Breitbart has the video of Nader discussing Obama. Nader does have some major blind spots – first off in saying that Obama is failing because he knows the law and yet he violates it. This, to me, is a failure on the part of Nader to understand that people like Obama don’t even know what a law is. But Nader is also pretty upset with Obama on the way Obama has been running the war – essentially calling Obama a worse war criminal than Bush.
First off, I’d like to say that I deprecate the whole concept of “war crime”. There are, of course, laws of war – things which have been held to be right and proper for ages. Such things as not going on a rampage of rape, looting and murder. Things like accepting an honorable surrender and treating the captive decently. But these are things for honorable soldiers with proper morality – when dealing with people who have deliberately set themselves outside of all morality, then it becomes a bit different. The honorable soldier will still refrain from senseless brutality, but he isn’t bound to treat an inhuman adversary as if he were humane. The biggest example of war crimes, of course, were in Nazi Germany – but it was absurd of us to put the captured Nazis on trial as if judging them by our standards in a court would some how make right what was done. How can one exact justice against someone who organized the mass murder of millions? Who deliberately broke the peace simply to grab wealth from others? You can’t – once the millionth person was done to death in a Nazi death camp then no amount of judicial sentence could ever balance the scales of justice. We should, instead of bothering with all that (and especially without putting on the bench Soviet judges which represented a regime just as hideously anti-human as the Nazi regime on trial), just taken out whichever Nazis we felt were most responsible and shot them one, fine morning. It wouldn’t have been a matter of justice – it couldn’t be a matter of justice; it was a matter of disposing of people who had outlawed themselves in the fullest sense of the word (but Mark, you’re a Christian – what about mercy? Indeed, and people with a sense of honor would have tried to discern whom among the captive Nazis should get that mercy…and be let go; by trying to be “legal” about it we ended up hanging someone as trivial as Ribbentrop while letting off someone as crucial to Nazi power and cruelty as Alfried Krupp).
It is, then, impossible for us to commit a war crime against the Islamists we fight against – these are people who will murder a Christian for nothing (and rape his daughter and burn his church, in to the bargain). These are people who will strap a bomb on a kid and send him off to commit mass murder in a shopping mall. These are people who have outlawed themselves from human society. The only reason to take them prisoner, at all, is to obtain information from them. Outside of that, how is justice served if we were to, say, give a man a 20 year sentence because he organized a campaign of suicide bombings in Afghanistan? So, when Nader says we are committing war crimes when we drone-attack a jihadist, I disagree with the notion – even when, at times, such attacks end up killing the innocent. It isn’t our fault that our enemies deliberately hide among non-combatants for the sole purpose of ensuring that innocent people are killed so they can score propaganda points against us. We still have to fight these people – though a bit of wisdom at this point would lead us to withdraw completely or steel ourselves to going after the ultimate sources of the trouble: the money-bags in the oil States and the government of Iran. Be that as it may, we are at this point fighting them, and it not only isn’t a crime to do so, it is impossible for it to ever be a crime.
Nader reflects a certain, hard-left disappointment with Obama – a feeling, correct in a lot of ways, that Obama has not been what he promised to be. Schooled his whole life to believe that the left is in favor of peace, prosperity and freedom, someone like Nader just doesn’t know what to do with an Obama who doesn’t make peace, doesn’t create prosperity and is clearly uninterested in individual freedom for average folks. Part of this comes from a failure to understand that the left has an inherent problem in getting to any of these desired results. Nader, honest as he is, simply does not understand that a large government setting out to, for instance, create prosperity is in an impossible situation: the thing can’t be done. Even the most benevolent government, grown large, can only get in the way. But, still, you can see his point: clearly Obama is not carrying out the programs and policies which leftists believe will bring peace, prosperity and freedom.
It still astounds me that Obama managed to win a second term: the only people actually benefiting from Obama policies are those who are getting a rake-off via government contracts and grants. For 90% of Americans, Obama’s Administration has been a net loss. I can see why dyed-in-the-wool Democrats voted for Obama, but they only make up about 35% of the electorate (at best) and Obama got over 50% of the vote…which means a very large number of people who aren’t just mindlessly Democrat and/or personally profiting off of Obama voted to re-elect this man who has not a single policy success to his name. The fact that Nader – and some other hard left people – are taking Obama to task just makes it more remarkable that we’ve got Obama for four more years.
Nader is right about this: Obama is far worse than Bush. Far worse than anyone we’ve ever had in the White House. I’d welcome back a combination Carter and Nixon and figure we’re coming out ahead of the game, right about now. The combination of dishonesty, insensitivity, lack of patriotism, old-school Chicago graft and a general sense that Obama is happy to see us decline at times makes me sick at heart for our country. I can only imagine how much worse it must be for a true blue leftist: here was a man (and a black man!) who had dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s of true-blue leftism and yet he manages to get elected…and then he goes about messing up so badly that when he is replaced, the whole concept of leftism will be in disgrace for a generation. Just as after Carter left office no one would call themselves a “liberal” for more than a decade, so it will be after Obama leaves…people will be ashamed to be thought of as being in any way like Obama. And for someone like Nader, that is tragic because his whole life has been a sincere (if muddleheaded) quest for a leftist settlement in the United States.
It is to be hoped that there will be an awakening from this – as I hope my fellow conservatives will awaken to the fact that Big Corporation is a bane, so I hope that honest leftists like Nader will awaken to the fact that Big Government is also a bane…and a worse bane than Big Corporation. You can, if you want, be a leftist and be against government – the only fundamental change is to understand that whatever social changes you want will have to be done via education and at the local level, not by the heavy club of government because such clubs are always eventually wielded by someone like Obama.