Sunday, May 27, 2012

Time for US to Butt Out

It's Memorial Day Weekend.  We can honor our troops by bringing them home

Marc Lynch wrote an excellent article on Yemen awhile back that I wholeheartedly agree with. We've got to stop fighting other people's battles for them, especially when they don't want our help.

No Easy Answers

There are no easy answers to the problems infesting our globe's many intractable hot spots.  Yemen looks like another situation where an oppressive, decrepit regime will invite us in to do its dirty work, while we think we're fighting for freedom.  They paint their enemies as "terrorists" and unleash the awesome American firepower against them.

Lynch warns against both military intervention and development assistance.  The former would be a quagmire.  The latter would be sucked up by greedy, corrupt officials, as it is in Afghanistan by Karzai and his gang of bandits, including the Taliban, who are profiting richly from our largesse.

Lynch posits that no realistic option offers even an outside chance of success, so we should simply manage the situation as it suits our national interests.  He's talking specifically about Yemen, but it could apply equally to any hot spot.

Marc Lynch's Conclusion:
It's never as satisfying as a morally pure call to battle, but the administration shouldn't over-react or under-react.

Be patient, build intelligence and CT assets, strike against clearly AQ targets when available but only where the civilian costs will be minimal and the rewards high, search out local partners... the usual.

But the administration shouldn't fall into the trap of thinking it must "do something" to fend off political harping from the right and end up over-committing... or taking steps which ultimately make the situation worse.
Amen! And ditto for Iran

I pray we are covertly funneling millions to the Iranian opposition, but we should not send one American soldier or bomb. Our immediate objective should be to get out of Afghanistan and assiduously avoid future "big footprint" operations as the money-wasting plagues that they are.

Middle East: The World's Nuthouse

These people have been bombing, shooting and stabbing and stoning one another since time immemorial, what makes us think that we can change them? If we merely stay out of the way, they will set upon one another, fighting centuries-old feuds instead of going after us. Remember the charnel house that was the 10-year Iran-Iraq War?

Europe, Saudi Arabia and the rest of you who no longer share our values, you're on your own!

And while we're at it, we need to fold up the Western European security umbrella as well. Time for our cousins across the pond to man up and learn to live without the bossy hyperpower on their backs all the time.

Sounds isolationist, but I'm not. We just need to pick our battles wisely and partner only with those who share our values and who are willing to shoulder their share of the burden. Too often we've been suckered into petty parochial struggles where the craftiest side was able to demonize the other, wrongly rousing Uncle Sam's sense of righteousness, always with unintended consequences.

No Happy Endings

Everything can't be tied up neatly with a nice bow on top. Poverty and violence abound in most of the world (what Thomas P.M. Barnett calls The Gap). Some societies do not cohere well because of the nature of the people, the terrain, lack of resources, whatever. These fractious conditions spawn congenitally weak governments where, as Thomas Hobbes says 

"... every man is Enemy to every man... And the life of man [is], solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

Washington's Admonition Against Foreign Entanglements

A sadly-forgotten component of traditional conservatism is wariness towards foreign entanglements. That doesn't mean withdraw from the world; it means don't get suckered into the internal affairs of other countries, and don't get sucked into fights between warring factions.

And this isn't a "be nice so the bad people will start liking us" argument. Bad people will always hate us because we stand for good. We should reserve the right to unapologetically smack them at the time and place of our choosing based on our national interests.

We honor those who have fallen by not squandering what they have handed on to us, and we can honor those who now serve by deploying their talents wisely.


Always On Watch said...


200% agreement from me!

Always On Watch said...

I'm watching my local news on the NBC affiliate this very moment. I see this segment going on and on about Syria in a clear attempt to further the agenda of our getting involved in Syria. Ye, gods!

Let those regional conflicts resolve in the region -- without ANY involvement from the United States.

"Beware foreign entanglements."

Mustang said...

