One of the most common arguments I hear in favor of US entry into World War II is that we had to stop the Holocaust. I am always amazed by this and usually respond with something like “Um, you did notice that the Jews of Europe were destroyed, right? If the US indeed entered the war to stop the Holocaust then it miserably failed.”
Today Justin Raimondo addresses this argument briefly and then, more fully, the current version of it that argues for intervention to stop the killing in Darfur, Sudan: What About Darfur? The case against intervention. I can’t over-emphasize how important it is to take on this argument for intervention. The interventionists have the moral high ground in America because they can always fall back on the argument that military intervention by the US against really bad guys can, and indeed has, resulted in bad people being stopped from doing mass murder. Raimondo writes:
This new crusade is so imbued with the aura of humanitarian uplift that anyone who questions the wisdom of intervening in a complicated and obscure civil war will be denounced as a “racist” who doesn’t give a hoot about Africa.
Oh, so you’re against intervening in Darfur, eh? Don’t you care about starving African babies?
It is this kind of reasoning that leads to anyone who consistently espouses the non-interventionist principle being denounced as a Nazi sympathizer or Holocaust denier. If the US was morally required to intervene against the Nazis by the Holocaust then only someone who thinks the Holocaust didn’t really happen or likes the Nazis for some insane reason could possibly oppose US entry into WWII. In a similar fashion, only a racist who hates poor people could oppose welfare programs.
Much headway has been made, I believe, in making the case that economic intervention doesn’t work. At least one can argue this without immediately being viewed as a soulless bastard (depending on who you’re talking to). But a principled opposition to US war-making, one that opposes all the US’s unjust wars still places one beyond the pale. Much work remains to be done.2:26 pm on May 1, 2006 Email Stephen W. Carson