Authoritarian Interventionism. It’s the new Progressive

I was listening yesterday to a Democracy Now interview with Congressman Jim McDermott, described as a progressive liberal democrat, discussing the possibility of the US sending ground troops into Iraq.  A couple things stood out for me because of what they illustrate about the needle-thin narrowness of the political spectrum in the US.

While discussing some of the mistakes he thought were made in US policy towards Iraq, McDermott said :

“Maliki should have been gone a long time ago. The United States government, from time to time, picks the wrong person to be the leader of a country and involves themselves in the election and the whole selection process”

This passed without any comment.  The congressman is acknowledging that the US picks who will lead other countries, and interfere with the integrity of the election process to that end.  He has not qualms about that.  His regret is only that the US picked the wrong person for the job.  There is no hint that he understands the illegality of the entire process of installing regimes abroad.

When asked to compare the atrocious record of Obama with that of his predecessor, McDermott said:

“…(I)  abhor, as an American, that we were torturing people and that we had these secret prisons all over the place and that we were waterboarding and all of that—and to no effect”

Torture, rendition, waterboarding, are abhorrent, apparently, because they didn’t achieve the desired results.  Not because they are illegal and morally wrong.  The means did not lead to the ends that would justify them.  And that is the liberal, progressive position; aired on a liberal, progressive broadcast, without comment.

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