[irtheory] The Boomerang Effect

Francis Boyle fboyle at law.uiuc.edu
Thu Apr 3 10:34:16 PST 2003

yes, well the National Review is run by Buckley--an admitted CIA Agent. Once
CIA, always CIA. fab.
Francis A. Boyle
Law Building
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820
fboyle at law.uiuc.edu
(personal comments only)
----- Original Message -----
From: "R. A. Hettinga" <rah at shipwright.com>
To: "Digital Bearer Settlement List" <dbs at philodox.com>
Cc: <irtheory at yahoogroups.com>; <fork at xent.com>
Sent: Friday, February 14, 2003 9:29 PM
Subject: [irtheory] The Boomerang Effect

> --- begin forwarded text
> Status:  U
> Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 15:26:52 -0500
> To: rah at shipwright.com
> From: "R. A. Hettinga" <rah at shipwright.com>
> Subject: The Boomerang Effect
> http://www.nationalreview.com/script/printpage.asp?ref=/hanson/hanson.asp
> The National Review Online
> Victor Davis Hanson
> February 14, 2003 9 :0 0 a .m.
> The Boomerang Effect
> Be careful of what you wish for.
> The Security Council is a funny place. I watched the Chinese ambassador
grimace at Mr. Powell's speech - and thought of the entire country and
hallowed culture of Tibet, now swallowed by his government. Not far away was
a functionary from Syria, which has simply absorbed Lebanon. The Russian
ambassador voiced pacifist objections too - whose country recently flattened
Muslim Grozny. The French dignitary was waving his arms about preventing
precipitous unilateral actionS Well, you get the picture.
> Since September 11 we have seen an array of strange developments
illustrating the law of unintended consequences. Hypocrisy, irony, and
parody - however we wish to characterize these surreal events - at least
bring surprising moral clarity and, with it, real wisdom.
> THE U.N. It used to be that some well-intentioned Americans thought the
all-wise U.N. should supersede the efforts of the big powers that had once
acted unilaterally and without the approval of lesser - and more moral? -
states. No longer. Through the efforts of post-Marxists, radical Islamists,
anti-Semites, and an array of old-fashioned authoritarians in the General
Assembly and the Security Council, the U.N. now unfortunately reflects the
aggregate amorality of so many of it members.
> We built the arena, the players came - and, for many Americans, it now
seems almost time to leave: Syria on the Security Council; Iran and Iraq
overseeing the spread of dangerous weapons; Libya a caretaker of human
rights. How about a simple law to preserve a once hallowed institution: To
join the U.N.'s democratic assembly, a country must first be democratic? Why
should a U.N. diplomat be allowed to demand from foreigners the very
privileges that his government denies to its own people?
> The more pictures television brings us of world citizenship at the U.N.,
the more frightening becomes the entire idea of being subject in any way to
approval from anyone like the Husseins, Assads, Qaddafis, Mugabes, mullahs,
Chinese Communists, and a whole array of other not very nice people, who
either by chance, protocol, or vote have suddenly found themselves very
prominent on an assemblage of U.N. boards and committees.
> When I was growing up in rural California, the only people who viscerally
distrusted the U.N. were right-wing extremists who also liked to spin
conspiracy tales about their drinking water and precious bodily fluids. Yet
now - thanks to the macabre nature of so many in the U.N. - their view has
proved disturbingly prescient, and threatens to become mainstream among the
American people. That took a lot of doing on the part of the General
Assembly and Security Council.
> The same irony arises with the awarding of the Nobel Peace prize. If the
committee thought in the past that their judges were ethnocentric,
blinkered, and had given too many awards either to Europeans and Americans
or to traditional diplomats - still, at least one could make the argument
that the prior winners were not killers, scoundrels, or naïfs. But Le Doc
Tho (who refused the honor) and Yasser Arafat really were really deplorable
figures. It is hard to see how Kim Dae-jung ("Chairman Kim, to my surprise,
had a very positive responseS") brought peace to the Korean peninsula -
perhaps easier to see how his use of bribery did.
> Mr. Carter should ask himself why 20 years of exemplary and distinguished
charity work did not impress the panel, but suddenly and quite publicly
attacking his own president in a time of war - in the words of the committee
itself (Mr. Berge: "[the award] should be interpreted as a criticism of the
line that the current administration has taken") - most surely did. I pass
on Mr. Mandela and his recent racist outbursts. So the Nobel committee got
its wish of being nontraditional - to the point that many now believe the
award reflects either political opportunism at best or conveys discredit at
> European bureaucrats have lectured about the EU's utopian accomplishments,
which supposedly have alone saved a war-torn continent and given it 50 years
of peace. But thanks to their proclamations and their recent loud behavior,
we have had a long, second, and very good look at Brussels. And what we have
learned is depressing - from its foreign policy to the elevation of an
unelected bureaucracy over local popular councils.
> And we don't buy their Trotsky-like airbrushing away of Americans in their
new history; instead, we are more likely to believe that peace in Europe
since 1945 was preserved only by a United States military that kept allies
on the same team and Russians out - and not by French and German managers.
Never was the moral contrast more evident than at the recent NATO meeting in
Germany, when Senators McCain and Lieberman and Secretary Rumsfeld talked of
history, resoluteness, and a determination to stop evil, while the French
and Germans countered with thinly veiled self-interest and overt fear.
> When the Cold War ended, the EU flunked its first test - 200,000 pour
souls were butchered on its own doorstep. In contrast, the U.S.
Constitution, a strong American military, and a sense of national character
and confidence - not some borderless "North American Union" - have ensured
both peace and our own autonomy on our own continent. Without the visions of
supranational apparatchiks, we have managed not to go to war with Canada
since 1812 and with Mexico since 1846. But if we were to open all our
borders, adopt a socialist style of government, disarm, and turn our freedom
over to 80,000 transcontinental Canadian, Mexican, and American bureaucrats,
