Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Moscow's Western Apologists

Victor Davis Hanson wins gold with his analysis of the permissive causes of Moscow's Georgia incursion.

One of the most important factors contributing to war is the left's refusal to see
naked neo-imperialist aggression in Russia's strike in the Caucasus. For Hanson, there's a brilliance in Moscow's perceptions of Western capitulations to its designs in the south:

The Russians have sized up the moral bankruptcy of the Western Left. They know that half-a-million Europeans would turn out to damn their patron the United States for removing a dictator and fostering democracy, but not more than a half-dozen would do the same to criticize their long-time enemy from bombing a constitutional state.

The Russians rightly expect Westerners to turn on themselves, rather than Moscow — and they won’t be disappointed. Imagine the morally equivalent fodder for liberal lament: We were unilateral in Iraq, so we can’t say Russia can’t do the same to Georgia. (As if removing a genocidal dictator is the same as attacking a democracy). We accepted Kosovo’s independence, so why not Ossetia’s? (As if the recent history of Serbia is analogous to Georgia’s.) We are still captive to neo-con fantasies about democracy, and so encouraged Georgia’s efforts that provoked the otherwise reasonable Russians (As if the problem in Ossetia is our principled support for democracy rather than appeasement of Russian dictatorship).

From what the Russians learned of the Western reaction to Iraq, they expect their best apologists will be American politicians, pundits, professors, and essayists — and once more they will not be disappointed. We are a culture, after all, that after damning Iraqi democracy as too violent, broke, and disorganized, is now damning Iraqi democracy as too conniving, rich, and self-interested — the only common denominator being whatever we do, and whomever we help, cannot be good.
There's more at the link.

Particularly insightful is Hanson's discussion of the postmodern paralytic aversion to realpolitik. The resort to military force is "mindless" and "inhumane." Meanwhile, whole populations fall under the hegemony of the revived Russian Bear, and it's all the Bush administration's fault.