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8/15/2005

Bat-shit fucking crazy

That's the only way to describe this post by The Corner's John Derbyshire (emphasis mine, insanity John's):
I can't shake off the feeling that moralizing about total war is pointless.

I have met rather a lot of people who were complicit in the wartime mass killing of civilians. (I recorded one such encounter here, first item.) Some of those people, in fact, were relatives of mine. All were very nice people: kind, good family men, thoughtful and law-abiding. I could never get any of them to admit to, or betray in tone or gesture, the slightest unease about what they had done.

War is coded deep in human nature. Not restrained war, either -- tribal war, in which the object is to exterminate the other tribe, or inflict such damage on them that the few who are left will yield abjectly. Human beings have been conducting themselves like this for hundreds of millennia.

We are of course much better, morally, now than we used to be. Anthropologists ... tell us that rates of death by violence in hunter-gatherer tribes far exceed those for Europeans in WW2. Plains Indians cheerfully conducted campaigns of tribal extermination against each other until a technologically far superior tribe -- us -- showed up and put an end to it all. [Ed.-Note how John assumes that 'we' are all white people...and, of course, implies that the arrival of whites in North America ended the genocide, when of course it actually ratcheted it up by several orders of magnitude. Oh, and you've got to love his condescending characterization of inter-tribal warfare as "cheerful".]

... the USA is full of people who believe that some really major atrocity will be committed against us at some point in the next few years, and that we will respond by shucking off all civilized restraints, as we did in the later stages of WW2, until we have dealt with the issue. Then we shall calmly re-moralize.

...If -- which God forbid -- we again face total war, we will massacre our enemy's civilians and erase his cities, and he will do the same to us, until one of us cries Uncle, or ceases to exist. It's fine to argue the morality of this as a theological exercise; but if you believe -- I do -- that that's how things will inevitably go, then the arguments are all just about angels on the heads of pins.
There you have it, folks. Mr. Derbyshire believes it is inevitable that the US will avert its own complete destruction only by completely destroying another civilization.

Is this the mindset of the Right? I though this kind of shit was only for the Left Behind crowd.

I suppose such a view does make the Bush administration's foreign policy more appealing ... the rest of us are stupidly trying to avoid cataclysmic, 'total' warfare (a.k.a. counting the angels on the head of a pin); others, apparently, don't think this is possible, and figure we might as well get a jump on the enemy in the massacre of millions.

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