpopular it became to openly sympathize with rioters, criminals, and single moms.

Meanwhile, a substantial number of young people were becoming increasingly opposed to the 'Nam slaughter, which was dragging on with frustratingly little evidence of progress. Also, an underrated element of 'Nam disapproval existed among older generations who felt angst that the cost of the conflict wasn't worth it, not like it was in the previous conflicts of their life time. Oh, and a decent number of people felt that the US wasn't being aggressive enough.

LBJ so badly over-reached that he didn't dare even seek another term.

G.W. Bush also tried way too damn hard. Encouraging dumb loans to get the American dream quick, No Child L.B., starting wars on a dubious basis (occupations, really) that either didn't really end or ended with mixed long-term results. Economically and foreign policy wise, the progressively greater mistakes we've made with each president in the post-Kennedy era seemed to come to a head around 2008. LBJ, Reagan, and Clinton did enough damage and Bush/Obama really screwed us.

If Trump isn't careful, he's gonna have an incoherent, protracted, and bloody war on his hands. And that's the primary thing that eats up the goodwill towards a president. It always starts with good intentions and reassurance......

Feryl said...

Is Trump econo-cucking? Well, I don't see any more reason to panic now than I did 2-3-4 months ago. Trump's been picking Wall Street elites the whole time. Regardless, his still rock-solid immigration credentials are, I repeat, are, the least appealing thing imaginable to the Chamber of Commerce wing. Border crossings have declined greatly, ICE is doing it's job like it's supposed to, wall planning is underway (The Wall was his primary and most literally concrete campaign promise, he'd be insane to reneg on it). We didn't get our full wish list, H1-B reform, DACA overhaul, birth-right citizenship reform, etc., but then again we're only several months in and he doesn't even have a complete cabinet.

Face it, we never though any of these reforms had a chance before Trump ran. Not when the GOP elite cucked way too often in the 80's-the present day in a futile effort to shed the white party label. Even the MSM has mostly quieted down about immig. sob stories over the last month or so, probably because Trump's dragnets are ensnaring so many criminals and gov. teat suckers. Also, the symbolic blocking of Trump's exec. orders has let liberals relax since they think that Trump evidently can't do THAT much to stop liberalism and the invasion. Think again, wise guys. ICE activity has greatly increased under Trump, The Wall is coming (said wall was approved in effect during the Bush era), and it just isn't possible to represent/guard every immigrant who gets rounded up.

Robert Lighthizer is a cabinet nominee, and if memory serves, I read that back in the Reagan era he succeed at several efforts to protect American companies from too much foreign competition/chicanery. He's also written on how free trade doesn't exactly work when foreign countries/companies don't play fair. I'm sure he's not perfect but Trump's support of him ought to encourage us.

Feryl said...

"In contrast, Trump and FOX News' "invade the world, but don't invite the world" has a crude, barbaric logic to it. We're going to be making foes, so let's not give them a way to strike back!"

I wish Trump stopped sucking up to Fox ages ago. Like a lot of Boomers, it seems like he picks a side and goes all-in. Trump used to consider himself outside of either party. When he joined the GOP in 2015, he started being a dupe of the GOP's primary propaganda outlet, Faux News.

Telling his base that he watches it basically every day is depressing. Our leader shouldn't be telling us that even he relies on the MSM outlets that have let us down for decades. Not to mention that it makes his anti-media stance look hollow.TV Ratings are up big time, as the majority of Boomers have a picked a side and feel nice and comfy getting their diet of hysteria from their team's Pravda. What's terrifying is that TV news is almost uniformly slanted to fit a channel's agenda. In other words, little to no chance of exposure to detailed arguments from many sides with a fair chance at rebuttal. Seriously, how do you expand your understanding of something when all too often, on TV, it's either mutual ass-kissing or a shouting match? Besides, narcissistic Boomer/X-er hosts/guests on mainstream TV often are pretending to be the be-all, end-all source of enlightenment. Or they've been groomed to play a character, a schtick, that's more about entertaining people than challenging people. Either way, they don't set discourse terms in a way that encourages good faith discussion of often complicated and/or divisive issues that deserve more than shallow talking points and catch phrases.

G.I. and Silent Gen journalists did a much better job of creating a cerebral and cordial atmosphere. It's no coincidence that professional standards diminished greatly as Boomers got more clout. Indeed, the Fairness Doctrine was discarded in the mid 80's. Gee, has the quality of over the air journalism gotten any better since than?

BTW, it looks like that after learning how pro-war 99% of Republicans are (the natural outcome of completely marginalizing Paleo-cons as Jew hating barbarians), Trump decided to embrace a belligerent foreign policy. Rand Paul is a very forlorn man, and the main reason he feels secure in his stance is that his father backs him up. Maybe Paul could ride his "I told you so" warnings to greater power in the future, assuming "they" let him get that far. It's worth noting that bellicosity is the only thing that nearly all politicians agree on. It's difficult to resist that kind of group think, and those who do are kept down.

Feryl said...

For those keeping score, the "innovation" of people screaming at each other has it's origins in 1980's talk radio and a handful of low or middle brow 80's TV shows (CNN's Firing Line being one early example). These things weren't terribly popular at the time, at least in the early-mid 80's. In the late 80's, the culture war begin to take off and both the innovator shows and many clone shows gained a lot of popularity by the early 90's.

So, in other words, when people more or less agree on what's true/false, or right/wrong, there's not much reason for bickering. By the 90's, so many people had become so divided that it created a market for shows about screaming.

Random Dude on the Internet said...

Donald Trump has let in a lot of enemies into his cabinet. I do believe that his criteria for hiring people on his cabinet is based on gut feel since Trump has little political experience himself. So he lets in these people who will likely sabotage, water down, or slow down his ideas.

Unfortunately I feel that the alt right is failing to move the needle. We did meme in a president but the next step is to begin putting alt right friendly people into political positions and that isn't happening. Even if it is for the local dog catcher or a school board of a school district that might have 300 students, the alt right needs to begin infiltrating and it isn't doing that. I guarantee you that (((interests))) are doing what they can to slow or stop Trump.

It's important to have these people in various political offices because they can apply enough pressure to continue moving the overton window rightward. Donald Trump is getting attacked from all angles to move leftward but there is no real pressure on him to keep the course (good luck hoping that the freedom caucus will do anything).

Anonymous said...

It has to be oil related. The US Dollar is said to be fiat, but it is technically "backed" by oil. Via petrodollar reserve currency arrangement.

Our economy is hugely dependent on reserve currency status... giving the finger to the gulf states here must have been too costly. A crashed economy and nobody will care that you kept them out of a war.

And of course, there is always the Israeli pressure.

I just wish we'd get some honesty. Trump did not switch his Syria policy because of "the babies". That is just such a lie. If we need to go blow stuff up in the Middle East again to protect our standard of living, lets hear an honest case for it.

Trump was probably not lying to us on the campaign trail, our leverage on the world stage at least in regards to oil conflicts must be a lot worse than he knew.

Joshua Sinistar said...

Yeah are these the same polls that said Donald would lose big? That abortion and affirmative racism has broad support even amongst Whites? Those polls? Those pollsters there?

Yeah, no. They got nothing. The can try to Gin up a War, but I have a feeling this time they finally went TOO FAR.

They'll get a War alright. Second Civil War, or Second Revolution depending on whatever future historian you want to read. Globalism has LOST. This War is a sign of DESPERATION. They know revolution is in the air, and they want to send some of the fighters to DIE SOMEWHERE ELSE.

This is sad, Donald Duck.

Audacious Epigone said...

Giovanni,

Historically military intervention always boosts presidential popularity, but as Pat Buchanan has pointed out time and time again, it destroys presidencies (and legacies), too.

Chris,

It'd be great if you're right. The 5D chess analogies are wearing out. Maybe there's compelling information, but then we have to wonder about the source. Wait-and-see is where I am as well.

Feryl,

Wrt Fox News, my sense was that he was mildly antagonistic during the primaries but warmed up big time once he had the nomination secured, which was probably a wise move electorally--he gets the anti-establishment cred during the primaries but shores up the rank-and-file cucks for the general.

I haven't been able to watch cable TV news shows for a decade. The internet provides so much more meat. Cable TV is cringe-inducing fluff by comparison, a big waste of time that teaches nothing more than the polemical/rhetorical approaches of the individual talking heads.