I keep hearing politicians in Washington talking about “national interest,” but none of those people appears capable of explaining how our involvement in the affairs of other nations advances the welfare of the American people. In my view, it is a colossal waste of limited (monetary) resources. We have a right to defend ourselves, and I even argue that preemptive doctrine makes sense when we know that others are planning to do great harm to our country. However, there is no imperative to “nation build.” We aren’t good at it, we can’t afford it, and the wogs remain unappreciative, and resentful.

As a case in point, during the Vietnam War, US policy and incompetent generalship caused great suffering to the Vietnamese people; people who we promised to “help.” We did more damage than the Viet Cong or North Vietnamese Army, so it is no wonder the people celebrated the day Americans went home.

We should immediately implement the “Butt Out” policy. I predicted some time ago that Iraq will eventually become a colossal failure for American interests —principally because we gave up so many of our young men and women and at some point, another Saddam will crawl out of the slime to exert totalitarian authority over a people too afraid, too lazy, or too stupid to exert their God-given rights to be free. At that point, our young men and women will have died or suffered for nothing. So yes, let us honor our military by bringing them home.

Z said...

CNN did something on soldier suicides last night....with what we're doing to them in extended tours of duty and 3 tours instead of the promised 1,'s easy to understand. Horrible, but understandable. They need help.

I believe it was such a different experience for soldiers in WWII (though they obviously suffered greatly, too) that they knew we wanted them there, we appreciated them there and, mostly, the people over THERE appreciated them fighting for them.

Today, we're sending precious boys and huge money to countries which despise us.
Time to go. Honor our soldiers.

Anonymous said...

The Bush War on Terrorism and Obama's doctrine of Responsibility to Protect give license to US president to continue military adventurism at will. The military-industrial complex the Eisenhower warned us about is the only beneficiary.

Yes, it is time to butt-out!

Anonymous said...

The Bush War on Terrorism and Obama's doctrine of Responsibility to Protect give license to US president to continue military adventurism at will. The military-industrial complex the Eisenhower warned us about is the only beneficiary.

Yes, it is time to butt-out!

Ducky's here said...

It's really pretty col how this works.

We send them aid.
They use it to fund drone strikes.
The Saudis pick the targets.
The liberal (LMFAO) media runs a story on improved underwear bombs.

Damn we are fools.
But the freedom and democracy folks will be tuning in to Glenn Beck to keep this scam alive.

Silverfiddle said...

I don't know what Glenn Beck's got to do with it...

Karzai and his pirates are enriching themselves on our stupidity. Worse, we are also the main source of funds to the Taliban.

As Fouad Ajami once said, we are the suckers at the bazaar.

Ducky's here said...

Bad people will always hate us because we stand for good.

And you were doing so well up till then.

Beck is symbolic for the idiot media that keeps the peeps hyped up about the war on terror when enthusiasm lags.

Silverfiddle said...

It's a nasty world out there Ducky, and human being are bastards at heart.

There is no moral equivalence between our actions and those who kill and subjugate indiscriminately. Yes, there are fights we should have not fought, and we damage our souls with all this warfare, which is why I want it to stop. It has infected our national character.

I have seen how other people live and treat one another, and it's no contest. I prefer our culture over theirs.

And yes Virginia, there really are bad people who wish us harm. for every good person or group that has something good going on, there are others plotting to take it by force and slit their throats. That's how it goes, that's human nature, in neighborhoods, in nations and in the world.

And yeah, the good guy can end up being the bad guy sometimes, but such is the yin and yang of life. We are a good people, and on balance no other nation has done so much for others.

Always On Watch said...

Today's reported outrage in Afghanistan (from the BBC:

Nato air strike 'kills Afghan family'.

Always On Watch said...

Silverfiddle said: We are a good people, and on balance no other nation has done so much for others.

No doubt, Duck will be along to "refute" that. He will not, of course, admit the atrocities committed by Muslims nor by Communists.

Silverfiddle said...

That damned headline and others like it is precisely why I want us out.

