kurt's nightmare

Generally, I post once a week. Topics are randomly selected and depend mostly upon whether it's baseball season or not. Other topics will include sex, politics, old girlfriends, music, and whatever else pops into my little brain. If you'd like to read, or ignore, my blog about China: http://meidabizi.blogspot.com/

Location: Dayton, OH, Heard & McDonald Islands

I'm an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. I represent no one but myself, and barely do that. I'm here mostly by accident.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Last one on Horowitz et al.

One last thing on Thomas Ryan. Soon, it shall be time to turn to baseball.

Before the invasion of Iraq, a number of us got together, and in spite of the hideous acronym, formed a group called "People Against Preemptive Attack." We stood on street corners, we talked amongst each other, we protested. Mostly, we didn't do much. We did, however, run an ad in the Dayton Daily News, which was signed by a large number of faculty and students, and which read:

1. War destroys lives, injures our humanity, and impoverishes our future. In addition to killing and maiming soldiers, war brings death, destruction, suffering and hardship to innocent civilian men, women, and children. The damage of war endures for generations and harms us all.

2. All major faith traditions and many secular philosophies reject the use of war as a tool of international relations, except under particular circumstances and as a last resort. The US Catholic bishops and many Protestant leaders have rejected a pre-emptive attack against Iraq on moral grounds.

3. The Bush administration’s current movement toward pre-emptive action sanctions war as a viable option even in the absence of a clear and immediate threat. Such an action would make the United States an aggressor nation and establish a deeply disturbing precedent. This policy violates international law and if implemented would likely destabilize the Middle East and undermine any US claim to be a nation devoted to law and peace.

4. Efforts to fight terrorism must involve cooperation among nations from all parts of the world. Military action perceived as driven unilaterally by the United States will inflame hatred against the US and likely increase rather than decrease the possibility of further acts of terrorism.

5. The administration has thus far been unable to link Iraq convincingly to terrorist acts against the US, nor shown that there is an imminent threat by the Iraqi regime to use any weapons of mass destruction that they may possess. Because the administration has failed to demonstrate a connection between the Iraqi regime and the events of September 11, any action taken against Iraq cannot credibly be claimed as part of the war on terrorism.

6. The weapons inspections currently proceeding under the auspices of the United Nations must be given the chance to be effective. Any further steps taken by the US as a result of those inspections must continue with UN involvement, and all possible alternatives short of full-scale invasion must be pursued.
Hmmm. I wonder if we were right?

Mr. Ryan's perceptive account of a similar ad, by the September 11 Coalition, manages to suggest that anyone signing it is a terrorist--I don't think that's too strong. Here's his gloss, in speaking again of Theo Majka:

Majka was also a signatory to an anti-Iraq war statement written by the September 11 Coalition, a Dayton based anti-war group whose mission is to “seek global peace through social and economic justice.” The group’s actions are sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, a radical Quaker organization that has supported Vietnamese Communists, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and the PLO; and the Southwest Ohio Chapter of the American Muslim Council, which supports Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. The document states, “War with Iraq is the real threat to our nation.” (The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.)

To add one's name to an ad against the War in Iraq, which as I noted in an earlier post Mr. Ryan offers as compelling evidence of the Bush administration's competence, is thus to a) agree with all the goals of the groups sponsoring the ad and b) to agree with all the goals of the groups those groups "support," although what precise "support" the American Friends Service Committee offered to Hezbollah Mr. Ryan fails to indicate. Clearly, the Quaker tradition is to endorse suicide bombing and other such things, in spite of its rather consistent commitment to pacificsm.

If this is the kind of argument Horowitz endorses by publishing it in his book, I think the lesson one should take away from this is to be rather suspicious of his general approach. I know the people Ryan is talking about here, and he is about as clueless as one can be; why should I not think that the other things Horowitz says about the dangers of the academy don't also deserve such suspicion?

Of course, that itself makes me suspicious. But, as I wrote Ryan (he never quite got back to me), I should be on that list. How about a second edition? Please?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was the date of the DDN ad?

Perhaps you should run another ad that says "We told you so!"

2:01 PM  
Blogger Bazarov said...

Nice. I wish I had something to write but I don't, and echoing that Horowitz is a douchebag just doesn't seem as fun as it was the first two times. You must have a nice crystal ball though to have seen the potential troubles an invasion would've caused and that we're now experiencing; it must be that black magic/voodoo shit you people in academia use.

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