If I’m driving to visit my sister in Tripoli, how do I avoid getting blown up by a NATO airstrike? If I hunker down in my house in Gharyan, how do I avoid rebels fighting the pro-Qaddafi forces in my neighborhood? If the rebels accuse me of loyalty to Qaddafi, how do I avoid being shot? If the loyalists accuse me of aiding the enemy, how do I avoid getting executed?Every time some credulous asshole starts yawping about how "Obama must speak out," I dream of corpses. Oh, oh, no, they're just, like, pointing out the hypocrisy of supporting protests here but not there. Oh, god, you fucking fools, you rubes, you accomplices to war and evil! Let him be a hypocrite! Let him not speak out! PLEASE, someone, stop this fucking monster from speaking out. When he keeps his goddamn yap shut, there is at least some minor, slim chance that the country will escape airstrikes.
All I want to do is stay alive. How do I do that? And how do NATO airstrikes assist in that end?
This is the problem with the left, and this is why, though their language of "national interest" is somewhat distasteful to me, I so often identify more closely with the isolationist right than the sort-of anti-imperial left. Daniel Larison understands in a way that most lefties apparently do not that American governments taking up the rhetorical cause of rebels and revolutions are not engaging in rare, admirable acts of solidarity. Barack Obama "speaking out" on behalf of the Libyan opposition was not the act of a selfless democrat cheering on the aspirations of some other people to be free; it was a prelude to war, and his "speaking out" on behalf of whomever in Bahrain would be the same.
So someone says:
Obama condemned the Gaddafi government in his speech, justifying the recent military attacks in Libya, saying: "Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked. Journalists were arrested." Now that the same things are happening in Bahrain, Obama has little to say.Look what's happening in Libya! NATO is bombing Tripoli! There are a million people in Tripoli! And you want this fucker Obama to do the same to Bahrain?
Oh, oh, no. No. We just want him to speak out. You know. So as not to be a hypocrite. What're a few JDAMs between friends when a consistent approach to the promotion of democracy is on the line?