Creative Destruction

January 23, 2007

Lazy Minds Ponder Stupid People Pondering Public Policy

Filed under: Blogosphere — Off Colfax @ 3:17 am

Duncan Black picks up a long blog train, starting at VOLPAC via Instapundit via LGM, (There’s a Kevin Bacon joke in there somewhere.) where he just cannot resist a reflexive knee-jerk response to any form of military action being performed under the current presidency. To wit, with his response in his italics:

Should the United States send troops to stop the genocide in Darfur?

Dunno, you signing up?

Pavlov would be just so proud of his student these days. When it takes just two minutes of googling to find a gaggle of liberal bloggers wanting action, such as this guy for a start, a Democratic presidential candidate who negotiated a cease-fire in the region, and utter and complete violations of said cease-fire by the Sudanese government not 8 hours before I write this…

Honestly, dude. Control your automatic dismissal for whatever a prominent Republican says for long enough to see that this is not a “conservative vs. liberal”, “neo-con vs. progressive” debate topic but a very real disaster that we could set to its long put-off rest.

So instead of engaging the autonomic process that his brain has become over the last 6 years, Duncan Black, closely followed by his ditto-head commenters (Yes. That’s an insult.), don’t take anything into account other than “Frist said it. It must be bad. New wanker of the day! LOL PWNZ!”

So I’m going to step in and say what teh Atrios should’ve said.

Should the United States send troops to stop the genocide in Darfur?

Why the hell are you asking us this, oh mighty former Senate Majority Leader? If this has been a such a major concern of yours for so long, why didn’t you stop merrily applauding the President’s every move in Iraq for all these years? Why didn’t you make the slightest motion to send a battalion or so of Marines into western Sudan where they could have done some good? Why did you wait until after you were no longer in office to bring this into the public arena? Are you just looking for cheap hits off of your political antagonists? You had the last three years to do something about this, and instead blew it off while publicly patting your own back about Iraq so hard that you had to put in your own house-call for a sprained shoulder and now you expect us to think that this is one of the most pressing things on your mind?

See how easy that is? And all of them with a seriously interrogative tone, as well. (Admittedly, they tend to be rhetorical tones as well.) Instead, he goes for the cheap shot of “Dunno, you signing up?”

Weak. Oh so very weak. It’s hard to believe that this continues to represent the fourth largest liberal blog, only beaten in the ecosystem rankings by Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, and The Huffington Post. And the only one of those that’s worth reading for the insights is TPM.

Mindboggling how weak the prominent left-o-sphere is these days.


  1. I’m with you. Some people are simply anti-war, I am not. Some people believe that good things cannot come from bad people, I believe that politics makes bad people do good things for political gain.

    Darfur is a situation that can be made better with troops. This is a war being fought with gangs in Land Rovers and guys on camels, in each case, with rifles and torches. These weapons are perfectly capable of ravaging entire communities. But, they are no match for modern military force.

    Certainly, it is possible to screw up military intervention in Darfur. But, surely, we have a better prospect of success when our mission is actually to protect people who live there, who face grave peril. This is not Iraq. We are not trying to depose a functional regime that currently maintains law and order whose threat to us is manufactured, leaving us no real mission and a power vacuum of our own devising.

    Like Iraq, the solution to Darfur must ultimately be political. This is not easily solved with mere democracy, because it is a local and national majority that is oppressing and killing off a minority. But, in the course of finding a solution, we can prevent the minority from being slaughtered, and we have a moral obligation to do so. It is furthermore in our national interest to send a message to those who would consider their tactics elsewhere.

    If we are smart, we would not frame the mission as one of regime change. Most Sudanese people are, if not happy with their dictorial government, not in mood to be rid of it either and no more moral towards minorities than their dictatorial leaders. Southern Sudan, like Kosovo in Serbia, has already been carved out as an autonomous region of Sudan on its way to statehood. A mission in Darfur should seek to find a separate peace for Darfur rather than trying to remake Sudan in its entirety.

    If our military is not designed for this mission, and it is not, then we need to use our vast military resources to retool it for this mission, for it will not be the last time that we encounter a situation that calls for this kind of military action.

    Comment by ohwilleke — January 23, 2007 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

  2. we need to use our vast military resources to retool it for this mission, for it will not be the last time that we encounter a situation that calls for this kind of military action.

    Indeed. A colonialist division or two would be handy.

    So, when exactly did we decide that the British Empire was right after all? 😉

    Comment by Robert — January 23, 2007 @ 12:35 pm | Reply

  3. The preferred term these days is “peacekeeping” or “counterinsurgency (CIS)” but the majority of missions the U.S. military has undertaken since WWII have been of this type. Yet, the military has steadfastly refused to create any units from scratch designed for this purpose (with the possible exclusion of the just created Stryker Brigades).

    Indeed, I’ve argued before that we need the modern equivalent of a colonial office as well, i.e. a civilian agency in charge of foreign civil affairs, similar to the Army Corps of Civil Engineers for stuff that doesn’t require calculus or physics.

    I’ve also taken the position, more than once, that the British left their colonies too early and abruptly, and that overall, they did a better job of running their colonies and bringing them to independence than anybody else did.

    They left Hong Kong better than they found it.

    Kenya and Tanzania while not exemplary are not the basket cases of Africa.

    South Africa for all its segregationist warts (but in place by the Dutch) is one of the more economically successful parts of Africa and eventually came around to being a modern multiracial democracy.

    Canada and Australia and New Zealand are all happy campers.

    India was one of the very first countries granted independence in the colonial era, and while it had a very bloody split with Pakistan which in turn had a not very bloody split with Bangladesh, the fact that the rest of it kept in tact has prevented the subcontinent from enduring the endless international wars that Africa and Europe have to great extent.

    Comment by ohwilleke — January 23, 2007 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

  4. Look at that, I’m “this guy for a start.” :-p

    Technorati is a wonderful thing.

    And as for the sentiment in your post I couldn’t agree more. By and large I’ll end up siding on a liberal or Democrat side by virtue of my own ideological thinking, but that does not mean everything that comes out of the mouths of right wingers is purely satanistic and vice versa.

    Obama is going to take this “evaluate the issue in a TRULY bi-partisan” approach to a whole new level.

    Comment by Alan — January 24, 2007 @ 7:22 pm | Reply

  5. Waidaminnit. Everyone’s agreeing with me.

    Does this mean I suddenly have ditto-head commenters?

    Someone quick! Call me an idiot moonbat!

    Comment by Off Colfax — January 25, 2007 @ 12:58 am | Reply

  6. Idiot moonbat.

    (I live to serve.)

    Comment by Robert — January 25, 2007 @ 1:02 am | Reply

  7. Thanks. I feel much better.

    Comment by Off Colfax — January 25, 2007 @ 1:21 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: