George Orwell quote on nationalism and atrocities


It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that you're taking painful steps to rationalize the irrational. For starters, the supporters of the war are by default nationalists (including you), because they demanded that "we" do something in Iraq. And for the coup de grace, most of the opponents of the Iraq War are opponents not only because American troops are dying, but also because Iraqi civilians and other humans are dying.

I know that you take an extreme view that nationality doesn't exist, but in this case, you're a flag-wavin', slogan-shouting, Lee Greenwood singing Yankee, by virtue of the simple policy decision to support US military intervention over there.




  It's a misnomer (although a common one) to refer to supporters of intervention as "supporters of the war." What's being debated is *U.S. government involvement* in the conflict, not the conflict itself. Supporters of U.S. government involvement in the conflict want to see the conflict itself end just as much as opponents of USgov involvement. Arguably more, since it serves their political interests to see the conflict end immediately, whereas it only serves the political interests of opponents for the conflict to end, if it ends *after* USgov troops are withdrawn.

  My longstanding position is that I would love to see the conflict end, by means of the Iraqi sectarians ending their violent campaign against civilians in Iraq and against the elected Iraqi government. If they want to pursue some arguably legitimate goal like splitting the country into multiple entities, they should follow rules of war and not deliberately target civilians.

  I didn't demand that "we" do something in Iraq. The U.S. government is not us! To say it *is* us -- THAT is the nationalist premise! Whether that premise leads you to support, or oppose, a particular government policy, is secondary; imperialism is no more inherently a nationalist sentiment than is isolationism. Both Japan and China, for instance, had long periods of "turning inward" that were tied to a sense of nationalism.

  If you want to call me a war supporter, however, you have some narrow grounds for doing so on the following basis: I have come to believe Ron Paul has a shot at winning the GOP nomination, and I think this would be such an important step forward for liberty, that I am almost hopeful now that the situation in Iraq doesn't improve *too* much while U.S. government forces remain there, because he has made opposing intervention such a central part of his campaign, that a vast improvement in Iraq could significantly hurt his chances. So if you want to castigate me for effectively hoping for continuing bloodshed in Iraq for the time being, you'd be justified in doing so. As I am torn on that issue, a big part of me agrees with the criticism.

  But don't accuse me of "supporting the war" on the grounds that I support a USgov troop presence. If USgov troops were to leave now, I firmly believe the bloodshed in Iraq would vastly increase. What about you? Do you think a USgov withdrawal would decrease or increase the loss of life, liberty, and property in Iraq? And is the desire to minimize such losses your main basis for deciding what USgov policy ought to be? I suspect not, as you appear to be a knee-jerk anti-interventionist on principle, regardless of the body count consequences. Well, it *is* mine. My personal hope for conditions conducive to a Ron Paul victory notwithstanding, I think that makes *me* more anti-war than you are! You are *anti-intervention*, NOT "anti-war."

Love & Liberty,
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