The Essential Character

I don't blog about politics much; I am much more interested in economics, philosophy, and technology. A large part of the reason is that my outlook is fundamentally apolitical, and by that I mean I don't think politics should play any role in our lives, and rather that civil society should be the center of social interaction. There are many people much smarter than I am doing political analysis, so it is with hesitation that I dip my toe into the water.

This weeks events signal a critical juncture for the War in Iraq and also George W. Bush's political solvency. Contrary to many libertarians' claims, the average American, if there is such a thing, is not a bloodthirsty warmonger. For the most part, he does not desire imperialism or national greatness. He often supports military action when he is convinced it is necessary to stop the spread of communism, kick terrorist ass, or feed starving Somalis, even if he has not thought out longer term consequences. But behind this superficial support is a deep isolationist instinct. The fundamental character of the American, from the founding of the Republic to modern times, is a desire to live and let live. He sees the world outside America as a chaotic place, which although many times tragic, can't be effectively changed by top-down actions by military force. The US Government does not always abide by this American sentiment.

The average American is not going to tolerate 40 soldiers killed a week, or fried bodies being dragged through the streets by the very people who have been freed from Saddam's rule by the soldiers being killed. I see a change in the views of my fellow Americans taking place. Whereas most of them supported the War at the outset, they are slowly changing their minds. It's a critical time for the War's future. With the election looming in the distance, Bush's political capital is in grave danger. A few more weeks like the last, and the isolationist eddies swirling below the surface will turn into waves crashing on the rocks.

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Maybe you should blog about

Maybe you should blog about politics more often. The polls typically show that Americans' tolerance for war has to do with the justice of said war- hence the "Powell Doctrine" (as it's sometimes known to Military theorists) didn't seem to play a role in WW2, yet Vietnam experienced the symptoms. I think the Iraq war is a similar situation.

you should write on politics

you should write on politics more. that was very succinct and true. and by the way, don't think the underground mob plotting for takeover in iraq doesn't know that either. the violence will intensify as the election nears.

I don't think it is the

I don't think it is the Iraqi's willingness to attack our soldiers that Americans are having a problem with. It seems quite obvious that only a small minority of people are fighting.

What's bothering Americans is the (now free) Iraqi's refusal to fight to defend their freedom. I believe the refusal of the Iraqi Army to fight the rebels has done more harm than the casualties taken. It's like "What have we sacrificed for if they will not defend what we have given them?" That burns.

well Brock, I think your

well Brock, I think your question is a bit mistaken. For instance:
a. many of the fighters probably think they are fighting for their freedom.
b. Are we really giving them freedom? They don't seem to think so exactly. To a degree, but who's the most popular western leader to Iraqis? Jaque Chirac, the symbol of UN multilateralism, by quite a margin. Can we really insist that they must be free in exactly the way we tell them, and call it freedom?

Hi Jonathan, With over 1

Hi Jonathan,

With over 1 million people marching, here in Britain, against the war in Iraq, before it began, Blair's resolve over here in the UK is much closer to total collapse than Mr Bush's, because of the current situation.

If British soldiers were taking the kind of casualty hits US soldiers are taking, and if British amputee soldiers were being flown into Britain in the middle of the night to avoid being seen on TV, at the same rate as US amputee soldiers are, you'd be able to measure British involvement in Iraq in weeks, possibly even days, rather than months or years.

The value of the 'special relationship' is very high, to the British, but plane loads of British soldiers in body bags coming home, would be the end of Blair.

It will be interesting to see if plane loads of US soldiers in body bags coming home will be the end of Bush?


PS> Excellent posts, on Herr Hoppe, BTW! ;-)

I think you've got it about

I think you've got it about right. Until very recently I thought Bush would win in a walk because Kerry has nothing to recommend him. Bush was much better situated and constituted to win re-election than his father was - unless the occupation went went south. It looks pretty bad right now. Kerry still has nothing to reccomend him.

I wouldn't devote much more of my energy writing about politics if I were you. Jonathan. (Or if I were me, for that matter.) That you can do something well doesn't make it worth doing. Politics is a vice. I'm not saying one can't indulge in the vice from time to time, but we'd all do better to focus the lion's share of our attention elsewhere.

John, maybe you've written

John, maybe you've written about that opinion elsewhere (and perhaps you could refer me) but it seems to me ludicrous. Where esle to get involved if not politics?

I guess from an antiwar

I guess from an antiwar perspective, I hope that Kerry wins. Not that he is any less of a warmonger than Bush, but Bush has a huge public committment to the war, therefore is less likely to back down. Kerry can always blame it on Bush and reverse.