Random Dude,

We punched way above our weight during this political season, but that blitz was the result of a spontaneous energy that the power structure wasn't ready for. We haven't carved out a significant part of the culture yet, though. We're making some progress, but it's going to take time. We're not going to convert long-time congressional seat warmers or staffers. Lasting political power will come from the next generation of congress critters, people our age who know the Alt Right as more than just National Review's characterization of it.

Anon,

The Saudis want Assad gone. I guess the Israelis do, too, though I wonder if they're actually worried about what might fill the vacuum or if they assume, probably rightly, that whatever does will be such a primitive, disorganized mess that it won't pose any real threat to them.

Joshua,

The polls are roughly in the ballpark. R-I got goofy with Trump in the general by oversampling independents and Democrats, but the margins weren't anywhere near enough to cover this yawning gap in "threat" vs "non-threat".

Feryl said...

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/11/politics/trump-immigration-sessions-prosecutions/

They're not backing down on securing the border. Sessions is still in Eff You mode. Trump wound him up months ago and he's still going.

"Wrt Fox News, my sense was that he was mildly antagonistic during the primaries but warmed up big time once he had the nomination secured, which was probably a wise move electorally--he gets the anti-establishment cred during the primaries but shores up the rank-and-file cucks for the general.

"Random Dude,

We punched way above our weight during this political season, but that blitz was the result of a spontaneous energy that the power structure wasn't ready for. We haven't carved out a significant part of the culture yet, though. We're making some progress, but it's going to take time. We're not going to convert long-time congressional seat warmers or staffers. Lasting political power will come from the next generation of congress critters, people our age who know the Alt Right as more than just National Review's characterization of it."

I don't think we'll ever make that much head way at weaning Boomers off of the MSM (including it's boutique subsidiaries like National Review on the right and stuff like Mother Jones on the left). It's just part of their DNA. You have to realize that the majority of people respected the media before the 90's. What many older people still don't get is that over the last 30 or so years the majority of reporters shifted from honestly appraising elites and serious issues, to becoming elites themselves disconnected not just geographically but psychologically from proles. Into the 80's, we got sober reports on crime, drugs, poverty, homelessness, etc. We even got a fair bit of reporting on what America was getting from it's foreign policy, mostly from the boutique Left press although paleocon nationalists weren't totally muzzled yet either on the right.

I know that much of the Left went hard against Bush, but what's telling is how partisan things became. We all know that had Clinton or Obama done the same things, there barely would've been a peep from the Left media establishment, with the possible exception of Harpers who published some pretty bold stuff in the 90's.

What sucks is that the ranks from which young Alt-righters can be drawn just aren't that big. People under 40 aren't a very favorable demographic. Birth rates in the 70's and even early-mid 80's were extremely low. Furthermore, this demo. is much less white than Boomers and early X-ers, and we're much more broke and indebted than earlier generations.

It's really up to whites born in the 50's and 60's to not shit the bed in the upcoming elections. And we're just not going to reach some of them. For one thing, spinsterhood is pretty common among the women. For another, some have been on Team Cuck or Team Dem for eons and have no interest in changing their tune. My '60 born dad initially thought Trump had some potential, but he soaked up the anti-Trump propaganda that intensified around last October. Lately I've heard him pushing memes like the Russian conspiracy and complaining that the media was on Trump's side (!), maybe the most outlandish thing to be pushed by Dem hacks in the Trump era, and that's saying something.

Feryl said...


You did make a good point that Trump himself intuitively senses that a huge chunk of the electorate listens to the MSM, so maybe that's a reason he allied with Fox. At the same time though, how 'bout extending a life line to New Media, especially the Paleo con variety? It's a shame that Trump appears to have cucked hard on disassociation from any site that traffics in HBD. But as we've noted before, Trump is not a racial nationalist. He's a champion of Americans in general, and probably is personally uncomfortable with HBD realtalk. That doesn't mean he won't call it shitty immigrants and ethnic groups that produce terrorists; but he won't go "all the way" to the reality that by default different groups of people will just never live in total harmony. Three generations have held out hope that such a thing would eventually happen. But younger people are tired of the chaos of diversity.

Audacious Epigone said...

Feryl,

Trump gets a lot of crap for allegedly getting all his news from cable TV shows, but that clearly wasn't the case during the primaries, as anyone who followed his Twitter feed knew--he got a lot of his news from other Twitter accounts. He retweeted Heartiste once and followed the DemsRrealRacists parody account that is now J_Burton. That's how he ended up retweeting politically incorrect stuff about black crime and Israel's wall.

