But opposition to the war is hardly confined [...] to one strand of the political spectrum. On the contrary: mobilized against this war are remnants of the left and the likes of Le Pen [...] on the right. The right is against immigrants. The left is against America. (Against the idea of America, that is. The hegemony of American popular culture in Europe could hardly be more total.)
On both the so-called left and the so-called right, identity-talk is on the rise. The anti-Americanism that is fueling the protest against the war has been growing in recent years in many of the nations of the New Europe, and is perhaps best understood as a displacement of the anxiety about this New Europe, which everyone has been told is a Good Thing and few dare question. Nations are communities that are always being imagined, reconceived, reasserted, against the pressure of a defining Other. The specter of a nation without borders, an infinitely porous nation, is bound to create anxiety. Europe needs its overbearing America.
It is not that Europe is weak. Far from it. It is that Europe, the Europe under construction since the Final Victory of Capitalism in 1989, is up to something else. Something which indeed renders obsolete most of the questions of justice -- indeed, all the moral questions. (What prevails, in their place, are questions of health, which may be conjoined with ecological concerns; but that is another matter.)
A Europe designed for spectacle, consumerism and hand wringing ... but haunted by the fear of national identities being swamped either by faceless multinational commercialism or by tides of alien immigrants from poor countries.
Not all violence is equally reprehensible; not all wars are equally unjust.
No forceful response to the violence of a state against peoples who are nominally its own citizens? (Which is what most "wars" are today. Not wars between states.) The principal instances of mass violence in the world today are those committed by governments within their own legally recognized borders. Can we really say there is no response to this? Is it acceptable that such slaughters be dismissed as civil wars, also known as "age-old ethnic hatreds." (After all, anti-Semitism was an old tradition in Europe; indeed, a good deal older than ancient Balkan hatreds. Would this have justified letting Hitler kill all the Jews on German territory?) Is it true that war never solved anything? (Ask a black American if he or she thinks our Civil War didn't solve anything.)
War is not simply a mistake, a failure to communicate. There is radical evil in the world, which is why there are just wars. And this is a just war. Even if it has been bungled.
Concordo com quase tudo. Só que estes extractos não se referem à crise do Iraque: foram retirados de um texto escrito há quatro ano, relativamente ao Kosovo...
Este achado de Susan Sontag estava no hilariante Best of the Web, do Opinion Journal, que recomendo.