The Appeal of Interventionism

Polls find only 36% of Americans are willing to say they oppose B.H. “Peace-Prize” Obama’s war against Libya.

What can explain this “intervention enthusiasm”, and our post-Cold-War acquiescence to interventionism generally? An anonymous commenter at Steve Sailer proposes an answer:

The Appeal of Interventionism Among (Post)Modern Westerners
By Anonymous Commenter at Steve Sailer

Part of the appeal of attacking a weaker country is the catharsis of releasing all the pent-up anger and frustration, especially in democratic nations, from being impotent to take strong measures at home. […]

[Western] PC elites are too busy being anti-‘racist’ and spreading sensitivity training. So, the people in those nations, especially white conservatives, are pent-up with anger. They see their societies being taken over by non-whites, by hostile elites; they see wimpy leaders on their side, making apologies and compromises all the time. “Compassionate Conservatism”.

Since white people must respect and honor all minorities, no matter how hostile or problematic, in their own countries, their silent rage keeps building up. The only outlet is to take out their rage on weaker countries, especially Muslim ones (not least because Zionist-controlled Media and Government wants to crush them for the interests of Israel). It’s like an employee who has to bow down before the boss at work goes home to kick his dog. Or a kid who’s insulted by a nasty teacher day in and day out takes out his anger on a weaker kid.

This could be the appeal of supporting Israel among many white conservatives. They can’t kick ass at home, and so they take vicarious pleasure in watching ‘westernized’ Jews kick dark ‘Muzzie’ ass. […] We can’t do anything about illegal immigrants, but we can blow up entire areas of Libya.

This is the real danger of our foreign intervention. It offers us false catharsis. It solves no problem at home as we go on a wild sheep chase abroad.

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17 Responses to The Appeal of Interventionism

  1. Justin says:

    I dunno, I think this vastly overestimates the racialist frustration of the average person. Sounds like Whiskey wrote it, minus the Game terminology and obligatory sexual reductionism.

    I think people just generally believe what their government tells them: this is about humanitarianism, preventing genocide, etc. They really do honestly believe they are doing good.

    Likewise with Israel. They are the good guys, the VICTIMS for goodness sake, just like the poor oppressed people of Libya. What’s wrong with taking out the bad guy?

    The mass popularity of Spider Man gives us a window into the American psyche: he is practically a spotless ego-projection of our collective self-concept. “With great power comes great responsibility”, he is driven to be the city’s self-appointed White Knight, to overcome his own self-interests for the sake of making the world a better place.

    • Hail says:

      I, too, saw a connection to the ignominious Whiskey. I think this mini-essay explains the likes of him… That is, if we accept this Whiskey character at face-value and assume his act is not elaborate trolling. (Dismissing his inane political diatribes as trolling is the most sympathetic one can be to him).

      Why would a “Whiskey” exist? Actually, forget Whiskey. (I wish we all could.)

      Why would any White-American support shoving-around weaker countries for no discernible benefit at all to ourselves, and demonstrable negative effects? (Higher taxes, thousands of American lives wasted per year (deaths/cripplings), loss of prestige, imperial backwash — see also Sweden’s 200,000 Iraqis since 2003…).

      A large part of the reason is probably Racialist frustration. Think of California whites, on the trajectory to eventually all but disappear. Who would not be frustrated? This frustration is diverted to “safe” outlets by alleged-American ol’ Barry Hussein, alleged-Texan ol’ George W., and their advisers of the Rahm “Proud IDF Volunteer” Emanuel ilk.

      I also agree that a lot of people buy into the crazy Humanitarian Bombing stuff, but absent quasi-Racialist frustration down there in the White psyche, the Intervention seedlings would land upon barren ground.

      • uh says:

        I’m sorry, who and where is “Whiskey”?

      • Hail says:

        Uh: Whiskey is a perennial Steve Sailer commenter who annoys a large section of the commentariat with incessantly bland, moronic, ignorant, arrogant, hyperbolic, and always long-winded Neoconservative rants. He is anti-racialist, basically misogynistic, and wildly philo-Semitic.

