To Everyone Who Defends The US War Machine With “That Dictator Is Bad, Too”:

Whatever would we do without mainstream Americans scrambling all over the place to quash anti-war sentiment by informing people that the leaders being targeted by the US war machine are bad, too?

Every time — literally every single time — that I or anyone else I’ve observed makes a public statement condemning America’s reprehensible manipulations in Syria, North Korea, Russia, Venezuela, Iran or anywhere else, there is without fail a mad rush of partisan hacks eager to point out that the leader of the nation in question is not, in fact, a boy scout. What specific variety of partisan hack it is depends on the country in question (typically Democrats for Russia and Syria, Republicans for North Korea, Venezuela and Iran), but the script always follows more or less the same idiotic formula:

Anti-war person: America shouldn’t be doing what it’s doing in Country X.
Mainstream American: Oh, so you think that Dictator X is an angel? Maybe you should marry Dictator X.
Anti-war person: That has literally nothing to do with anything anyone is saying here.
Mainstream American: Hey anti-war person, while you’re sucking Dictator X’s dick, Dictator X is doing all the bad things my TV told me he’s doing!
Anti-war person: That’s a red herring. Leaving aside the fact that the US war machine has such an extensive history of using false flags and propaganda to manufacture support for military aggression that it’s very difficult to know what’s actually going on, no behavior by Government X justifies the evil thing that the US war machine is doing right now.
Mainstream American: You know, it’s possible to see America’s military interventionism as bad while also seeing Dictator X as bad.
Anti-war person: Okay, fine, whatever, but while you’re over there pretending to hold an even-handed and realistic perspective, you’re the only one in this conversation advocating for US military interventionism in Country X.
Mainstream American: Well we can’t just do nothing! Dictator X is evil!
Anti-war person: There are conflicting narratives about Country X, and none of them indicate that its problems can be solved by bombs or sanctions, especially coming from a government that can’t even provide its own people with clean drinking water or a sane healthcare system. Humanitarian warfare is an extremely recent invention concocted in the nineties as part of the neoconservative agenda to prevent the arrival of another global superpower. It is always a bad thing, it never helps, it is evil, and it needs to stop.
Mainstream American: Okay but I still don’t understand why you like it when children get killed.
Anti-war person: [puts fist through screen, startles cat, makes poor impulsive life decision in desperate attempt to get away from it all]

It’s amazing. They come in like they’re saying something helpful, like they’re contributing some essential piece of new information to the conversation. If I’m talking about the west’s brazen attempt to turn Syria into a much larger and more chaotic version of Libya, these people honestly seem to think they’re making themselves useful by coming in and saying “Yeah well it’s not like Assad is an angel.”

They say it like it’s a complete argument, like how good or bad Bashar al-Assad is has any bearing whatsoever on the morality of America’s arming of known terrorist factions in a deliberate attempt to destabilize Syria or its pervasive propaganda campaign to deceive the American people about what’s happening in that nation.

Don’t do this, please. This is bad thinking and bad behavior. US foreign policy isn’t made less evil by your pointing out the fact that Kim Jong Un is not Mahatma Gandhi. We already know he isn’t (he has a completely different arrangement of letters in his name), and nobody benefits from your interrupting the dialogue with this obvious fact while the grownups are talking.

The US war machine lies constantly. The US war machine kills people to advance the agendas of war profiteers, oligarchs and neoconservative ideologues. None of the statements I just made are disputable, and none of them are nullified by the fact that there are other bad people who may also be doing bad things. If you want to argue in favor of US interventionism, then do so using real arguments, without strawmanning anti-war advocates with accusations of sympathizing with a despotic government. If you don’t want to argue in favor of US interventionism, then stop gumming up the gears of anti-war dialogue with vapid interjections. It’s that simple. Thank you.

— — —

I’m a 100 percent reader-funded journalist so if you enjoyed this, please consider helping me out by sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or throwing some money into my hat on Patreon.