Great piece by Reason contributor Thaddeus Russell over at Mediaite. The historian and author of A Renegade History of America isn't surprised by the bloodlust coursing through the veins of liberals, progressives, and MSNBC hosts regarding Syria.
Last week on MSNBC's All In, Chris Hayes featured a host of left-of-center hawks, including Rep.Eliot Engel (D-NY), Julia Ioffe of The New Republic, Iraqi-American writer Zainab Salbi, who called for a "long-term intervention," Mouaz Moustafa, a representative of the Syrian rebels, and Tom Perriello of the Center for American Progress, who has argued elsewhere not just for missile strikes against Assad but for "a more aggressive posture that would potentially include regime transition." On his show, Chris Matthews justified bombing the Assad regime by declaring that even "Hitler didn't use" chemical weapons. The liberal network's call to war climaxed with a stunning piece of demagoguery on Wednesday's Last Word, when reporter Richard Engel put a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl on camera to say, "Does [Obama] want his kids to be like us? … When we get bigger, we're going to write, 'Obama didn't help us.'"
Nobody should be surprised by this sort of turn, explains Russell, because back in the day, the Progressives were absolutely the war party.
This is not a new position for The New Republic or progressives. A century ago the magazine, along with most progressive intellectuals, called for the U.S. to intervene in World War I in order to save innocent Europeans from German aggressions. President Woodrow Wilson, who declared that the U.S. had the duty to "lift the burdens of mankind in the future and show the paths of freedom to all the world," took that advice. Some 116,000 U.S. servicemen were killed and more than 200,000 wounded in the war, while countless thousands of German conscripts were cut down by American steel in what many historians now see as an exercise in imperial competition that laid the ground for the rise of fascism….
More recent progressive-led humanitarian interventions were smaller-scale but yielded similar results.Bill Clinton's incursion into Somalia killed 18 American soldiers and hundreds of Somali militiamen and civilians, and brought no improvement to the world's most misgoverned country. Likewise, NATO's bombing of Kosovo left hundreds of civilians dead and gave the upper hand to the Kosovo Liberation Army — an organization described by Clinton's own special envoy to the Balkans, Robert Gelbard, as "without any questions, a terrorist group" — which conducted its own campaign of ethnic cleansing after the war.
Watch "3 Reasons Not to Go to War with Syria":