  2. RS says:

    I don’t see this phenomenon as all that Jewish; I suspect that realist Israelis would just as soon see Libya go back to the status quo ante bellum. And it seems to me that the clear-eyed, realist, rightie Israelis have their hands on the controls of the most important affairs, despite the presence of many a moonbat in that nation, and the public certainly likes it that way vis-a-vis security even if they don’t like all the rightist policies. Overall, the public and elite over there don’t seem to be any more capable (underlyingly) of recognizing reality than we are… however, given the way events loom over this small nation and have repeatedly done, it’s hard for them not to recognize it, just as we too would recognize it better in trying circumstances.

    But otherwise I most definitely agree with the post. These primal drives for domination, envy, etc are powerful, though they often partly succeed in dressing themselves up as something else. As Nietzsche and Mencken constantly emphasized, envy, for instance, is not just a little puff of a breeze that sometimes nudges events in one direction or another, but rather a humming and ever gathering voltage, a real force to be reckoned with.

    Obviously the public will hate this war as soon as anything goes wrong, if it does. And it sure seems apt to. I’m scratching my head as to why our pols want to do this. Anyway, there’s a sane solution to this one, and that’s partition. Because of the Kurdish national question, partition doesn’t look that great in Iraq and I think something similar must be true in Afghanistan. But in this case, surely if they are able to see anything at all through the dense fog of modern nonsense, they will try to part the country… assuming there is a viable way to make the two races share the oil. (If most of it is deep inside the territory of one or the other, that could be very difficult.)

    • Hail says:

      Partition seems logical.
      The only question: Would independent East-Libya be a puppet of the USA ,or of Sarkoleon the Magnificent?

      The oddest thing of all —

      Author Webster Tarpley dug-up a declassified U.S. military study on foreign fighters in Iraq, compiled in 2007. Its conclusion was that Eastern-Libya, especially the Benghazi-Tobruk corridor, was by far the top recruitment area for foreign mujahadeen volunteers fighting USA occupation soldiers in Iraq. This is the population base of the “Rebels”!

      …The 2007 West Point study [found] the corridor which goes from Benghazi to Tobruk…represents one of the greatest concentrations of jihadis…[and] by some measures can be regarded as the leading source of suicide bombers anywhere on the planet. [Source]


  3. hbd chick says:

    justin said – “I think people just generally believe what their government tells them: this is about humanitarianism, preventing genocide, etc. They really do honestly believe they are doing good.”

    gotta agree with this. my dad and his wife, for instance — completely convinced we are only in libya for humanitarian reasons — also convinced we are only in afghanistan|iraq to bring democracy to those poor people.

    if you’ve never given any thought to a question, you might just believe the “experts” (if you’re inclined to be naive, that is).

  4. icr says:

    An interesting relic of the pre-Pearl Harbor anti-interventionist movement:

    The Roosevelt administration seized on the Lindbergh speech as a pretext to build more allies—but then it was hit with another salvo. A man who had listened carefully to Charles Lindbergh’s speech in Des Moines and a member of America First, determined to say what was on his mind and in his soul.

    Born in Cincinnati, educated at Mt. St. Mary of the West seminary there and at the Catholic University of Louvain and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he received a doctorate in sacred theology, he was 66-year-old Archbishop Francis Beckman. He had been bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska before coming to Dubuque in 1930. He had made a few national broadcasts from Dubuque but they had been suffused with academic language. Now he would change and speak plainly.

    On Sunday, October 19, 1941 he became an outspoken critic not just of the war but of the Roosevelt administration. He was first and only Catholic bishop to do so publicly. I’m indebted to The Wanderer’s able news editor, Paul Likoudis, for the text which he unearthed from a yellowed copy of Fr. Charles E. Coughlin’s magazine Social Justice dated November 3, 1941.

    That Sunday, the Archbishop called on the American people over NBC radio to resist President Roosevelt’s designs to go to war. Speaking to American mothers, he said: “The time is short for speaking and I will be brief. I will mince no words. People, we are at a crossroads of Constitutional government. Our laws are hypocritically evaded and then explained away under the guise of a `national emergency’; the greatest dictatorship on earth is made or is in the making.

