Monday, June 27, 2011

Coming to terms

It was at the height of the Iraq war that I started earnestly tracking American politics. Because of my anti-war position, I naturally often found myself aligned with liberals, whose anti-Iraq-war stance I mistook to be a genuine anti-war sentiment. Hobnobbing with them to the point of calling myself liberal, I shared jokes with them at George Bush's expense and roundly criticized the war policy many a time.

But come 2011, come the Libyan war, and I found myself betrayed and left alone. Where were my liberal friends now? When, in response to a Congress reprimand, Mr. Obama claimed there were no hostilities in Libya, where was the uproar from the liberals? There was none.

It has since dawned on me that the anti-war stance of the liberals in case of Iraq was simply partisan positioning. It was not the Iraq war they were against, they were only against Bush's Iraq war. Liberals do stand for many things, but pacifism is not one of them. As I write this, many liberals are bending backwards in Congress and outside it to defend the Libyan war on behalf of "their" president.

The president is hardly to blame; as the leader of a warmongering nation, he is only fulfilling his mandate. It is civil society that has failed itself. As I pointed out earlier, in a democracy, all sides agreeing on something is dangerous.

* * *

The president has an unlikely bedfellow in his defence of the Libyan no-hostilities war: Senator John McCain, who has been berating his own party colleagues and warning Americans of the risk of isolationism. This is only another episode in Mr. McCain's never-ending war.

When I speak,
the military-industrial complex speaks.

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