US intervention is critical to world peace – there is no substitute
Elshtain, Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School, ‘03 (Jean Bethke, “Just War Against Terrorism” pg. 169)
The heavy burden being imposed on the United States does not require that the United States remain on hair-trigger alert at every moment. But it does oblige the United States to evaluate all claims and to make a determination as to whether it can intervene effectively and in a way that does more good than harm—with the primary objective of interdiction so that democratic civil society can be built or rebuilt. This approach is better by far than those strategies of evasion and denial of the sort visible in Rwanda, in Bosnia, or in the sort of "advice" given to Americans by some of our European critics. At this point in time the possibility of international peace and stability premised on equal regard for all rests largely, though not exclusively, on American power. Many persons and powers do not like this fact, but it is inescapable. As Michael Ignatieff puts it, the "most carefree and confident empire in history now grimly confronts the question of whether it can escape Rome's ultimate fate."9 Furthermore, America's fate is tied inextricably to the fates of states and societies around the world. If large pockets of the globe start to go bad—here, there, everywhere (the infamous "failed state" syndrome)—the drain on American power and treasure will reach a point where it can no longer be borne.
Cultural imperialism is best – recognizing the superiority of Western values is key to human survival
Tracinski, editor and publisher of The Intellectual Activist and TIADaily and formed member of the Ayn Rand Institute, ’01 (Robert, October 8, “An Empire of Ideals” http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7392&news_iv_ctrl=1076)
The long-term answer--the only means by which we can eventually secure world peace--is cultural imperialism. Everyone has finally awakened to the deadly threat posed by terrorism, and some are even willing to admit that the source of this threat is Islamic fundamentalism. But almost no one is prepared to name the long-term answer to that threat. The long-term answer--the only means by which we can eventually secure world peace--is cultural imperialism. "Cultural imperialism" is not exactly the right term. That is a smear-tag created by the academic left, which hates everything good about Western culture and tries to dismiss that culture's worldwide popularity by blaming it on some kind of coercive conspiracy. The same purpose is served by another leftist smear-tag, "cultural genocide," which sounds like mass-murder but actually refers to people in the Third World choosing to adopt Western manners and attitudes, the poor things. The inventors of these smears are the same people who clamor for a "multicultural" society, ostensibly a society that tolerates many different cultural influences--except, of course, any influence coming from the West. The real phenomenon that the phrase "cultural imperialism" refers to is the voluntary adoption of ideas, art and entertainment produced in civilized countries. It refers to the most benevolent kind of "empire" that could be imagined: an empire of common ideals and attitudes; an empire spread purely by voluntary persuasion; an empire whose "conquest" consists of bringing the benefits of civilization to backward regions. Western "cultural imperialism" is the march of progress across the globe. But woe unto he who suggests that Western culture might be worth spreading. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi learned this when he stated that: "We must be aware of the superiority of our civilization, a system that has guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights and--in contrast with Islamic countries--respect for religious and political rights." The reaction was immediate and fierce. The Belgian prime minister scolded that Berlusconi's remarks could have "dangerous consequences." Gosh, they might cause us to overthrow Middle Eastern dictatorships! The head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, immediately denounced Berlusconi's statements as "racist"--an accusation which itself equates race with culture, as if Arabs are biologically determined to embrace theocracy. Ironically, Moussa got this idea from the West--that is, from our own hordes of anti-Western intellectuals. One such intellectual expressed the prevailing dogma perfectly: "one cannot speak of the superiority of one culture over another." What no one challenged, however, was Berlusconi's factual description of the values held by the West versus those held by the Islamic world. Nearly every country in the Middle East is a dictatorship. These countries are wracked with the chronic poverty bred by dictatorship--with the exception of the rulers, who pocket money from oil reserves discovered, drilled and made valuable by Western technology. All of these countries are overrun--or are on the verge of being overrun--by religious fanatics who ruthlessly suppress any manifestation of the pursuit of happiness in this world, from baring one's ankles to watching television. We broadcast to these oppressed people the Western message of liberty, prosperity and happiness--in forms as low-brow as Baywatch or as sophisticated as the Declaration of Independence. This is the "imperialism" that terrifies Islamic fundamentalists. They should be terrified--because they know that in a fair competition, their values cannot win. On the one side, there are the Western values of intellectual freedom, science, prosperity, individual rights and the pursuit of happiness. On the other side, there are the centuries-old scourges of theocracy, superstition, poverty, dictatorship and mass-murder. Is one of these alternatives superior to the other? You bet your life it is. We must begin a campaign of education designed to export Western values to the barbarous East--and that campaign must be led by our intellectuals, not denounced by them. This war must be fought with televisions, radios, books and movies--and by the intransigently pro-Western statements of our political and intellectual leaders. This is a battle between opposite and irreconcilable cultures, and if we want to survive, we must begin with the conviction that our culture deserves to win. A physical war against terrorist states--a war fought with bombs, rockets and guns against the governments that support terrorism--has now become a necessity. But that battle is only a first step. In the long run, we can only stop the re-emergence of new Islamic fanatics by disinfecting the cultural miasma in which they breed. And light, the light of benevolent Western ideals, is the best disinfectant. West good: not perfect, but comparatively better for happiness and freedom. Even if they win their framework of being intellectuals, we must celebrate and teach Western values in this debate round for Western civilization to survive
Kors, ’01 – Prof history @ U Penn (Summer 2001, Alan, American Foreign Relations, “America and the West: Triumph Without Self Belief”, pg. 354-355)
The fruits of that civilization have been an unprecedented ability to modify the remediable causes of human suffering, to give great agency to utility and charity alike; to give to each individual a degree of choice and freedom unparalleled in ail of human history; to offer a means of overcoming the station in life to which one was born by the effort of one's labor, mind, and will. A failure to understand and to teach that accomplishment would be its very betrayal. To the extent that Western civilization survives, then, the hope of the world survives to eradicate unnecessary suffering; to speak a language of human dignity, responsibility, and rights linked to a common reality: to minimize the depredations of the irrational, the unexamined, the merely prejudicial in our lives: to understand the world in which we find ourselves, and. moved by interest and charity, to apply that knowledge for good. The contest, then, is between the realists and the antirealists, and the triumph of the West ultimately depends on its outcome. The failure to assess the stakes of the struggle between the West and its communist adversary always came from either a pathological self-hatred of one's own world or at the least, from a gross undervaluation of what the West truly represented in the history of mankind. The West has altered the human relationship to nature from one of fatalistic helplessness to one of hopeful mastery. It has made possible a human life in which biological atavism, might be replaced by cultural value, the rule of law, individuation, and growing tolerance. It also created an intellectual class irrationally devoted to an adversarial stance. That adversarial view of the West, in the past generation at least, had become a neo-Gramscian and thus nee-Marxist one in which the West was seen as an unparalleled source of the arbitrary assignment of restrictive and life-stultifying roles. The enemies of the West—for some, in practice; for others, increasingly in the ideal—represented an active make-believe that supposedly cast grave doubt upon the West's claim of enhancing freedom, dignity, and opportunity. With the triumph of the West in reality, and with the celebration of Marxism and the Third World shown more and more to have been truly delusional, the adversarial intellectual class appears to be retreating into ideologies and philosophies that deny the very concept of reality itself. One sees this in the growing strength in the humanities and social sciences of critical theories that view all representations of the world as mere text and fiction. When the world of fact can be twisted to support this or that side of delusion (as in astrology or parapsychology'), pathology tries to appropriate what it can of the empirical. When the world of fact manifestly vitiates the very foundations of pathological delusion, then it is the claim of facticity or reality per se that must be denied. This is what we now may expect: the world having spoken, the intellectual class, the left academic wing of it above all, may appropriate a little postcommunist chaos to show how merely relative a moral good the defeat of Stalin's heirs has been. If it does so, however, it will assail the notion of reality itself. In Orwell's 1984, it was the mark of realistic, totalitarian power to make