Tuesday, January 19, 2010

And the beat goes on... and on... and on

And so YABII rolls on, and, unsurprisingly, we still have lots of back and forth argument on some blogs on the whole "was it illegal or wasn't it illegal" - a question that will rage for decades no doubt. We've no reached the point where a commentator (Nick Cohen) called the "anti-war it was illegal" camp deluded, and the response has been to shout back anyone still supporting the war or in the "it wasn't illegal" camp is deluded too.

YABII produces "ya boo you too!" isn't it great?

Still, there is a very interesting point being made over in the latest thread (amongst lots more equally yawnworthy) at Liberal Conspiracy which is this. The people that scream about the war being illegal, when asked, will not answer they would have preferred to see Saddam Hussein remain in power, or the Baath Party in light of his execution, restored to power in Baghdad.

In a way it beautifully illustrates the nihilistic ends in the arguments that emanate from what is often called the "chattering liberal classes". It's not really about morality rather it's about relative morality which dictates the West (and by that I really mean America) must be the bogeyman in any given situation.

Thus, when Saddam was a friend of America's and was shaking hands with Donald Rumsfeld, he was a vicious dictator that the horrible and evil Americans were arse licking for their own disgusting ends at the expense of the poor downtrodden and brutally oppressed Iraqi people.

Then, when the same Americans decided that actually, he was a real bastard, and posed a threat to them be it immediate or desired in the future, he was no longer a hate figure to those who once opposed him, and, in fact, it would be a shocking and outrageous abuse of imperialistic American power to depose a sovereign leader in a country.

When you think about it really is quite funny how the moral outrage switches sides so readily.

Here's a little counterfactual to think about on that point. It is often said, in response to the interventionist argument in support of democracy, that if we invade Iraq we should invade Zimbabwe too. Imagine what they would be saying if we had invaded Zimbabwe and changed the regime.

Put your hand up if you think if they;d suddenly start saying things like. "Imperialist colonialism", "racist and illegal war against a sovereign nation". You can bet your bottom dollar they would, because at the end of the day, you'll always be in the wrong to a moral relativist.

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