He was told--and apparently listened post-election--to stay away from Twitter as much as possible. Now it looks like he just uses it for what are essentially press releases. If he's a guy who is very much attuned to what is directly in front of him, this has been a change for the worst.

Of his kids and kids-in-law, Jr. is the most sympathetic to us by far, and he is not coincidentally the most fiery on Twitter.

Random Dude on the Internet said...

> We punched way above our weight during this political season, but that blitz was the result of a spontaneous energy that the power structure wasn't ready for. We haven't carved out a significant part of the culture yet, though. We're making some progress, but it's going to take time. We're not going to convert long-time congressional seat warmers or staffers. Lasting political power will come from the next generation of congress critters, people our age who know the Alt Right as more than just National Review's characterization of it.

I'm just saying that we have to calibrate our expectations accordingly until the alt right is a powerful enough force to listen to. While I'm sure Bannon, Miller, and Sessions are the most sympathetic to our cause, that's three people versus countless people who want him to embrace a neocon foreign policy. This is where an alt right political group can apply pressure to get Trump to stay the course, which is what I believe he wants to do but is getting pressure from seemingly all angles (including his daughter) to go against his word.

That is why we need to get in there and get into the system at any level. This is what the new left did after 1972 when Nixon destroyed McGovern. The new left broke apart but a sizable contingent worked themselves into the various systems and we didn't get to really feel their power until the late 90s into today. We need to do the same. Politics, media, academia, etc. the alt right needs to use the same tactics used against the Old Right of the 50s and 60s.

chedolf said...

The Saudis want Assad gone. I guess the Israelis do, too...

You don't have to guess.

What makes "invade the world, invite the world" absurd is that it makes enemies abroad, and then gives them a way in. As the Derb pointed out, it's inexplicable...

Derbyshire is wilfully obtuse. A great many of the same people who want us to destroy Israel's enemies also insist America is a proposition nation disconnected from any particular race/religion, and that we should encourage mass immigration regardless of how it affects demographics. They are consciously hostile to any nationalism except their own, and there's nothing inexplicable about it.

Feryl said...

"That is why we need to get in there and get into the system at any level. This is what the new left did after 1972 when Nixon destroyed McGovern. The new left broke apart but a sizable contingent worked themselves into the various systems and we didn't get to really feel their power until the late 90s into today. We need to do the same. Politics, media, academia, etc. the alt right needs to use the same tactics used against the Old Right of the 50s and 60s. "

We've had Lefty cranks for eons, especially when large numbers of Jews were admitted to the U.S. in the later 1800's and beyond.

What's important is how we deal with them. Before WW2, they had relatively little influence (please don't bother citing stories to contradict this, the point is that they had less influence back then). After WW2, gentiles felt guilty about the holocaust and started to give Jews more clout. 1960's Left/interventionist Right over-reach began to stink rather quickly, and most of Middle America wanted their boys to stop fighting wars and wanted lower crime rates and welfare use back. Also, the extant Soviet Union put Leftists on notice; go too far and you're a heathen communist in the eyes of Middle America.

So why has the Left and Neocon "Right" gained so much over the last 20-30 years? I'd say it's due to several things:

- Crime begin declining in the mid 90's
- The dissolution of the Soviets in the early 90's (remember, they used women in/near combat, among other far Left things). The Soviets were a check on American geo-political ambitions while also making Americans cautious about going too far to the left.
- Bitter memories of 'Nam fading with time

A survey showed that academics swung heavily to the Left in the mid 90's. So we're not necessarily talking about people who were nuts all along; rather, as the average American became more naive, it's become that much easier for elites to adopt crazy ideology.

Audacious Epigone said...

Chedolf,

Touche.

Feryl,

Do you happen to recall the name of that survey? I'd like to take a look at the same in the GSS. I've noticed between 2004 and 2014, academics moved even further to the left but haven't looked back prior to that.

James said...