We can do no right, in the eyes of the world but most importantly in the eyes of those we're trying to help.

We can cry over every story like this, but not doing so hardens us in a way that is not good.

Better to just leave it alone and not risk causing harm.

Z said...

SF...your comment above about the 'nasty world' says SO MUCH.
Very well said.

I worry that what America's suffering from now is a feeling the liberals have permeated us with and that is "there can/must be no wrong"...this is not HUMAN as an individual or a society.
And they seem to want to follow that with "..and if there is wrong, we must enact a law to stop it from ever ever ever happening again."

It's not LIFE. It's not realistic, it's put us dangerously into this path of GOVERNMENT ABOVE make the laws, to make us perfect. It's never worked and it won't work with us.

Anonymous said...

You supported invading Iraq, a mistake any child could have predicted. You support the idiotic financial policies of the Republicans who have bankrupted this country. Any child knows if you spend more than you take in (No New Taxes-cry from people who want this government to fail) you owe.
NOW you say back out! Thanks for helping destroy the government that soldiers died to protect. Thanks for backing the lies that killed thousand of soldiers.
Like any fake patriot you bask in the mass approval of the soldier, then stab them in the back, sacrificing their lives. You are a deadly hypocrite. You should be exposed for the traitor that you are.

Silverfiddle said...

Anon: The Iraq war is over, dumbass.

This statement shows you to be a total moron:
You support the idiotic financial policies of the Republicans who have bankrupted this country.

So the democrats just stood by and watched, did they?

Fake patriot? I served, jackass. Now go crawl back into the Dumocrat Underground you crawled out of.

Anonymous said...

I have come to the realization that we have effectively lost every conflict in which we've participated since Word War Two, because the Money Men –– the International Power Brokers –– in high places want it that way.

Part of the reason for this is avarice on the part of the developers and manufacturers of ever more sophisticated weaponry. They reap enormous profits from pushing their products. Without an endless series of pointless "wars" there would be no need for their wicked wares, would there?

Another part has to do with the leftist agenda adopted as a result of the Nuremberg Trials. This Plan for the World [Dare we call it a New World Order?] was, of course, tangential to the creation of he United Nations which occurred simultaneously with Nuremberg. Don’t forget, please, that The UN charter was Alger Hiss’s “baby.” He said so himself in just so many words.


The events at Nuremberg, which seemed at first so noble, so fine, so admirable, were in truth designed to limit, balk, weaken and ultimately destroy Western Hegemony. Because of our meek, apparently blind acceptance of these post-war "ideals," we have been systematically hamstrung, hobbled, effectively cut off at the knees, and our nation has been in decline ever since.

One look at the absurd, self-defeating "Rules of Engagement" our people are obliged to follow in mortal combat with lawless, unprincipled barbarians ought to prove this thesis.

We fight -- not for God and country anymore -- but for greedy moguls and fiercely ambitious, self-styled, self-anointed oligarchs whose own fiendish interests are best served by manipulating us into exhausting our precious resources and thoroughly demoralizing and dividing ourselves into factions with endless strife both internal and international.

In short since the Korean War tens of thousands of our young men (and now some women too) have been fighting and dying to ensure our country's ultimate defeat.

We've been DUPED for many decades, and it's long past time we recognized it, and did whatever might be necessary to unseat the TRUE villains that threaten our lives and fortunes.

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

This is the downside to being a "hyperpower," FreeThinke. Can't have all that potentiality all pent up and never used. Nefarious forces will always invent a pretext.

Anonymous said...

Boy! do I hate to be the one to say this, because I know I'll get "Hallelujah!" from many sources, but another, major factor in our continuing struggles in the ever-thickening morass that is the Middle East is that is the overweening influence of The Israel Lobby on our congress.

As a result of this undue foreign influence the United States has increasingly allowed herself to be used as cat's paw to protect the Jewish State from her brutally hostile, paranoid neighbors.

