Be Careful What You Wish For

by David Pryce-Jones

All my life I have been hearing the Left criticizing the idea of empire. The line is pretty simple: materialistic amoral white men occupied the territories of people of another color who were leading blameless lives. This must stop. When the whites have gone back where they came from and the people of another color do things their own way, the world will revert to peace and harmony. 

In boring fact, Empire keeps the peace and spreads civilization. The end of the Roman Empire introduced the Dark Ages.  The end of the Habsburg Empire was the prerequisite of European war and revolution.  Various lands and populations were destabilized at the fall of the Mughal and Ottoman Empires, and again at the fall of the British and French Empires.

The administration of President Barack Obama has already created the chaos and bloodshed bound up in the end of Empire. Withdrawal of the American presence in the Middle East fits perfectly into the Left Wing fantasy that whole populations will be happy if only they can do things their way. What actually happens is that ruthless thugs see their chance. The United States is allowing Iran to build its rival Empire, and into the political vacuum of the moment rush the Muslim Brothers, Hezbollah, the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the many other jihadi groups.

Things in Syria have come to such a pass that the thugs are fighting it out between them. Bashar Assad has already killed about 200,000 of his subjects indiscriminately. The Free Syrian Army, FSA for short, tries to dislodge him in the name of nationalism. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams, ISIS for short, is trying to dislodge him in the name of Islam. Net result: The FSA and ISIS engage in a new civil war within the old civil war. The barbarism of both parties shames the human race.  From Assad’s point of view, it is a bonus that his enemies have turned on one another.  The United States has an interest in the destruction of ISIS, and objectively, as the Marxists used to say, is now siding with Assad who lets the dirty work take its course. The steadily mounting disaster seems to stem from Obama’s fantasy that peace is something that can safely be left to others.  

David Calling

The David Pryce-Jones blog.