28 March 2011

25% of NSW now vote ALP: "a good outcome"

According to Labor electoral genius, House Government Whip,  former Minister of Defence and Federal member for the Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon, this electoral result was "a good outcome". 

For once I find myself agreeing with this nepotistic, entitled, reality-challenged blowhard. Saturday's vote removing the Australian Labor Party from office in New South Wales was indeed a very good outcome for the people of this state.

The bastards deserved everything the electorate gave them. They had become incapable of even understanding that being elected to government requires you, as a minimum, to believe in acting responsibly in the interests of the people you govern.

It was not a victory of one view of what is in the best interests of the people over another such view, as is ordinarily the case in such battles in advanced democracies. It was more a crushing defeat of a party who didn't even know anymore that the interests of the people it governed mattered. The Union movement, who run the ALP, has a lot to answer for. It put the maintenance of its power over others above all other interests. After 15 years of refinement, this is the end result: dumped and abandoned by the electorate.

I reckon that if the ALP is ever to be a force again here it needs not to return to nineteenth century working class labour collectivist socialism, as some would have it. Rather it should openly proclaim advocacy of progressive middle class liberalism, including all its seductive shallow populist fallacies. We know that the electorate can still be suckered by such saccharine nonsense. Unlike the working class pathologies of Marxist rhetoric, which the electorate understandably no longer is capable of falling for.

Al least if they were clear sighted enough to badge themselves as trendy progressives they might claw back some ground from the Greens. They might also then be an electable alternative to a fiscally rigorous and socially conservative establishment. The good news is that this looks unlikely to happen, in the short term anyway, because the Union heavies and hard leftists appear to have gained ground in the rump of the party that remains.

15 March 2011

Eve lures the innocent serpent to its doom

You can''t make this stuff up.
This is what now happens to vipers who are clutched to the breast.
Satan is no match for silicon implants.
A parable for the innocence of merely biblical evil in the 21st Century?

09 March 2011

Never fight a Land War in Asia ...

(... except when you have to ?)

George Friedman in his peice at Stratfor wants this old and glib defeatist rubric (allegedly uttered by Douglas MacArthur to JFK and kinda quoted more recently in the movie "Princess Bride"), elevated to "a principle of U.S. foreign policy".

It looks to me more like a thin and easy assertion of tactical rhetoric masquerading as grand strategy (how apt therefore that its source should be the egomaniacal MacArthur). The more compelling proposition is probably something more like: now that China is a real military threat to the US, a land war in Asia is more likely than ever to be a disaster. This is just a statement of the obvious.

Friedman's (and MacArthur's) proposition however seems to wilfully elide some more important issues. Firstly, to publicly proclaim such a doctrine would be to unilaterally substantially weaken the US's ability to influence events in Asia. And that is just plain dumb. Secondly, it bespeaks of a Kissinger like return to mere realpolitik pragmatism in US foreign affairs that would represent a pusillanimous retreat from grander strategic goals. The US has since the Great War, with a few of isolationist intervals, seen itself and held itself out as being prepared to stand up for democracy and a belief in the primacy of human freedom against totalitarianism. If the US is to continue to stand for and support such ideals it must also, in extremis, still be prepared to fight land wars in Asia again, as it has done in the past

A brutal dictator was deposed and there is a now democracy in Iraq. The Taliban was removed from power in Afghanistan. The dominos of south-east Asia did not fall to communist dictatorships after the US intervention in Vietnam. South Korea is a prosperous capitalist democracy because the US stood up for it. These land wars in Asia by the US had huge costs in blood and treasure on all sides. Were such interventions worth these incalculable sacrifices? Only if one believes that the value of democracy and freedom is also incalculably great to humanity. Should we now just give up on fighting for these ideals in some geographic regions and not others, because the going has become too rough? None of these things would have come to pass if the US then had had a doctrine such as the one proposed by Friedman in this essay. The consequences of not standing up for what you believe in even when it is difficult and the risks are great is that other even worse adverse consequences are likely to prevail.

I disagree with George Friedman's proposition. Adopting it would be adverse to the strategic interests of the West and the civilizational values of humanity.