Sylvester Brown, a columnist in St. Louis, offers up this trite eye-roller to the Blogfaddah, in response to a Reynolds post on US efforts to oust dictatorships in favor of democracies, by force when necessary:
Sorry, bloggers. When it comes to regime change and nation-building, I can’t follow the wisdom of Bush and his crew. I lean more toward the words of a real straight shooter, Mohandas Gandhi:
“The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within.”
Gandhi, of course, is the patron saint of pacifism for the Western Left. What they tend to leave out in quoting the above and other pacifistic platitudes is Gandhi’s extremism, if his philosophies were carried out to their logical conclusions. Concerning the threat of Hitler’s Germany, Gandhi counseled Winston Churchill to surrender peacably, and then pursue a strategy of non-violent resistance.
Now, you do know what happened to everybody who pursued non-violent resistance against the Nazis, don’t you? What do you think the world would look like today, had Churchill and Roosevelt taken that advice?
Gandhi, like Nelson Mandela in South Africa and Martin Luther King, Jr. in this country, had one tremendous advantage in their own quite remarkable efforts–they were opposing governments and/or structures that were, in the end, ameniable to moral persuasion. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Saddam–these were not reasonable men who could be shamed or convinced into stepping down quietly and calling elections. These were barbaric monsters who recognized no higher morality than their own whims. Today’s closest parallel to Gandhi is the Dalai Lama, and all his own pacifism has won for his people in Tibet is fifty years of brutal Chi-Com occupation, with no end in sight.
Brown should know as much, and I suspect he probably does, but between the old leftie blame-America syndrome and simple Bush-hatred, he apparently can’t bring himself to admit the obvious. Rather sad, really.