Friday, February 12, 2010


Mark Steyn on some leftist reasoning:
[T]he Supreme Court of Canada has denounced the use of sleep deprivation techniques on KSM’s fellow Gitmo poster boy, Omar Khadr. . . .

There are many reasons why Canadians might be appalled by the Khadr family’s story. They might be mad at Immigration Canada for letting ’em in and giving ’em citizenship in the first place. They might be furious at Jean Chrétien for personally intervening to get ol’ Pop Khadr sprung from jail in Pakistan so he could resume his, ahem, “charity work.” Canadians might reasonably be steamed at this magazine for peddling the same old sob-sister hooey as the other media eunuchs in the politically correct harem: “Caught in a muddle: an arrested aid worker appeals for Chrétien’s help” (Maclean’s, Jan. 9, 1996). They might be ever so slightly peeved at young Omar’s brother, paralyzed in a firefight in Pakistan and not fancying a prison hospital in Peshawar, flying “home” to Toronto to enjoy the benefits of Ontario health care.

They might raise an ever so slightly quizzical eyebrow at M. Chrétien for telling another of Omar’s brothers, a mere weapons purchaser for al-Qaeda, that “once I was a son of a farmer, and I became prime minister. Maybe one day you will become one.” Indeed.

But instead Canadians reserve their rage and fury for Omar Khadr’s capture and detention by the Americans. In less enlightened times, he would have been regarded as a traitor. Today, he’s the Billy Bishop of the new war, a hero to all the usual campaigners for “justice,” the ones who managed to maintain a scrupulous indifference to the fates of Omar’s fellow Canadians Bill Sampson, tortured by the Saudis, and Zahra Kazemi, questioned to death by the Iranian authorities.
By the standards applied to Iraq, the Kosovo campaign was not only illegal, it was so illegal Blair and Clinton didn’t even bother to try to make it look legal. No attempt at UN resolutions there. They just cried “Bombs away!” and got on with it. And nobody minds.

Why? Because, for an advanced Western nation in the 21st century, war is only legitimate if you have no conceivable national interest in whatever war you’re waging. Kosovo meets that definition: no one remembers why we went in, who were the good guys, or what the hell the point of it was. Which is the point: the principal rationale was that there was no rationale. The Clinton/Blair argument boiled down to: the fact that we have no reason to get into it justifies our getting into it. Whereas Afghanistan and Iraq are morally dubious if not outright illegal precisely because Britain and America behaved as nation states acting in their national interest. And we’re not meant to do that anymore.