The Crisis of Our Times

"Not by force of arms are civilizations held together, but by subtle threads of moral and intellectual principle." -Russell Kirk

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Friday, January 21, 2005

Tom Piatak's post at chroniclesmagazine.org

"Over at NRO, Victor Davis Hanson admits that Bush’s inaugural speech represents “the first time that an American president has committed the United States to side with democratic reformers worldwide,” belying any claim that Bush’s speech is in any way conservative. But Hanson still praises Bush’s “idealism” and scoffs at the “moral calculus” of Bush’s critics, even though Hanson feels that, if Bush is serious about his rhetoric, we are heading for confrontation with Iran, China, Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and doubtless much of the rest of the globe."

"Of course, Bush’s critics would have to include
the Founding Fathers, none of whom envisioned America’s role in the world as spreading democracy around the globe at gunpoint. They would also include those of us appalled at the pictures out of Tal Afar in Iraq yesterday, where a U.S. patrol opened fire on a car, killing the parents and making orphans out of the five children in the car. Particularly poignant was the picture of a young girl, crying and covered in her parents’ blood. No amount of “idealism” can justify what happened to her, and the responsibility for her situation rests not with the soldiers who fired on her parents’ car—who are only seeking to defend themselves in a hostile and unfamiliar environment—but on those who sent the soldiers there in the first place, beginning with the “idealist” at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Perhaps a good place to begin our moral calculus would be by opposing unnecessary wars that inevitably result in death, mayhem, and images like those out of Tal Afar, and by critically examining the gauzy abstractions used to justify such wars."

Tom Piatak

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