January 3, 2020


There's a great meme on Twitter right now that goes something like this: "We just assassinated some guy I never heard of, but let me tell you exactly what it means..."

It's funny not just because so many are engaging in precisely that behavior, but because the one thing Left and Right are absolutely certain of is that it must have some massive significance.

Ironically, that's because both objectify people to such a degree that they are barely human.  It's why both are so invested in Identity politics.  

Most of us, instead, believe in self-evident truths, like all men being Created equal with a universal desire for self-governance.

So where the Left/Right insists that liberalization has been forced by America and the West on other peoples who are unsuited to it, experience has always found peoples eager for it, irrespective of race, religion, history, stage of economic development, etc.

So we had Realists, Isolationists, Communists, etc., preaching to us during the Cold War that Slavs and Asiatics and the like had no interest in democracy and preferred the firm hand.  Likewise, the notion that the Muslim world today is somehow naturally anti-democratic (despite the fact that most Muslims live in democratic societies.)

Part and parcel of these prejudices is the notion that when the Shi'a of Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Yemen, etc. or the Sunni of Egypt, Palestine, etc. demand that they be allowed to govern themselves they obviously have to be victims of manipulation. And where they do achieve democracy but then elect Muslim parties to govern their societies, we get our panties in a twist in a way we never did when Christian Democrats won.  

Because we have failed so spectacularly over the last century in helping to liberate such peoples and because we have often forged bonds with their oppressors, we resist them even though they are seeking to vindicate our own principles.  And, because we refuse to see their liberation politics as organic, we think that by disposing of the "manipulators" we can end the "threat."  

Thus do we arrive at the moment where people have convinced themselves, at least for a few hours, that the removal of one Iranian general is a world historical event.  As if the Houthi, the Palestinians, the South Lebanese, etc. were going to walk away from their demands for self-governance now that the evil genius was gone.  You see, it's not as if they were human beings with the same expectations as we Americans.  It was all just a plot by the mullahs.

The reality, of course, is that the general has been replaced, the people of South Lebanon and the Palestinians and the Houthi still want to govern themselves, and Muslim electorates are still likely to elect Muslim leaders (for at least as long as we English-speaking have Christians).

Nothing significant has changed today because human nature can not be changed by a drone. 

Posted by at January 3, 2020 4:27 PM