On October 30th of this year, I wrote at LewRockwell.com that the neocons would have preferred to see death and destruction pour down on the people of Benghazi from the U.S. military, in response to the assault on the consulate. Whether innocents were massacred in the process was of no concern to them. Sadly, I was correct.
Three days after my article appeared on LRC, Jarrett Stepman, that anti-nullifier whom Tom Woods and Matt Renquist set straight this week, published on Human Events “How ‘Old Hickory’ Reacted to Murdered Americans in Distant Lands.” In it, Stepman celebrates the savage murder of hundreds of civilians, following the deaths of four American merchant sailors at the hands of Malaysian pirates.
In a clear act of unilateral intervention, the [U.S.S.] Potomac entered the Quallah Battoo harbor and proceeded to level it to the ground, first the marines were sent in to raze the fortifications, and then the ship bombarded the city from a distance. Hundreds of people were killed in Quallah Battoo and the city lay in ashes.
He then explains how, following the slaughter, the Naval commander “[reminded] the [surviving] inhabitants that the United States had no desire to take the island. American goals were trade and defense, not maritime empire.”
It truly is shameful for anyone to laud such barbarity as the looting, pillaging, and fire-bombing of a small wooden village by a modern military force. There is no question that the murder of the four sailors of the merchant vessel was unjustified. However, the only morally acceptable response is to punish those pirates guilty of murder, not the hundreds of men, women, and children unfortunate enough to have lived in the same small town.
Perhaps the only thing more grotesque than Stepman’s opinion here, is the bloodthirsty response his article garnered in the comments.
And it is indeed a curious definition of defense, that involves the massacre of hundreds of innocent people. One might wonder just how these conservatives, many of whom proudly declare being pro-life, would respond if the reverse happened today.
Imagine that a group of Chinese businessmen travels to the United States, and several members are mugged and killed by street thugs. Would it be acceptable for the Chinese government to send hundreds of marines ashore, destroy the town’s defenses, loot and pillage, and then for a naval ship to bombard the civilian population?