its subjects say that all truth was not objective but political—"a social construction,'' as intellectuals would say now—and that, in the specific case, 2 + 2 = 5. By 2004, making students in the humanities and social sciences grant the equivalent of 2 + 2 = 5 will be the goal of adversarial culture. They will urge that all logical—and, one should add, inferential—inductive truths from experience are arbitrary, mere social constructions. The West Has Indeed Sur ived—So Far The ramifications of that effort will dominate the central debates of the humanities in the generation to come. Until there is a celebration and moral accounting of the historical reality of "The Triumph of the West," that "triumph" will be ephemeral indeed. Academic culture has replaced the simplistic model that all culture was functional, a model that indeed could not account for massive discontents or revolutionary change, let alone for moral categories, by the yet more astonishing and absurd model that virtually all culture is dysfunctional. Whole disciplines now teach that propositions are to be judged by their therapeutic value rather than by their inductive link to evidence until, in the final analysis, feeling good about saying something determines the truth-value of what is said. Understanding human weakness, however, the West has always believed that it is precisely when we want to believe something self-gratifying that we must erect barriers of experiment, rigor, and analysis against our self-indulgence and our propensity for self-serving error. The human ability to learn from experience and nature, so slighted in current humanistic theory, is not merely an object of cultural transmission, let alone of social control, but an evolutionary triumph of the species, indeed, a triumph on which our future ultimately depends. There is nothing more desperate than helplessness, and there is no more inveterate cause of helplessness than the inability to affect and mitigate the traumas of our lives. If the role of both acquired knowledge and the transmission and emendation of the means of acquiring knowledge is only a "Western" concern, then it is a Western concern upon which human fate depends. In the current academic climate of indoctrination, tendentiousness, and fantasy, the independence of critical intellect and the willingness to learn open-mindedly from experience of a reality independent of the human will are the greatest hopes of our civilization. Has Western civilization survived? That is, has a human relationship to the world based upon the assumption of a knowable reality-, reason, and a transcendent value of human dignity and responsibility survived? Has a will to know oneself and the world objectively survived? Has a recognition of human depravity and the need to limit the power of men over men survived? I do not think that free men and women will abandon that hard-won shelter from chaos, ignorance, parochial tribalism, irrationalism, and, ultimately, helplessness. Has Western civilization survived, its principle of reality justified and intact? Yes, indeed, though it requires constant defense. The demand for perfection is antinomian, illogical, and empirically absurd. The triumph of the West is flawed but real. While everyone else around you weeps, recall Alexander Ushakov and celebrate the fall of the Soviet threat as he celebrated the fall of Grenada. Then recall how everything depends on realism in our understanding, and rejoin the intellectual struggle. Past violence shouldn’t prevent action to stop violence now
Gitlin, 2005 (Todd, Professor of Journalism and Sociology at Columbia University, “The Intellectuals and the Flag”, Columbia University Press, 11/11, 137)
Indeed, the United States does not have clean hands. We are living in tragedy, not melodrama. Recognizing the complex chains of cause and effect that produce a catastrophe is defensible, indeed necessary—up to a point. If only history could be restarted at one pivotal juncture or another! That would be excellent. But the past is what it is, and the killers are who they are. Moral responsibility can never be denied the ones who pull the triggers, wield the knives, push the buttons. And now that fanatical Islamists are at work in real time, whatever causes spurred them, the question remains: what should the United States do about thousands of actual and potential present-day killers who set no limits to what and whom they would destroy? The question is stark and unblinkable. When a cause produces effects and the effects are lethal, the effects have to be stopped—the citizens have a right to expect that of their government. To say, as did many who opposed an invasion of Afghanistan, that the terror attacks should be considered crimes, not acts of war, yet without proposing an effective means of punishing and preventing such crimes, is useless—and tantamount to washing one’s hands of the matter. But for taking security seriously in the here and now, and thinking about how to defeat the jihadists, the fundamentalist left had little time, little interest, little hard-headed curiosity— as little as the all-or-nothing theology that justified war against any “evildoers” decreed to be such by the forces of good.