    “War or peace in this sad land is a question crying for immediate answer. Bitter history attends to the downright hypocrisy, faithless and ruthless cunning which has led a nation of peace-minded people to the very brink of war. The plan of the interventionists has been well drawn and adroitly pursued: Step by step and lately, inch by inch, our people in their guilelessness have been betrayed, betrayed, be-spoiled and disillusioned. At the moment the culmination of this plan is simple: `Arm the ships and create the incidents.’ The intelligence of the American people can no longer be limited by `measures short of war’: the appeal now is to the passions and prejudices…The war hysteria and propaganda put forth in this country has no parallel as a deliberate, studied appeal to the emotions. Hitler is to be stopped if it takes ten years, 10 million men, $300 billion with never a thought of where we shall begin and where we shall end. I fear lthis is either folly of men who are mad or who are eager, through war, to cover their own mistakes.


    “My dear friends, liberty is the corpse of war and in this critical hour we should be most concerned for it. Hard-won by men who would turn over in their graves if they were to view the revolting spectacle in Washington today. It is time for the peace-loving people of this nation to get down to the business of salvaging their rights…I am not willing for the sake of decorum to remain silent. I have no choice but to remain unswervingly true to my sacred office. A worthy shepherd of his flock deserts them not in the hour of their need.

    “Religion is concerned primarily with spiritual affairs, yes; but when a course is set by temporal authorities (an obviously wrong course) which ends in courting godlessness, war and the loss of religious liberty, every single man of the cloth, be he Catholic, Protestant or Jew, in my mind has no alternative but to stand up to the government, tell his people the truth whether they like it or not. ..This is America and we should not fear to love it, honor it, defend it first, last and always.”


    • Hail says:

      The war hysteria and propaganda put forth in this country has no parallel as a deliberate, studied appeal to the emotions. Hitler is to be stopped if it takes ten years, 10 million men, $300 billion with never a thought of where we shall begin and where we shall end.

      These throw-away remarks in Oct. 1941 proved remarkably accurate, in all three of the speaker’s hyperbolic predictions (incl. the timeline: Denazification of Europe was not done till 10 years after the war began).

      Why was blind devotion to beating Hitler worth bankrupting Britain, worth wasting millions of lives, but no one in the West (except the Finns) ever bothered fighting Stalin who was, by any measure, worse?

    • Hail says:

      Why is that Anti-Interventionist spirit, embodied by icr’s excerpts, so utterly dead today? Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, and that’s about it on the (semi-)respectable national stage. Neither is exactly mainstream, and both are old.

      Why is non-interventionism dead? I think the OP comments go a long way towards explaining it.

      A note to Justin and others who argue it is only about Humanitarianism: Roosevelt and co also waved the bloody shirt of Humanitarianism to try to enter the war against Germany. (Hitler was indeed, even prewar, more guilty than Gaddafi or Milosevic of being autocractic and suppressing opponents). Yet domestic opposition in the USA to entering the war remained 80%-90%, according to opinion polls, until Pearl Harbor.

      What is the difference between the USA of the 1990s-2011, vs. the USA of the 1920s-1941, that would explain the difference?

  5. A large part of the reason is probably Racialist frustration.

    With all due respect, I don’t think you’ve provided any evidence that racialist frustration has played any role. We have people who should be racially frustrated and a senseless conflict. But there’s no indication that the one is connected to the other. Where’s the evidence that the 64% of Americans who support this intervention need something to get them on board other than what their government and the media tell them?

    Yet domestic opposition in the USA to entering the war remained 80%-90%, according to opinion polls, until Pearl Harbor.

    What is the difference between the USA of the 1990s-2011, vs. the USA of the 1920s-1941, that would explain the difference?

    I think you’re missing the boat by looking for a magic bullet. I think the likeliest explanation is that Americans abandoned their isolationism for the same reason they abandoned their healthy attitudes towards race: they’ve been subject to constant conditioning over the past 7o years.

    • Hail says:

      Bertie, this little mini-essay — not written by me but by a Steve Sailer commenter — did not aim to prove itself true. It is just a theory, in the scientific sense: I.e., a realistic explanation of a set of observable phenomena.

  6. Rollory says:


    wNat mo4r PPOASTT!!!!11


    (not really)

  7. Interventionism usually fails.

    Why? Because one cannot attempt to control a nation from the outside.

    Sure, certain humanitarian efforts may be justified, but what about Iraq and Afghanistan, where matters are clearly worse than they were before American expansion.

    The negative effects of Britain’s interventionism are still observable, so I often ask what America’s will do.

  8. organicist says:

    Maybe it’s a case of sublimation. Americans know that something is not right, but the Leftist cultural taboos are buried so deep that we decide the problem is “radical Islam” rather than multiculturalism.

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