Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
4 June 2012
Yep, that’s right. We’re rooting for Romney.
There’s a story told about American politics.
Alabama. 1950. Democrat politician Joe McNally is addressing a caucus meeting: “If Governor Johnson is right, I support him because he is right. If Governor Johnson is wrong, I support him because he is a Democrat.”
Actually, the names of the people, the place and the date we have made up, as we were unable to track down the right ones, but the quotation is correct. A reader better versed in US political history than ourselves might perhaps be kind enough to supply the correct historical data in a comment on this post.
The point is this. Antigone1984 does not operate like the fictitious Joe McNally. We support a politician if we believe they are right. We criticise them if we believe they are wrong. Regardless of what party they belong to.
Readers of this blog might, we believe, have come to the conclusion that we favour the Democrats over the Republicans. The truth is rather as we have stated it in the last paragraph.
Furthermore, given the amount of space we have devoted to criticising international military operations conducted by the US Government, we would not be surprised if readers were to imagine that we were somehow irredeemably anti-American.
However, here again they would be wrong. And for the same reason that we have stated above. We support the United States when we think it is right, we do the contrary when we think it is wrong.
For instance, when, years back, Ronald Reagan famously referred to the Soviet Union as an evil empire, we held the view that he was absolutely right. We did not support much of what Reagan did, but on this point we were solidly behind him.
Which brings us to Mitt Romney.
Most people who are politically awake know that the Syrian Government has committed a war crime of unspeakable enormity in the Syrian town of Houla. Late last month an estimated 108 people were killed there, most of them still in their beds. The UN has said that 49 of the victims were children and that a further 20 were women. The slaughter was perpetrated by militias loyal to the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. This is the latest in an unending series of outrages committed by Assad against his own people. The crackdown has cost an estimated 15 000 lives over the past 15 months.
Romney, the Republic candidate in the US presidential election this November, has now called out for tough action from incumbent president Barack Obama.
“After nearly a year and a half of slaughter, it is far past time for the United States to begin to lead and put an end to the Assad regime,” he said.
“President Obama can no longer ignore calls from Congressional leaders in both parties to take more assertive steps.”
Romney said that the Annan “peace” plan which Obama supports – involving the stationing of a small number of UN observers in Syria to witness the slaughter as it takes place – has “merely granted the Assad regime more time to execute its military onslaught”.
Amen to that, says Antigone 1984. What is the point of sending in observers to observe massacres being committed? This is madness. The point is to take action to stop the massacres – as Romney understands but Obama does not.
It does not matter whether Romney is simply saying this because he thinks it is a vote-winner to talk tough. What matters is that the course of action he is advocating is, in our view, the right one.
Republican senator John McCain, who stood against Obama in the US presidential election four years ago, has aligned himself with Romney, calling the White House feckless for not doing more to halt the slaughter. “This is a shameful episode in American history,” he said. “It’s really an abdication of everything that America stands for.”
The White House reaction to these outbursts by Romney and McCain could not have been more feeble: it did not believe military intervention in Syria was the right course of action as it would “lead to more carnage”.
More carnage? 15 000 already dead? The massacre of the innocents at Houla? How many more people have to die before Obama gets out of bed?
Antigone1984 has made it clear in previous posts that it believes in humanitarian intervention to prevent imminent slaughter. It backed the military action by America and its allies in Libya, the result of which was to prevent the imminent slaughter of the population of Benghazi and to help the Libya people topple their blood-thirsty dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Many on the political left point out that those western powers who helped overthrow Gaddafi stand to benefit from oil contracts. So what? From the point of view of Antigone1984, action to prevent the imminent slaughter of human beings takes precedent over all other considerations.
Many on the left also criticize the western intervention in Libya on the grounds that, following the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime, the result has not been the immediate establishment of perfect Jeffersonian democracy. Well, you know, as they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It will take time to repair the ravages of 42 years of dictatorship.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Das Vierte Reich/The Fourth Reich (6 Feb 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
5. What would Gandhi have said? (30 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.