Andrew Bolt continues to ramp up the argument that teh Left is made up of communist sympathisers with love in their hearts for (non-communist) Mother Russia. It’s more straw men and caricatures, and really does nothing more than give his commenters another chance to agree that anyone not organising a march today against Vlad Putin must obviously hate America.
Except that the Right conservatives moderates appear to be exempt from having to act to demonstrate their convictions. Here’s a question – where is the Right on Georgia? If this is, as Bolt and the Boltheads assert, the start of “the new Cold War”; if the current renegade military actions of Russia pose a grave threat to the stability of Europe and the security of democratic states; if the free nations of the world need to send a clear signal to Russia that its ambition to bring down a new Iron Curtain will be resisted forcefully, then why aren’t they out there pressing their government to stand up to Russia?
The fact is, the brand of conservatives who espouse this kind of philosophy see grave threats at every turn. The end result is that:
Perpetually exaggerating threats leads to, well, perpetual exaggerations, whether about a bad guy’s wickedness or a good guy’s virtue. On such faulty edifices are constructed unnecessary wars, those most murderous of foreign policy mistakes.
In a world of black hats and white hats, it’s easy to appear serious and stern – but it is much harder to act that way. So Bolt and his ilk content themselves with sitting back and condemning others for inaction. They don’t even need to worry about whether the actions they propose are going to be effective, practical or even possible.
So where is the Left on Georgia? Well, I’m here. And other people are around, too. We’re trying to take a realistic perspective on the situation and on what can be done, rather than just pontificating about what might be done. What is the Right doing?
ELSEWHERE: Glenn Greenwald points out another factor that contributes to the fact that people have more to say about the United States’ actions:
Whatever one’s views are on the justifiability of each isolated instance, it’s simply a fact that the U.S. invades, bombs, occupies, and interferes in the internal affairs of other countries far more than any other country on the planet. It’s not even a close competition.
UPDATE: Matt Yglesias discusses Welch’s commentary about the hysteria-based foreign policy.