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Jay Currie

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7/12/2005

More Scenes from the Homeless Front

Ian Welsh left this comment which I am shamelessly promoting to the main page:

And what would I be, your lefty isolationist friend? I opposed the Serbian war, by the way. The only two wars I've approved of in the last couple decades were the Gulf War and the Afghanistan War. Why? Because in both cases they were responses to countries attacking other countries (or in Afghanistan, refusing to turn over someone who was a state guest and had attacked another country.) There are very few occasions which I think justify war other than an attack by one country on another.

And I never liked Clinton (though he looks great compared to the current incumbent) so I feel and felt no compulsion to defend him. Why the hell right wingers think that anyone of the "left" would feel any need to defend a Washington Concensus third way, welfare "reform" president like Clinton has always been beyond me. The man was a very competent technocrat. That's the only good thing there is to be said about him, and it's a fair bit. But it doesn't make him my ideological bedmate.

But then almost no one is my ideological bedmate, because I'm an old fashioned conservative who believes in balanced budgets, conservation, not destroying institutions unless they are clearly harmful, and not interfering in other countries business unless they interfere in ours. I also believe in a strong Canadian military, but since I dare point out the obvious - that the main credible MILITARY threat to us is the US, so-called righties (who seem to think defense means being up the US military's ass as far as possible) don't like what I have to say.

In short, to a large extent, I wish we were the Switzerland of the North (before they started thinking about joining the EU) - stable, well armed, fiscally prudent, wealthy and minding our own damn business.

I thought those were conservative virtues and values. But apparently Conservative values include military intervention in other countries to force our values on them, completely changing venerable institutions like the Senate and the rules of Parliament, telling other citizens how to live their lives, being a satrap to a major foreign country, ignoring scientific evidence of threats to basic prosperity and so on.

I'm not a lefty. I'm a conservative in exile, because the right wing has gone insane and become a bunch of bigotted reactionary imperialists. So I find myself amongst lefties explaining the right to them and explaining the world to them. It's not where someone like me belongs, but since they haven't gone insane with colonial dreams or hatred of people who aren't like them, it's where I'll have to stay.
While I completely disagree with the notion that the right have become "a bunch of bigotted reactionary imperialists" I am very much on board with a vision of a Canada which is fiscally prudent and militarily strong.

Where our difference lies is that I believe there are situations in which military force can be used userfully in nations where there are failed states or states which are either committing genocide or encouraging it. Iraq was anything but a failed state - Saddams regimes was, relative to the Iraqi people, dug in. However, there is no question at all that Saddam was engaging in the slaughter of his population, or rather sections of his population, on a genocidal scale. As with Serbia, I am inclined to think there is a duty to intervene in such situations.