Tag Archives: Iraq

What do you do with a problem like ISIS?

 

 

What do you do with a problem like ISIS? You kill them. Every last one of them. Quickly swiftly, with as little collateral damage as is possible, but with the knowledge that collateral damage is still less than what they would have been killed.   And then you go back in and rebuild the bombed out areas and keep them under control until the people are ready to rule themselves, no matter how much time, money, and lives that takes.

 

ISIS in Iraq

This could have been prevented…and long term there are solutions, but we need a leader willing to do something and intelligent enough to think long-term.

However to do this you would need a commander-in-chief who was capable of accurately judging a situation and had the spine necessary to see the plan through. You would need advisers who could see long term, project the numerous problems that would occur, plan to deal with them, and have back up plans to those plans. You would need a legislature that would be willing to also see long term and put the good of humanity above petty gain and if necessary put their political futures in jeopardy to do what is right. And allied nations that believe the same would also be nice.

 

I don’t think we’ve had that in a very, very long time. We might have had a good C-in-C around occasionally, even a few with good advisers…but I can’t think of the last time we had everything you would actually need working all together.

 

Now we could assign blame…Carter for allowing the Westernization of Iran and Afghanistan to stop and both nations to fall to religious lunatics and communist butchers respectively (really this is all Carter’s fault, had he had anything resembling a spine or a brain none of this would ever have happened). One could blame Reagan for keeping the psychos in Iran busy with another enemy and repeatedly bloodying the nose of Soviets in Afghanistan…were mistakes made, but unlike everyone else on this list he made significant strides in pushing the forces of evil back (strides that could have been kept if the next four idiots had half a brain between them, sadly they don’t). If Bush the elder had a foreign policy I’d be surprised—there was some lingering Reagan in his understanding of needing to get Saddam out of Kuwait, but his isolationist tendencies predominated over his complete inability to think that something might need to be done after pushing him back to the border. Clinton did his best to ignore everything. W. wanted to be an isolationist like daddy, however 12 years of morons finally came to a head, and isolationism wasn’t exactly a sound policy on 9/12 (it isn’t ever a sound policy, but even idiot isolationists have a problem maintaining that when there are that many dead). The problem is that while he seemed to understand you need to face evil and kill it, he didn’t understand the second part of neo-conservatism—that you have to rebuild the nation that you’re going into and maintain control until they can continue on their own in the correct direction.

 

iraq-execution

Even if you are the dumbest president ever…how do you just sit there when this is going on?

So let’s boil this down to 4 sets of problems: being busy somewhere else with bigger problems (Reagan), not dealing with anything (Carter, Bush 41, Clinton), and doing something but doing it badly. The 4th would of course be called full on retreat and arming the bad guys…I can’t think of who might have committed that sin—cough—Obama—cough—

 

So while I blame Carter most of all for not doing anything and preventing decades (possibly a century) let’s focus on where W. went wrong as he was the only one who directly acted on these problems.   More importantly it’s what he didn’t do, and what we should still do (as anyone who thinks we can avoid ever going back there is crazy).*

 

1. The first thing we should have done was we should not try to keep people together who don’t want to be together. The borders of Iraq are so arbitrary and haphazard I just can’t imagine what the hell was going through the mind of British politicians after WWI when they broke up the region. Iraq should be at least three nations: Kurdistan in the north, what is traditionally called the Sunni Triangle, we could give it the name Babylon, and a Shia nation in the south let’s still call it Iraq. If you want it might be a good idea to have a 4th nation, let’s call it Mesopotamia, for all the areas in there that aren’t majority, Shia, Sunni, or Kurd.

 

Now some would say that creating Kurdistan would have angered Iran and Turkey (and a few others). Is this really an argument? As if those nations love us so much. Who cares about them? Kurdistan would actually provide a large buffer state (with some mild loyalty to the US) in between a lot of other nations.

 

The goal should be to create nations that can be self-sufficient and seek to actually keep themselves together, not just to keep the maps the same. Breaking Iraq in to 3 or 4 nations would have made each nation more stable, less likely to breed internal strife and hatred and with each nation first and foremost seeking to keep its own autonomy rather than looking for outside help to swing control away from parts of the nation they didn’t agree with.

 

We should all remember that before we were a nation we were 13 states, and those states only came together under a single constitution when they saw it was in their own best interest. Forcing different nations together into one government doesn’t work unless they want to join together (notice the failure of the EU—it should have made Europe stronger as a whole, but their inept behavior and the arm-twisting methods of trying to force their rule on Europe is just backfiring).

 

2. Build walls.

I think we have learned the hard way in this country that you need walls on a border. When it comes to nations good fences make for good neighbors. If we put up a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, just watch how fast Mexico would get their act together as they would no longer have a release valve for all their disgruntled citizens. And it is even more so the case in Iraq.
If we had built walls—and I do mean walls, not fences, something big enough to stop both people and large military movements—between Iraq and all its neighbors (especially Iran and Syria) we first off would not have been dealing with years of Iran sending terrorists across the border to destabilize the nation. And had we built a real wall at the Syrian border we would not have seen ISIS move in to Iraq so easily. Even more so if we had broken the nation up and built walls between the other nations.

 

3. We learned from the aftermath of WWI that you can’t just leave a nation after you defeat them, you have to rebuild them (Obama being functionally retarded seems to have never learned this). And from our successes post-WWII we learned that this is not a quick fix project. It takes time to rebuild a nation. I have said this numerous times on this blog, but it bears repeating. You can’t have a nation under the rule of tyranny for decades; then have a war to remove that tyranny and then just expect everything to be all well and good within a year.

