More Puzzlement

More Puzzlement

Daniel Larison says a(nother) wise thing (h/t):

“Americanists believe that any statement from the President that fails to build up and anoint Mousavi as the preferred candidate is discouraging to Mousavi and his supporters, because they apparently cannot grasp that being our preferred candidate is to be tainted with suspicion of disloyalty to the nation. It is strange how nationalists often have the least awareness of the importance of the nationalism of another people. Many of the same silly people who couldn’t say enough about Hamas’ so-called “endorsement” of Obama as somehow indicative of his Israel policy views, as well as those who could not shut up about his warm reception in Europe, do not see how an American endorsement of a candidate in another country’s election might be viewed with similiar and perhaps even greater distaste by the people in that country.”

Indeed. And a lot of those same people thought that Iraqis would adore us because we had overthrown Saddam Hussein, apparently without thinking: however much they hated him, it’s deeply humiliating to have someone else overthrow your dictator and occupy your* country. And so, in all likelihood, however happy Iraqis might be at first, we should expect that not to last: inevitably, soldiers in an alien country make mistakes and kill or detain the wrong people, call in airstrikes on people who are doing nothing wrong, etc.; and when that happens, our welcome, however warm initially, will very quickly turn to resentment.

National pride is a powerful thing, and a completely comprehensible one. Why the very people who will brook no criticism of their own country, even when it’s fully justified, should fail to understand this is a mystery.

* corrected