Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The American Left is Confused

David A. Bell, professor of History at Johns Hopkins, wrote a stirring OpEd to the LA Times this week. Dr. Bell makes the argument that the U.S. is overreacting in our "war on terror."


He says that even though our enemies are fanatical suicidal masochistic maniacs that would not hesitate to murder each of us if they had the chance, we are confusing a desire to kill with the ability to kill. Since terrorism is just a law enforcement activity, the good History professor thinks that silly Islamofascists can't get us now even if they want to, and we should be ok with that.

C.S. Lewis puts it best when he explains that human morality is based in being and not doing. He claims that we would be more upset with a person that attempts to trip us and fails than a person who accidentally trips us. Even though the one has caused us pain and the other has not we would be more upset with the one with the poor intentions.

Oh, wait - that contradicts Dr. Bells ignorant hypothesis.

Without going too far into Dr. Bell's juvenile article, I'll point out his main fallacy. He claims that history can serve as evidence of America's overreaction. Since the Enlightenment civilized nations, in order to justify war, have always claimed that their war is a battle against legendary apocalyptic foes. We have done the same here with the silly Islamofascists, you see?

He uses as evidence various authors who made claims about war in the past. One person he quotes says that we overreacted at Pear Harbor! How many Americans died there? The other author he quotes claimed that in the early 20th century war had become too expensive and obsolete. It's too bad he wrote his book right before World War I. Oops.

It seems a more telling look at history that Dr. Bell's examples of the intellectual elite claiming that war is obsolete, too expensive, or an overreaction is actually a refutation of his hypothesis that our War on Terror is an overreaction.

You see, the American Left is confused, if Dr. Bell's article is any indication. Democratic congressmen scream and cry out against the war on terror and the war in Iraq. They claim that the cost of American lives is not worthy of the cause they are fighting for. (and a lot of them are anti-war washed-up hippies that would demand peace if it meant their own oppression, but that's another post altogether). If you look at the numbers, as does Dr. Bell, you reach the same conclusion he does. The war has cost America few lives in the historical perspective of war. Early in the conflict in Iraq, we were losing fewer soldiers than we lost over the same period in peacetime due to military accidents. However, with this logic that the cost and "grim milestones" of American dead are not that great, then we need a new reason to surrender Iraq to terrorists. Evidently Dr. Bell would argue that our war as an "overreaction" is just that reason to surrender.

It seems to me that the Left is confused. They are against war in any case, yet can't really logically justify their surrender tendencies. This recent attempt is one of the worst examples.

No comments: