Saturday, April 16, 2005

Herr Gokmop

Those who have been looking at the comments will already be familiar with Herr Gokmop; he has his own blog at blogspot which is quite nice. There are many hip things about the blog. First, it's topped by an Ogden Nash poem. Then, it has pictures of Finland. Finally, it discusses aspects of international politics that you aren't likely to find discussed in a lot of places, at least in English. So a trifecta of indispensibility.

Anyway, there's one particular post I want to draw your attention to that touches on a point that the right wing in this country can never grasp. This post about the China/Japan situation is exactly right - people tend to think that the U.S. has this wonderful monopoly on the use of aggressive force, but of course a war between Japan and China would be extremely bad for global stability.

That's not the point I want to make, though. My point is about the protests in China. Whenever some antiwar group has a protest against a U.S. war, right-wingers come out of the woodwork and say "well, how come you don't have a protest against Saddam?"

Which is stupid. And it's actually a recommendation for something that is a very dangerous development when and if it does happen. When a nation has protests to decry the actions of its own government, that's a sign of the health of that society. When a nation has large public protests decrying some other government or society, that's a sign of rising belligerent nationalism.

If you are unfamiliar with the consequences of the rise of belligerent nationalism in a major military power, check out the history of the 20th century. There are books on it at your local library or, if you're against that kind of socialist namby-pamby book-borrowing thing, I hear they have a show about it every now and again on the History Channel.

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