then I imagine things would heat up very quickly. Thank you, EU, for
providing a model of international diplomacy and interstate relationships
that we most definitely do not wish to emulate.
> Most Americans didn't pay too much attention to where our troops were
stationed. But thanks to the German Way and the Sunshine Policy, millions
now are beginning to take notice - and what they are learning might not be
what our foreign hosts intended. A pragmatic, no-nonsense American would
perhaps ask Mr. Schroeder please to follow through with his promises of a
"German Way," and thus to click his heels and kick out troops eastward into
Poland or Czechoslovakia.
> And if we really are obstacles to tranquility in Korea, after a
half-century millions of Americans would be only too happy to get out of the
way there as well. We can give peace a chance quite easily from afar in
Japan, or on carriers - or perhaps from home. If the United States is
disturbing the peace in Korea, then perhaps China could do better with a
nuclear Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea who, if threatened by its lunatic
client state, will eventually turn out frightening weapons of deterrence as
easily as Toyotas.
> For years, critics of John Foster Dulles Realpolitik decried our support
for unsavory tinhorn dictators. Idealists instead called for "human rights"
in our foreign policy, an engagement that would resonate with those
persecuted and oppressed by authoritarian regimes.
> Well, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, there is no longer any fear that
today's soft-spoken socialists will become tomorrow's hardcore Stalinists.
Right-wing fascists like Noriega, Milosevic, the Taliban, and Saddam are
either gone or going thanks to the United States - not France or Cuba or
China. Consensual governments, not generals with chests of pot-iron medals,
more often followed their demise. Remember, leftists of the past called not
for isolationism, but for active support for national liberationists.
> Good - we are finally convinced. Now their moment of solidarity has at
last arrived. We have plenty of freedom fighters and democrats in Kurdistan
and throughout Iraq who seek their support for grassroots, anti-fascistic
movements. And?
> After Vietnam, Americans were chastised into conceding that preemption and
unilateralism were things of the past. Then we learned of slaughter in
Bosnia and Kosovo - committed by Europeans and tolerated by Europeans. Mr.
Clinton did not make the argument that Mr. Milosevic threatened the U.S. -
imagine the outraged reaction, had Madeleine Albright with slides and
intercepts proved that Serbia was seeking gas and germs that could threaten
> Instead, we adopted preemption - unilaterally, without Congressional
approval, and quite apart from U.N. decrees - and bombed Serbian fascists
into submission. In fact, Mr. Clinton and Ms. Albright ordered bombs to be
dropped almost everywhere - Kosovo, Belgrade, the Sudan, and, yes (remember
General Zinni's 1998 Operation Desert Fox) - Iraq. I suppose the moral
lesson caught on, and so now we are doing the same once more to Saddam
Hussein. Thanks in part to Mr. Clinton, unilateralism and preemption to try
to protect us in advance, while saving innocents from monsters - in Bosnia,
Kosovo, Somalia, and Haiti - are now good, while the wobbliness and moral
equivocation of multilateralism and U.N. approval are deemed bad. Or at
least I think they are.
> What accounts for these transparent contradictions? The fact that the U.N.
building in New York was not reduced to rubble? Or that - so far - the
Louvre has escaped a hijacked suicide Airbus? But these paradoxes become
explicable if you remove the element of deductive anti-Americanism or, at
home, the anti-Bush subtext. Keep that and there are no contradictions at
all - only deep and age-old motives like envy, jealousy, rivalry, pride,
fear, and insecurity.
> The U.N. beats up on the United States because it accepts that - unlike
China or Syria - we are predictable, honorable, and committed to acting
morally. Thus it finds psychic reassurance and a sense of puffed-up
self-importance - on the cheap - by remonstrating with an America that
wishes to stop a criminal regime from spreading havoc, rather than worrying
about the demise of million of Tibetans, Syria's brutal creation of the
puppet state of Lebanon, or Africans who complain that France has, without
consultation, determined their fate. It is always better for a debating
society to lecture those who listen than those who do not.
> So too a petulant, though wealthy, Germany and South Korea resent their
dependence as American protectorates, reflecting their own sense of
impotence through face-saving unease with the same benefactors who kept
psychopaths like Milosevic and Kim Jong Il out of their comfortable and
opulent havens. Gnash your teeth at an American who saved Germany, never a
Russian who tried to flatten it - the ex-KGB Putin is now more welcome in
Berlin than is the ex-NATO official Mr. Rumsfeld. And so it goes. A
lip-biting Clinton's bombing of a mass murderer is one thing; a
Texas-drawling, Bible-reading Bush is another.
> Still, besides the revelation of hypocrisy, the effect of all this has
also been quite remarkable in creating a growing sense of American
solidarity - precisely in terms of being so unlike those who criticize us.
Has anti-anti-Americanism fueled a growing new sense of Americanism? We owe
the U.N., the EU, the radical Islamic world, Mr. Mandela, the French, the
Germans, and a host of others, I think, some thanks in this hour of crisis.
By reminding us so often that they are not like us and often don't like us,
we of all political persuasions and backgrounds finally are remembering that
they were perhaps right all along - we really are a very different people.
> -----------------
> R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
> The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
> 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
> "... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
> [predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
> experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'
> --- end forwarded text
> --
> -----------------
> R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
> The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
> 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
> "... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
> [predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
> experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'
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