Skip to comments.Why Liberals Oppose Unilateralism
Posted on 09/17/2002 12:17:44 AM PDT by Coeur de Lion
"I am totally against unilateralism in the modern world," says French president Jacques Chirac, expressing the particular European distaste for any strong U.S. action vis à vis Iraq, but also making a much larger claim regarding the morality of sovereign power itself.
As I read Chirac's comment, the categorical nature of it made me suddenly realize how the opposition to unilateralism, about which we hear so much today, is of a piece with all the other familiar liberal positions, ranging from global gun control to campaign finance reform to anti-discrimination laws, that tend in the direction of the elimination of political and personal freedom.
What is unilateralism? It is a nation-state taking action, political or military, on the international stage, whether to defend its interests or to restore order in an area of the world that comes within its purview or responsibility. For example, when the United States intervened from time to time in Haiti over the course of the 20th century to restore a minimum of order in that desperate place, that was unilateralism. When the United States confronted the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis, that was unilateralism. When the U.S. sent massive amount of materiél to Israel at a crucial moment in the 1973 War, that was unilateralism. When the U.S. bombed Libya following a terrorist attack on U.S. service personnel in West Germany in the 1980s, that was unilateralism. When Israel rescued its hostages in Entebbe, that was unilateralism. When Britain sent a flotilla to win back the Falklands from the Argentinean junta, that was unilateralism.
Unilateral action by a state can be good or bad, moral or immoral, successful or unsuccessful, just like any other type of action. Therefore to be against unilateralism per se is to be against the very possibility of nation-state behaving in a responsible and helpful way in the world. The results of this attitude can be catastrophic. During the Bosnian war in the early 1990s, the thing that was most urgently needed was unilateral action by a strong power in the neighborhood to intervene and restore order. In the old days, such "Great Powers" as Germany or Austria would have been in a position to take on that vital task. But by the early 1990s there was no European nation ready and willing to act unilaterally, only the damnable U.N., whose "peacekeeping" missions made the situation far worse, while the European Union, founded for the very purpose of avoiding decisive action by its members, showed itself totally incapable of taking any steps to stop the slaughter. It was not until the United States stepped in, acting "unilaterally," that the immediate violence was brought to a halt (though the U.S. pursued a multiculturalist concept of order that made a permanent settlement in Bosnia impossible and required American and other troops to stay in the area indefinitely.)
Liberals are against unilateralism for the same reason they are against fundamental individual freedoms such as the private ownership of guns. Since liberals believe in equality, they are against power, because different people inevitably possess different amounts of it and so oppress each other. So liberals oppose private gun ownership, because it suggests differentials of power among individuals, which suggests inequality and oppression. For the same reason, liberals want to restrict the freedom of political organizations to buy political advertising because some candidates and groups will be able to buy more advertising than others, which suggests differentials of power, which suggests inequality and oppression (the recent campaign finance law is to free elections what gun control is to self-defense). And for the same reason, liberals oppose independent action by nation-states because such action suggests differentials of power and thus inequality and oppression. Since freedom of action by persons or polities and the resulting inequalities of power and influence are built into the very structure of existence, what liberals are ultimately aiming for is nothing less than the total repression of the natural order of things. The attempt to eliminate all power must lead to the concentration of all power in a global totalitarian state.
At the same time, even as the liberals and globalists keep pushing for a uniform world system in which no one will be allowed to act as a free entity in his own interests, they are also demanding a radical expansion of human rights. We must understand that this is not a contradiction. The freedom that the liberals seek to destroy is the freedom of men and nations to act responsibly in the pursuit of legitimate ends. The rights that the liberals seek to expand are the "rights" of human beings to have all their needs provided by society.
As an example of this agenda, consider Principle 1 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, which was the basis of the final declaration of the recent U.N. World Summit on Sustainable Development:Human beings are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.
Now it is one thing to say that a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature is like happiness itself a desirable good to which human beings ought to aspire; it is quite another thing to say that human beings are entitled to a healthy and productive life. Leaving aside the fact that the demand is logically absurd (how can a person have a "right" to be productive?), it is clear that the liberals have transformed the procedural right to pursue a good life (or, rather, the right not to be arbitrarily prevented from pursuing it) into the substantive right to have a good life. Furthermore, since entitlements imply obligations (a point on which the U.N. is becoming increasingly explicit), it becomes the obligation of all nations to ensure the happiness of every human being on earth. In practice, of course, this means that it will be the duty of the functioning, free, law-abiding, and successful countries meaning ourselves collectively to ensure the happiness of everyone living in the disfunctional, unfree, lawless, and unsuccessful countries. In short, the total suppression of national sovereignty and of individual freedom within a global socialist regime. Such suppression, and such a regime, is the ultimate goal of the ascendant liberal ideology which John Fonte has dubbed transnational progressivism, but which could more appropriately be called transnational radicalism.