Western export of ideals is an unavoidable moral duty
Rorty, deceased as of June 8, 2007 and Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and Philosophy at Stanford University, described as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, ’99 (Richard, February 5, “The Communitarian Impulse” Colorado College's 125th Anniversary Symposium, Cultures in the 21st Century: Conflicts and Convergences, http://www.coloradocollege.edu/academics/anniversary/Transcripts/RortyTXT.htm)
Maybe someday there will be non-Westerners who turn down Western anesthetics on cultural grounds. Baffling as we may find that refusal, we will not force aspirin down their throat. Maybe someday there will be non-Western fighters against injustice, defenders of the weak against the strong, who turn down free elections, a free press, free universities and the like, on cultural grounds. But until some such people turn up, it is a waste of time for us to worry about whether we’re practicing cultural imperialism by doing our best to export these devices. As long as there are persecuted dissidents who think that Western devices are the only way to break the power of the local oligarchs, Western governments should continue doing everything they can to keep those dissidents out of jail, in the news, and on the Net. Ceasing to try to get dissidents out of jail, like ceasing to fly in planeloads of anesthetics, would mean that the West had become just a moneymaking enterprise. All we would be able to leave our children would be money. On the other hand, the West should try to export only that portion of its own culture which gives people in the non-West a chance to choose a different culture or to reconstruct their own. Whether we export capitalism or Coca-Cola™ or Hollywood movies is optional; whether we export democratic institutions is not. Exporting these institutions is a duty we Westerners cannot avoid any more than we can avoid our duty to export anesthetics and to stop exporting automatic rifles and jet bombers. This is not because such initiatives are dictated by transcultural human reason—in my view there is no such thing as transcultural human reason—it’s because we Westerners have talked ourselves into being the kind of people who cannot live with themselves if we neglect those duties. My reference to choosing a different culture may give rise to objections. It will certainly do so if it suggests a naked, not yet acculturated, Sartrian will making a choice behind a Rawlsian veil of ignorance. But that’s not the picture I have in mind. I’m happy to grant to the communitarians that the difference between abnormality and humanity is acculturation. Yet once a person has been created by acculturation, the result is someone who can say to herself, "The culture which made me what I am turns out to be inferior in the following specific respects to the culture I’ve been reading about or seeing on television." She is in a position to pick and choose elements from various cultural traditions, using the tools of her home culture to grasp the limitations of that very culture. Some cultures, of course, make this kind of criticism harder than others. We call a culture primitive just in so far as persons acculturated in it find such critical reflection difficult. We call a culture advanced just in so far as people raised within are articulate and reflective enough to make intercultural comparisons without much strain.
Universal Western values are the best – the alternative prevents response to atrocities and makes oppression inevitable
Hanson, 2004 (Victor Davis, Professor of Classical Studies at CSU Fresno, City Journal, Spring, http://www.city-journal.org/html/14_2_the_fruits.html)
Rather than springing from realpolitik, sloth, or fear of oil cutoffs, much of our appeasement of Middle Eastern terrorists derived from a new sort of anti-Americanism that thrived in the growing therapeutic society of the 1980s and 1990s. Though the abrupt collapse of communism was a dilemma for the Left, it opened as many doors as it shut. To be sure, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, few Marxists could argue for a state-controlled economy or mouth the old romance about a workers’ paradise—not with scenes of East German families crammed into smoking clunkers lumbering over potholed roads, like American pioneers of old on their way west. But if the creed of the socialist republics was impossible to take seriously in either economic or political terms, such a collapse of doctrinaire statism did not discredit the gospel of forced egalitarianism and resentment against prosperous capitalists. Far from it. If Marx receded from economics departments, his spirit reemerged among our intelligentsia in the novel guises of post-structuralism, new historicism, multiculturalism, and all the other dogmas whose fundamental tenet was that white male capitalists had systematically oppressed women, minorities, and Third World people in countless insidious ways. The font of that collective oppression, both at home and abroad, was the rich, corporate, Republican, and white United States. The fall of the Soviet Union enhanced these newer post-colonial and liberation fields of study by immunizing their promulgators from charges of fellow-traveling or being dupes of Russian expansionism. Communism’s demise likewise freed these trendy ideologies from having to offer some wooden, unworkable