Michael Scheuer, a desperately unattractive former CIA agent who knows the score and has been brave enough to spill the beans, has said out loud on Judge Andrew Napolitano's now defunct Freedom watch that "Israel is no friend of the United States."

Isn't it a strange coincidence that not long after that untoward incident Judge Npolitano's generally excellent, pertinently provocative and fiercely stimulating show was abruptly cancelled? And to my knowledge Michael Scheuer hasn't been heard from since.

Now isn't that odd?

Michael Savage -- another fierce and frequent critic of his very own people -- has also been yanked from the airwaves and can no longer be heard in my area.

There are no coincidences and nothing happens by accident.

The bastard stringpullers will soon reign supreme if we don't wise up and hold them accountable for their misdeeds.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

"Nefarious forces will always invent a pretext."

I am glad to see you publicly acknowledge that at last, my friend. The more who see it, question it, and condemn it, the wider the "crack in the cosmic egg" will grow.

When finally it breaks, we might have to deal with pandemonium for a decade or two, but at least there might be a chance once again to breathe fresh air, and reorder our priorities so as to produce more salubrious results.

Of course there's always the chance that The Cosmic Egg might just hatch GODZILLA -- and then what would we do?


~ FT

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

@AOW - No doubt, Duck will be along to "refute" that. He will not, of course, admit the atrocities committed by Muslims nor by Communists.

We are ALL guilty. We ALL have blood on our hands and not admitting that is immoral.

This sickness that evangelicals have that allows them to believe that God thinks they are superior and by extension America is pathological.

Anonymous said...

Canardo's childish barrage of scathing remarks are the moral equivalent of malaria.

They make the site reek of swamp gas.

~ FT

Les Carpenter said...

Welcome to the attack by the Weather Underground of blogistan SF. Anon and its bevy of friends are beginning their attacks.

Ducky's here said...

Breaking out the silver shirt, Free Thinker?

Finntann said...

@Anon and its bevy of friends are beginning their attacks.

Is that what that was? I hardly noticed. If moronic babbling is the best they can muster, I think we're fairly safe.

viburnum said...

Anon: "Any child knows if you spend more than you take in (No New Taxes-cry from people who want this government to fail) you owe."

And any child knows that the solution is to spend less, not take ( tax) and borrow more from others so you can keep on right on spending like a drunken sailor.

It's not about wanting government to fail, it's about exposing it for the failure it already is, and fixing it.

MathewK said...

Something the west has to learn again - if a foreign power, people or culture attacks you or threatens you, punishing them for doing this does not obligate you to help them back to health again.

You only offer to rebuild and help them back if you have destroyed their will and their means to resist you. For now just punish them until they get tired of being killed and decimated.

Anonymous said...

Who are the nefarious forces -- the little foxes that spoil the vines -- the destroyers?

They are not always who we've been led to BELIEVE they are.

Beware the Enemedia! It's power is greater than you think and it's capacity for treachery is infinite.

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

I'm not suggesting a Bilderburger type conspiracy, rather that it is an eternal truth that power attracts people with ideas on how to use it, and their ideas are rarely for the common good.

Same applies to how banks, corporations and Wall Street have captured and de-balled our federal government and forced it to write regulations in their favor.

Anonymous said...

Hypocrites should be attacked. The war is over? Check with the thousands still in the fields of Iraq. Thousands died for the lies of the traitors you supported in office. You are the worst kind of hypocrite traitor.

Silverfiddle said...

So I guess then every soldier who voted for George Bush is a hypocrite as well, including the ones who have died...

Nice statement on memorial day, jackass.

Anonymous said...

Memorial Day, is the perfect day to call out fake patriot traitors like you.

Silverfiddle said...

So I'll ask you again. Are all those military men and women who voted for Bush traitors as well?

OD357 said...

Silver you're spot on about the middle east being a nut house. The only time they're not killing each other is when a foreign country goes in and starts to muddle with things. Then they stop fighting each other and unit against the infidel invaders. After the invading force leaves, they start killing each other again.