In celebrating the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, U.S. interventionists are emphasizing how vicious and brutal the man was and, therefore, that the world is better off that he is now dead.
How vicious and brutal?
Well, let’s do some comparison asking.
Was he more vicious and brutal than the current leader of Saudi Arabia, an unelected dictator whose people murdered and dismembered an innocent man in cold blood while he was visiting a Saudi embassy in a foreign country to get documents relating to his upcoming marriage?
Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that that Saudi leader is a proud partner and ally of the U.S. government.
Was he more vicious and brutal than the leader of Egypt, an unelected military dictator who uses U.S.-supplied weaponry to kill, torture, or jail political dissidents and who suppresses the results of any election that doesn’t please his military regime?
Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that that Egyptian leader is a proud partner and ally of the U.S. government.
Was he more vicious and brutal than the former leader of Chile, Gen. Augusto Pinochet, an unelected military dictator whose goons rounded up 50,000 innocent people and tortured, raped, disappeared, or executed many of them?
Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that Pinochet was a proud partner and ally of the U.S. government and that U.S. politicians and bureaucrats even helped him secure power by destroying Chile’s democratic system.
Was he more vicious and brutal than the Shah of Iran, who tyrannized the Iranian people for some 25 years, until they succeeded in ousting him from power in a violent revolution?
Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that the Shah was a proud partner and ally of the U.S. government and that U.S. politicians and bureaucrats even helped him secure power by destroying Iran’s democratic system.
Was he more vicious and brutal than the current leader of Iraq, who kills innocent people for protesting his dictatorial regime?
Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that that Iraqi leader is a proud partner and ally of the U.S. government and it was the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq that is responsible for his dictatorial regime being in power.
No matter how vicious and brutal Baghdadi was as head of ISIS, it does seem somewhat weird that interventionists are celebrating the killing of a person who was the leader of a group that became an official enemy of the United States as a direct consequence of the U.S. government’s illegal and unconstitutional invasion and occupation of Iraq, a military operation that killed, injured, maimed, tortured, or jailed untold numbers of Iraqi people who had never attacked the United States and that succeeded in destroying the entire country with bombs and missiles.
No matter how vicious and brutal they were, the fact is that Baghdadi and ISIS were never going to invade the United States, conquer the nation, and take over the reigns of the federal government. At worst, they would have established their “caliphate” over parts of Iraq, Syria, and other areas of the Middle East.
Interventionists say that that would have been terrible. More terrible than vicious and brutal regimes in North Korea, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Chile, Iran, and so many others, many of whom have been proud partners and allies of the U.S. government? If the United States could survive all those other vicious and brutal foreign regimes, why couldn’t it have survived with one more?
The fundamental question naturally arises: Is it a legitimate role for the U.S. government to be going abroad to slay (or partner with) vicious and brutal monsters like Baghdadi?
U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams answered that question in his Fourth of July, 1821, speech to Congress, entitled “In Search of Monsters to Destroy.” He said that going abroad in search of monsters to destroy was not the role of the U.S. government. He added that if the U.S. government were ever to adopt that role in international affairs, it would fundamentally alter the character of the nation in negative ways and would end up turning the federal government into the “dictatress” of the world.
Who can deny that Adams has been proven correct?