Marxist alternative to the West; thus they could happily remain entirely critical, sarcastic, and cynical without any obligation to suggest something better, as witness the nihilist signs at recent protest marches proclaiming: “I Love Iraq, Bomb Texas.” From writers like Arundhati Roy and Michel Foucault (who anointed Khomeini “a kind of mystic saint” who would usher in a new “political spirituality” that would “transfigure” the world) and from old standbys like Frantz Fanon and Jean-Paul Sartre (“to shoot down a European is to kill two birds with one stone, to destroy an oppressor and the man he oppresses at the same time”), there filtered down a vague notion that the United States and the West in general were responsible for Third World misery in ways that transcended the dull old class struggle. Endemic racism and the legacy of colonialism, the oppressive multinational corporation and the humiliation and erosion of indigenous culture brought on by globalization and a smug, self-important cultural condescension—all this and more explained poverty and despair, whether in Damascus, Teheran, or Beirut. There was victim status for everybody, from gender, race, and class at home to colonialism, imperialism, and hegemony abroad. Anyone could play in these “area studies” that cobbled together the barrio, the West Bank, and the “freedom fighter” into some sloppy global union of the oppressed—a far hipper enterprise than rehashing Das Kapital or listening to a six-hour harangue from Fidel. Of course, pampered Western intellectuals since Diderot have always dreamed up a “noble savage,” who lived in harmony with nature precisely because of his distance from the corruption of Western civilization. But now this fuzzy romanticism had an updated, political edge: the bearded killer and wild-eyed savage were not merely better than we because they lived apart in a pre-modern landscape. No: they had a right to strike back and kill modernizing Westerners who had intruded into and disrupted their better world—whether Jews on Temple Mount, women in Westernized dress in Teheran, Christian missionaries in Kabul, capitalist profiteers in Islamabad, whiskey-drinking oilmen in Riyadh, or miniskirted tourists in Cairo.An Ayatollah Khomeini who turned back the clock on female emancipation in Iran, who murdered non-Muslims, and who refashioned Iranian state policy to hunt down, torture, and kill liberals nevertheless seemed to liberal Western eyes as preferable to the Shah—a Western-supported anti-communist, after all, who was engaged in the messy, often corrupt task of bringing Iran from the tenth to the twentieth century, down the arduous, dangerous path that, as in Taiwan or South Korea, might eventually lead to a consensual, capitalist society like our own. Yet in the new world of utopian multiculturalism and knee-jerk anti-Americanism, in which a Noam Chomsky could proclaim Khomeini’s gulag to be “independent nationalism,” reasoned argument was futile. Indeed, how could critical debate arise for those “committed to social change,” when no universal standards were to be applied to those outside the West? Thanks to the doctrine of cultural relativism, “oppressed” peoples either could not be judged by our biased and “constructed” values (“false universals,” in Edward Said’s infamous term) or were seen as more pristine than ourselves, uncorrupted by the evils of Western capitalism. Who were we to gainsay Khomeini’s butchery and oppression? We had no way of understanding the nuances of his new liberationist and “nationalist” Islam. Now back in the hands of indigenous peoples, Iran might offer the world an alternate path, a different “discourse” about how to organize a society that emphasized native values (of some sort) over mere profit. So at precisely the time of these increasingly frequent terrorist attacks, the silly gospel of multiculturalism insisted that Westerners have neither earned the right to censure others, nor do they possess the intellectual tools to make judgments about the relative value of different cultures. And if the initial wave of multiculturalist relativism among the elites—coupled with the age-old romantic forbearance for Third World roguery—explained tolerance for early unpunished attacks on Americans, its spread to our popular culture only encouraged more. This nonjudgmentalism—essentially a form of nihilism—deemed everything from Sudanese female circumcision to honor killings on the West Bank merely “different” rather than odious. Anyone who has taught freshmen at a state university can sense the fuzzy thinking of our undergraduates: most come to us prepped in high schools not to make “value judgments” about “other” peoples who are often “victims” of American “oppression.” Thus, before female-hating psychopath Mohamed Atta piloted a jet into the World Trade Center, neither Western intellectuals nor their students would have taken him to task for what he said or condemned him as hypocritical for his parasitical existence on Western society. Instead, without logic but with plenty of romance, they would more likely have excused him as a victim of globalization or of the biases of American foreign policy. They would have deconstructed Atta’s promotion of anti-Semitic, misogynist, Western-hating thought, as well as his conspiracies with Third World criminals, as anything but a danger and a pathology to be remedied by deportation or incarceration.