"The attempt to eliminate all power must lead to the concentration of all power in a global totalitarian state."
I could probally quote each line from this, each one makes an important point.
This is a MUST READ for any Rebublican or any one who is concerned about keeping this country as the founding fathers wanted it. The author explains in clear & precise terms that demacrats have no regard for our Constitution or way of life. The trick is to make this CRYSTAL CLEAR to the voters. The liberals are running the demacratic party. The Republican goal in this election or any election should be that no vote for a dem be an uninformed vote. If you vote for them, you are voting for the desruction of our way of life as we have known it. You are voting for the dismantling of our Constituion, Bill of Rights, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness exc..weakening our military, placing our generation and the next generations in danger. Vote for dems ,and you vote for tearing down everything that made our nation great and replacing our system with socialism and under the control of Koffi Anan and the UN. This will be a HUGE step down for our people(regarding standards of living & health care exc..) and it will come as quite a shock to many. Hopefully people will wise up.
On that note, I'm sick of conservative hosts talking about so called moderate dems, like Zell Miller of Georgia. He has no say so in his party. Exactly how many moderate dems are there? (about 2.) I wish they'd (conservatives on radio, exc..)) stop helping dems to cover up what they really stand for.
I don't want to hear the word liberal either. A liberal IS A DEMACRAAAT! Knowing how stupid we can be, I'm positive there are many, many, people who think liberal and demacrat are 2 different political parties.
And finally, I have to keep a bucket next to the TV when President Bush is speaking, for when he says "Republicans & demacrats working toghether..." arghhh!! gag!! barf!! What exactly does he mean by "new tone" any way? Does that mean you cover up for people whose behavior has been an abomination in a time of war and after our nation has been attacked? How about when the Clintons & their low lifes trashed the White House? Don't we have a right to know how these people really are? But, then again he (Bush) does have a giant problem with the press twisting everything against him, so maybe its better the way he does it. Ok done ranting for the night . Excellent article.
Nonsense. Unilateralism presupposes that we will act to protect our interests. Sometimes they will coincide with the interests of other nations, sometimes they will not. The President has a constitutional responsibility to provide for the protection of the country. This constitutional responsibility does not presume adherence to a higher authority. Besides, what would that higher authority be? In case you haven't noticed there is no world government, yet.
....One Nation under God with justice and liberty for all. .. The Constitution, Declaration of Independence wich came looooooong befor the UN. But anyway commrade , I can tell your having trouble understanding why we can't trust a murderous dictator who killed 1 million of his own people. Don't know what else to say to you. Try reading about a guy named Hitler, you might learn something.
And here's a perfect example, comrade.
You never did the Kenosha, kid.
You never did; the Kenosha Kid.
Wow, somebody who read Gravity's Rainbow and thought it was true...
I suppose you think that Hitler should have just been ignored?
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
That all human beings are created equal, with certain inalienable rights...
Unilateralism, by shunning any external criterion, presupposes that America is angelic, incapable of wrongdoing. Consequently, charters exist only for other nations.
I prefer the word sovereignty. We exercise our sovereignty by doing what needs to be done to protect our interests. Fortunately for the world the USA was founded on, and still rests mostly on, a Judeo-Christian foundation. So while we are capable of wrongdoing (most actions taken while clinton was in office) we seldom do wrong.
The judge of the USA is not the UN nor the rest of the world. We don't care what they think as long as they stay out of our way. Our sole Judge is God as related to us in our Judeo-Christian heritage. As long as we stay true to our founding fathers vision we will do OK.
Of course no matter what we do the rest of the world will hate us so we are not going to waste time worrying about them.
God Save America (Please)
The hypocrisy is maddening!
We sit on the security council and have veto power. (why? because we pulled the worlds tail end out of hitler's hands. the free world exists solely because of us) So we use that veto power. I don't see any hypocrisy here at all. We are doing what is in our own best interest. What else would you have us do, surrender to our enemies?
You need to pay closer attention. We are going to topple Saddam because he supported terrorism against us. We don't give a flying **** what the UN thinks. Our case delivered to the UN was only to let the euroweenies and the rest of the undeveloped world feel better about Saddams demise. We don't really care that he flaunted UN resolutions. We only care that he had the nerve to attack us and for that he must die.
Moral clarity: they attacked us and they will cease to exist. What could be more clear than that.
No. The country of iraq will cease to exist. The pieces will be picked up by those neighbors (I'd guess mostly Jordan).
