The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Prager - World opinion is worthless

Dennis Prager is one of the underappreciated talk show hosts. In Chicago, it is mostly because he goes up against Rush Limbaugh. Prager's opening monologues are usually very solid and it is tough to pull away to go listen to Rush (when I get the opportunity to listen at all that is).

In the last few years we have seen liberals wringing their hands over world opinion going against the US over its policies in the mid-east. I have been ruminating over a post to counter such lame thinking. Not because I am an arrogant American that thinks we can do without the rest of the world, thank-you. Instead it is because the world body has shown time and again that it is incapable of consistently formulating an opinion worthy of concern. Personally I have suspected some people think ill of me for one thing or another. People rarely say what they think so you must go on observation. It really boils down to my respect for the person that determines my concern over their opinion of me. Frankly there are some people, that if they thought highly of me, I would think there was something I was doing wrong.

Dennis Prager has written a column titled World Opinion is Worthless that really encapsulates the points I wanted to make. He opens with a very bold statement:
If you are ever morally confused about a major world issue, here is a rule that is almost never violated: Whenever you hear that "world opinion" holds a view, assume it is morally wrong.
While some reading that will react by choking on their coffee, Dennis supports this with another strong statement:

"World opinion" has little or nothing to say about the world's greatest evils and regularly condemns those who fight evil.

The history of "world opinion" regarding the greatest mass murders and cruelties on the planet is one of relentless apathy.

While you are trying to think of something to dispute that statement, Prager provides a list of supporting evidence to his claim:

Ask the 1.5 million Armenians massacred by the Ottoman Turks;

or the 6 million Ukrainians slaughtered by Stalin;

or the tens of millions of other Soviet citizens killed by Stalin's Soviet Union;

or the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their helpers throughout Europe;

or the 60 million Chinese butchered by Mao;

or the 2 million Cambodians murdered by Pol Pot;

or the millions killed and enslaved in Sudan;

or the Tutsis murdered in Rwanda's genocide;

or the millions starved to death and enslaved in North Korea;

or the million Tibetans killed by the Chinese;

or the million-plus Afghans put to death by Brezhnev's Soviet Union.

Ask any of these poor souls, or the hundreds of millions of others slaughtered, tortured, raped and enslaved in the last 100 years, if "world opinion" did anything for them.

The world eventually stepped up to the plate to fight Nazi Germany, but not primarily to help the Jews. When the US wanted to step up to irradicate the sources of some of these atrocities listed, the world body was there to pressure them to stop or limit their completion of the job. Prager sums up how the world treats those who cause such atrocities and those who try to stop them:
In fact, "world opinion" is constantly upset with America and Israel, two of the most decent countries on earth, yet silent about the world's cruelest countries.
I realize there are strong claims out there of how Israel treats their neighbors. I faithfully read the blog of one considered a friend here but our opinions are night and day. I search for confirmation of the actions implied and have not yet found it. Yes, I see that Israel like the US has caused collateral damage when targeting the enemy. Yet all I can see is that the enemy hides like women among the civilians. To simply let the enemy live is not an option as it will cause even greater death. I also see a huge PR campaign against Israel that is shamelessly supported by US news organizations who when it comes to terrorists suddenly lose the curiosity that drives them to do extreme things like produce fake documents as news and reveal national security secrets.

As I have already produced much of Prager's column I would encourage a full read of the rest. He concludes the piece by giving four very strong arguments that explain why world opinion is so poorly shaped. I will show his final closing statement in case some won't go there to read:
That "world opinion" at this moment allegedly loathes America and Israel is a badge of honor to be worn proudly by those countries. It is when "world opinion" and its news media start liking you that you should wonder if you've lost your way.
He basically states the same thing I referred to on the personal level, applying it to the international level. I am not an isolationist, nor do dislike the tapestry of culture the rest of the world provides. Those who know me, know I relish the opportunity to experience firsthand the various nuances of world culture. However, when it comes to solutions to world problems I would truly feel like I had lost my way if we were in agreement. How often we have seen concensus lead us to harm, whether at the personal level, at the corporate level, the national level or the international level. Majority opinion only means that the majority is right or the majority is wrong.

4 Comments:

  • At 11:28 AM, Blogger SkyePuppy said…

    Oh, man! You beat me to the punch.

    I haven't read what you wrote (just the title), so I can still blog about it. Then I can come back here, read yours and despair that I didn't do the subject the justice that you did.

     
  • At 11:38 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    LA Sunsett keeps beating me to the punch, too. Unfortunately, I read his and often realize I can't do anything better. He keeps telling me to go ahead and post, and sometimes I do.

     
  • At 12:20 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Joe,

    I will point out again that at any major decision point we only really see what happened after the decision and implementation of that decision was made. We cannot see what would have happened had a different decision had been made or a different implementation of the decision used. My point does not insulate decisions from criticism. However, in some situations like the middle-east it is extremely likely that undesirable events will happen as a result of ANY decision we make including the decision to do nothing. For any criticism to carry weight at all, it should not simply be to point out what happens as a result of the decision. It should be accompanied by well reasoned points of what should have been done and supporting points of what might have happened if that different decision or implementation would have occurred. That is what I think hammer is asking for.

    Skyepuppy makes the excellent point that we are hard pressed to point to any time in the middle-east (or other trouble spots in the world) where diplomacy has resulted in long lasting success. As in areas of human health you may try to solve a health problem with diet and exercise. Sometimes you need radical medicine or even surgery to deal with the problem.

    To simply say the middle-east is a mess and therefore Bush was wrong does not suffice. If Bush had done nothing or taken all the diplomatic approached forwarded by the liberals in the world we still likely would see a mess in the middle-east.

     
  • At 3:22 PM, Blogger SkyePuppy said…

    AICS,

    (First, a side-note: Your reply to Joe is in the wrong spot.)

    How often we have seen concensus lead us to harm

    That's all the UN does: concensus that leads to harm.

    Dennis Prager is such a clear thinker. He manages to go straight to the heart of a matter.

    Great post.

     

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