Shows how stupid Americans are. This is a perfect example of how the dumbest genera, err, I mean the greatest generation failed on their watch. America entered WWII due to Roosevelt's provoking of the Japanese with undeclared economic warfare and then knowing they would attack Pearl Harbor, but sent no intelligence to the military in Hawaii. Americans volunteered in droves to fight the Japanese. Then Hitler declared war on the US hoping the Japanese would respond by attacking the Soviets. Ha ha ha. So Roosevelt got into the war his master's wanted via the back door, since most Americans didn't want to fight Germany. There was actually a time after WWII that the Posterity of the Constitution could have taken their country back without massive military force being used against them. They didn't. Nor did they wake up to all the other depredations of their liberties. In fact, that generation became even more entrenched in their loyalty to the evil de facto government in DC. It didn't matter how obvious their treachery was, it was "My country, right or wrong!" I had hoped that after the past two decades, Americans would have woken up. Nope. Still morons believing in a power that wants them dead.

Feryl said...

No, I don't remember off the top of my head but I know I've seen it referenced numerous times. I guess I'll have to wait for it to pop up again somewhere.

Elites have been getting more culturally liberal for ages, but the temptation to go too far used to be held in check by not wanting to be associated with Soviet atrocities.

Come to think of it, Americans could credibly claim to be the good guy as long as the Soviets were around. Perhaps that's why older Americans are braindead about the terrible blowback we've wrought over the last 25 years. Older Americans imagine that the US is still fighting the moral and political equivalent of the anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet crusades of the past. Younger people on the other hand are ashamed of the US destroying it's reputation and moral standing over the last 25 years.

Audacious Epigone said...

James,

Right, the things that need done need to be done 60 years ago, no time for delay!

Feryl,

Conversely, young people don't understand what the big deal is about communism. Isn't that just a slurry synonym for socialism? And isn't socialism about sharing and equality? It beats terrorism, right? (Terrorism is what they know, it's the only real foreign policy threat that's been active in their lives).

Feryl said...

The difference is karma. We used to righteously fight against an powerful enemy we didn't create. Thus, relatively little shame or insecurity, although the methods by which we fought the commies did cause us trouble at times (primarily the pushback against Vietnam over-reach).

For those born in the last 30-40 years, though, have grown up in a world in which it seems like every nation and ethnic group is both attacking and getting attacked in never-ending cycles of revenge and territorial/resource disputes where not just the methods of conflict are morally opaque, but so are the motivations and goals of the conflict.

It's not like the Soviets or Nazis had any moral or political legitimacy to push back against competing ideologies/nations. The Soviets in and of themselves murdered countless people for no good reason and stripped people in many countries of basic individual rights. The Nazis did have a credible argument that Germany got unduly punished for WW1, but that doesn't excuse trying to conquer Europe, stripping many people of basic rights, and doing god knows how many horrible things for any number of reasons to many people.

Older people ascribe old-school moralism and poltical urgency to stopping the spread of modern enemy groups/ideologies. But they're wrong. Younger people are better able to understand that after the U.S. ran out of heavyweight villain contenders, the U.S. began arrogantly asserting it's whims and greed on so many places and people, that in the process it lost the moral high ground and thus alienated many people. Setting us on course to be hit by blowback in the decades to come. None other than Russia itself went from being a legit villain to being a hapless mess that the U.S. shamelessly exploited. Funny thing is that if Russia genuinely wanted to go after us, they'd have a legitimate reason to do so. But they actually are primarily interested in countering Islam and keeping Russia Russian, not really having a desire to become an empire (and looking at what a flailing monster the U.S. is, who can blame them?)

All the while, the most baffling question is just why we want enemies within our borders. Liberalism is warped to spin individuals as not having certain ethnic characteristics. So we fight ideologies, not people. That's the thinking. Granted, one could say that this idea wasn't without merit in the Cold War, when many people from all ethnic groups made some kind of commitment to communism. But it's abjectly moronic in terms of Islam, in which most of it's aggressors are Arab or African with many ethnic groups having little to no interest in adopting Islam. In the cold war, you wondered if your white neighbor ever got into being a commie. But nobody is ever afraid of a historical stock white American being a muslim.

Audacious Epigone said...

Feryl,

In the cold war, you wondered if your white neighbor ever got into being a commie. But nobody is ever afraid of a historical stock white American being a muslim.

Exactly. All the problems that come with importing people from MENA hellholes are unforced errors. Obvious, blatant, unequivocal unforced errors. There's no tangible upside that anyone experiences.