29 December 2009

Real Seriousness

Glennzilla sums it up in a paragraph.
There very well may be some small number of individuals who are so blinded by religious extremism that they will be devoted to random violence against civilians no matter what we do, but we are constantly maximizing the pool of recruits and sympathy among the population on which they depend. In other words, what we do constantly bolsters their efforts, and when we do, we always seem to move more in the direction of helping them even further. Ultimately, we should ask ourselves: if we drop more bombs on more Muslim countries, will there be fewer or more Muslims who want to blow up our airplanes and are willing to end their lives to do so? That question really answers itself.
This reality has been evident to me for some time now. Yet there are apparently reams and reams of Serious Foreign Policy Analysts carrying unassailable validation of their rationality from America's finest universities who are nonetheless dedicated to the simplistic proposition "America good! You bad!" Of course it's possible to acknowledge, as Glennzilla does, that there are a handful of fanatics who would "hate the West" or whatever the hawks are saying today regardless of our actions and still realize that our actions have had the undeniable effect of making those fanatics look right to a great many of their fellow believers. And yet, the torch-bearers of cold realism and careful, reasoned judgment have, in their pursuit of denying any negative consequences of their actions, reached the same moral capacity of a four-year old: It's awesome, because I did it!