Thursday, January 06, 2005

After suffering from a spate of kookiness, Peter Beinart is back to making sense:
The tsunami has uncovered a dirty little secret about the right today: Conservatives are fascinated by American power, but they are not all that interested in the world.
Conventional wisdom holds that all this has changed since September 11. And, in a sense, the right has been transformed--conservatives have grown extremely interested in using the U.S. military to stop terrorism and nuclear proliferation. But that's not the same as becoming interested in the world. True internationalism means taking an interest in events overseas even when they don't bear directly on the war on terrorism; when they are not easily amenable to American power. It means being interested in the world, at least partly, merely because we live in it. By that standard, the isolationism of the '90s remains alive and well.
It's just further proof of the narrow-minded, selfish thinking of the right, and frankly one that is far removed from reason and reality. As an example, The Wall Street Journal (!) recently wrote an article that clearly explained how China's economic growth is creating pollution in the good ol' USA:
Mercury and other pollutants from China's more than 2,000 coal-fired power plants soar high into the atmosphere and around the globe on what has become a transcontinental conveyor belt of bad air. North America and Europe add their own dirty loads to the belt. But Asia, pulsating with the economic rebirth of China and India, is the largest contributor.

"We're all breathing each other's air," says Daniel J. Jacob, a Harvard professor of atmospheric chemistry and one of the chief researchers in a recent multinational study of transcontinental air pollution. He traced a plume of dirty air from Asia to a point over New England, where samples revealed that chemicals in it had come from China.
But the ignorant will no doubt continue to believe that America can remain the invincible superpower it's become and screw the rest of the world. Again and again, facts either escape them or they simply opt for the lazy route, choosing to create a reality out of thin -- mercury-filled -- air.

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