There is no evidence that Iraq has nuclear weapons, or that he was involved on 9-11.
There's tons of evidence that he is seeking nukes. Why let a madman get a nuke. There's also sufficent evidence that he has supported terrorism to take him out any way. Remember the President's speech after 9-11? We will hunt down terrorists and countries that aid terrorists. Saddam pays 25K to the families of pali terrorists. That's reason enough.
Just because he's an Arab does not make him suicidal.
But it sure does seem to contribute to the tendency
we're supposed to wet ourselves with terror and send 250,000 of our children to stop him? Ha!
If we had intervened early enough with hitler we wouldn't have had to fight WWII. Why wait when we know what his aims are?
"...this is a war we HAVE to fight" Really? Are you planning on attending?
I'd prefer to just nuke the place from here but if required to go I'd be willing to. (Unfortunately I'm a little older than I once was and in rotten shape)
Not all tyrants are hell-bent on world domination.
Saddam is a moslem. The moslems are bent on world domination. Saddam supports terrorists. Saddam cannot be allowed to pass WMD on to terrorists. If not stopped Saddam WILL pass nukes etc to his terrorist buddies.
That's because in their vanity, arrogance, and narcissism, "liberals" think that God mucked things up pretty badly, with His creation. But don't worry, they're here to "fix it all up" for us. If the price we have to pay to live in their "perfect world" happens to be the surrender of the hallmarks of our humanity (i.e., intelligence and free will), then what the heck: Ya gotta break eggs to make an omelette.
Thanks for a great post, Couer de Lion.
You are totally wrong here. There will be no additional terrorists because all the islamics out there are already terrorists and already hate us. How can we turn them against us when they already are turned against us. From the other viewpoint the terrorists lose a major funding source and base of operations (and hopefully a whole lot of personnel).
It is also likely to spread whatever weapons Saddam has.
So we can spread the ones he has and stop production or let him continue to produce and spread the weapons anyway. Saddam is or will be passing weapons to the terrorists, the only variable is how many.
In addition, he will be more inclined to kick out all the jams if he knows he has nothing to lose (unlike the Gulf War when he restrained himself).
That's why we have to hit him now before he gets nukes. You see, now we can attack with some degree of mercy for the iraqi people. After he gets nukes we have no option but to turn iraq into a glowing parking lot to prevent those nukes from being used against us.
We, for our own security, control the door to the nuclear club and no one else is welcome in.
Preservation of these United States is never a vile motive
God Save America (Please)
So your saying that Sadam will continue to peacefully murder his own people and leave us alone? About the scuds & "bucket of Anthrax": Are you SURE that's all he has after 3 years of no inspectors? What about the the guy who said he was within 1 year of having Nukes? He defected & he was IN CHARGE OF SADAM'S WEAPONS PROGRAM. You'd rather beleive Sadam? You didn't answear my question. Why do you think he threw the inspectors out and hasn't let them back in for YEARS? Speculate on what you think he's up to. By the way, my 20 yr old God-daughter is in the Army. I don't take going to war lightly, and unlike the previous president , who gave us Black Hawk down, and other problems regarding our military, President Bush does not take it lightly either. He's not using Iraq for political gain,wich is what your sick assertation is. This is something that has to be dealt with. We ignore it at our peril. Sadam doesn't have to have a huge army to attack us all he needs is a few nukes or chemical weapons. You said he did't use his chemical weapons on us in the gulf war because we would have wiped him out. That's true. Why do that when he could sell his weaponsto someone like Osama and there by attack us indirectly? You certainly argue like a liberal for someone who claims not to be one. Your knee jerk Patriotism comment doesn't refer to our Constitution in my post # 9? Do tell then,what in post 9 are you referring to as being knee jerk Patriotism?
Future oil prices might go down from an invasion, but not now.
It is a Arab National Socialist regime which seeks to dominate the region? It has used WMD's? It subsides terrorism? It has been tied to the WTC attack of 1993?
Of course, I want to overthrow the corrupt Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. Let them have Democratic Republics or Constitutional monarchies.
During the Reagen/Bush administrations they were one of our buddies - UP TO AND AFTER THE TIME THEY GASSED THE KURDS.
Actually, we ended military aid.
Saddam, perhaps inspired by Bush's invasion of Panama, decided to go into Kuwait (for reasons no less flimsy than Bush's). As I recall, that's when the hostilities commenced. But they didn't "attack" us.
BS. We did not occupy all of Panama. WE overthroew a dictator whose forces were kidnapping and terrorizing Americans. We otherow a dictator who ran a drug network.
Iraq invaded a foreign country to annex it.