I agree with Obama. Force is necessary at times to fight evil.
But what is “necessary” or “just” or justifiable force? Obama raises this in his Oslo speech, and we would do well to consider it. Justifiable force, most of us can probably agree, is that used in self-defense or to stop an assault on ourselves and our loved ones. And such assault we can define as evil.
By that definition Occupation is evil. And hence Obama the Occupier is evil.
We can fight back with violence if necessary against evil, and often that is the only way to win. Hence the Iraqis and Afghanis are in the right to use force against the American Occupation. Just as the Palestinians now and the Black South Africans earlier were in the right when they used violence against their Occupiers and Apartheid. And the Chinese revolution was in the right when it used force against the Western and Japanese Occupiers and against the murderous landlord class, which were killing Chinese by the millions. And so too the Indigenous peoples were right to fight back against the Europeans who conquered their lands, and the slaves of America were right to rise in rebellion against their masters. The American colonists were justified when they violently threw off the arbitrary rule of King George and his army of Occupation, in the same way as are Iraqi and AfPak freedom fighters today. Our Declaration of Independence, which recognizes this right, is not a pacifist document, and the anti-Empire movement cannot be pacifist either. Nor is the average American a pacifist, simply because pacifism does not mesh with the common sense idea of self-defense.
Let us add to that a rejection of the fiction that the US is in Central Asia to fight terrorism. The failure of liberals and the Democratic Party left, like Progressive Democrats of America, is that they accept this premise, a premise which figures prominently in Obama’s speech and a premise which is clearly a lie. Iraq did not have WMD, and the perpetrators of the war on Iraq knew that very well. So why the war? Many strands contributed to the war — the ambitions of the puppet master of much U.S. foreign policy, Israel, to wreak as much destruction as possible on Muslim lands; the desire to control energy resources so as to deprive the Empire’s economic competitors,1 principally China, of these energy supplies; and the desire to control Central Asia militarily and hence to encircle China and to a lesser extent Russia. In sum these wars are all about maintaining and extending the U.S. Empire’s world domination as dictated by official, public U.S. policy to allow no nation to eclipse it as number one. The war on Iraq was never about terrorism; and it is not believable that the war on AfPak is about that either. Both are directed at the Empire’s economic adversaries, especially China.
So Obama is not fighting evil. Obama is the leader of an Evil that must be fought. Evil on a grand scale like war is not something built into men’s brains but can emerge from great power which is given to certain men, notably the President of the U.S. at this point in history, by virtue of social and political arrangements. This view of things is that of the radical Left or that of a strict Jeffersonian. But it is also consistent with Libertarianism since Libertarianism views force justifiable against those who assault us or otherwise do us grievous or mortal harm.2
The U.S. Empire has set itself not just against the Muslim peoples but against many of the peoples of the world — including the people of the US itself. If all else fails in curbing this Empire, the peoples of the world are entirely justified in rising up against it. The “left” wing of the Democratic Party, Obama’s disappointed supporters, has proved useless or worse in curbing Empire. The next step will surely be an independent anti-imperial electoral effort, and we shall see whether that works. If it does not, the Declaration of Independence tells us what is likely to follow.
- Note that this is an economic not military competitor since there is no military power which can now compete with the US. [↩]
- This is not so surprising since the Marxist view of the state and the Libertarian view are very much the same, no matter how much the two diverge on economic matters. [↩]