 

It takes time. It takes time to rebuild infrastructure. Roads. Water systems. Electricity. Communications. Hospitals and schools.   Court systems and police. And it takes years of supervision to make sure they know what they’re doing and to instill into a people the traditions of a democratic republic. You can’t just hand it off in a year. It just doesn’t magically appear…and to think that is crazy. And to all the racists out there who like to say well Arabs aren’t fit for democracy (usually they use the phrase “that part of the world” but it’s the same racism). Bullshit. Anyone who says that conveniently forgets that with generations of experience with democratic institutions it took over a decade of failure and near constant threat of failure and revolt before we got a Constitution and government that actually worked. It was complete mess between the signing of the Declaration and the ratification of the Constitution…I know everyone forgets this little point, but it can’t be forgotten. We also didn’t have a clue as to what we were doing at first. It takes time, and between Bush and Obama rushing out with over eagerness and turning the place over to the Iraqi’s (and Afghani’s) far to quickly. And that is entirely unforgivable for both of them.

 

4. You can’t deal with bad people by being nice to them. You can’t just let them go and expect them suddenly not to be vicious psychopaths. Bush let all of the captured Iraqi army go without properly vetting them, and Obama will trade major terrorists for treasonous scum at the drop of a hat. We should have kept the entire Iraqi army under lock and key until we had the chance to vet each and every one of them, and the terrorists in Guantanamo should rot there until they’re dead. If you have a problem with that you clearly have no ability to see that long term terrorists are going to present you with three options, they kill you or other innocent people, you kill them or you imprison them.

 

5. We have to admit that this childish attitude of “It’s not our problem” is suicidal. It will always become our problem. Tyranny never stops growing until it is stopped by an outside force. The idiots who now want to let Iran handle this are absolutely clueless. In an Iran vs. ISIS battle the result is the same, the winner winds up with Iran’s nuclear technology and the sense that God is on their side. That danger far outweighs whatever short-term benefits might be gained by having these two groups kill each other.   And whatever is left after that battle will have no opposition to stop them from spreading out of the Middle East…and no matter who wins it will be bad news for Israel and the U.S. The intelligent move is to deal with this long before it gets to us.

 

6. We can’t do anything right now. Because to do what needs to be done will require a leader with brains, ethics, and a spine. Obama has none of those. What it requires is a leader who can look at the bodies of 10,000 soldiers coming home and not see his falling poll numbers but rather how the 10,000 now prevented it from being 10,000,000 innocents later (Bush failed miserably at that). And right now at most I can only expect Obama to root for ISIS or Iran to win and then conquer America because he sure as hell does not have the interest of this nation at heart. So until we can get a real leader (and a Congress that can back them up) this is only a theoretical discussion. The other issue is the cost to a nation tremendously in debt with no real sight of turning that around in the near future – this also requires a leader who understand economics so that we can push forward for ourselves and then do the we can stand for what is right.

 

But that theoretical discussion has to be made and it has to always end with the U.S. and its allies always pushing back on tyranny, always making sure to take the time and effort to build functioning democracies, and always looking toward the long-term…because if you think Iraq or Afghanistan was expensive this time, just remember that until we solve this, these will be problems that keep drawing us back again and again and again, and it isn’t even naïve to think otherwise, it’s pathetic and below the level of thought you should feel comfortable demonstrating in public.

 

 

 

*Not to mention the fact that most of this is a good answer in dealing with any dictator in any part of the world.

 

 

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Filed under Conservative, Evils of Liberalism, Foreign Policy, politics

The Short-Term-Thinking Ideas of Liberals on Foreign Policy

Red Eye is the one of the greatest TV shows ever.  It is fun, witty, bizarre, informative in spite of itself, and a place where you will hear commentators be bluntly honest where in other formats they would be more reserved.  And then there is Bill Schulz, Bill is the liberal on Red Eye…most of the time he plays just a coked out hobo spouting idiocy…but sometimes he’ll tell you what he really thinks, and that’s when his spiel turns from funny to just plain stupid.  But it’s not that the real Schulz is particularly below average…in fact, I think his honest moments show us the level of idiocy of your average liberal (and probably some of your dumber libertarians*) on foreign policy.  So to give you an idea of how little your average liberal knows, let’s look at some comments made by Red Eye’s liberal voice.

So let’s start with a discussion about his opinion about Obama’s term in office so far.

Amb. John Bolton: And significantly in the days of the IRA terrorism, Britain was led by Margaret Thatcher—we’re led by Barack Obama.

BS: Who has got a really good record so far.

Bolton: Five dead in Massachusetts .  And four Americans in Benghazi.  All unanswered at this point. That’s the signal to the terrorists that it’s open season.

BS: I think so far that’s a great record.  You don’t want anyone dead, but those are the realities of our war on terrorism.  I thought he’s done a great job defending this country so far.  I have never understood that argument.

Bolton: The question is stability in the Middle East where the Arab Spring has turned badly wrong.  The loss of influence in Iraq.

BS: How is that his fault?

Bolton: Because of the policies he’s pursued.  The withdrawal from Iraq, the withdrawal from Afghanistan. And the unwillingness to take on the war on terror.  The unwillingness to go after countries like Iran and North Korea who are pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

BS: I think if you ask most Americans they’re going to say I want out of Iraq.  I want out of Afghanistan.  And I don’t see what the negative repercussions will be.

Red Eye April 23rd

So so many stupid statements in such a short period of time.  Let’s deal with the last statement first.  That because people wanted out of Iraq then it’s a good thing.  Leadership is not about doing what the people want.  Leadership is about doing what is best for the nation in the long run. If those happen to match up, great.  But when they diverge leaders do the unpopular thing, they will try to convince the nation that it is the best thing, but if they can’t they will still expend all their political capital and even commit political suicide to do what is important and right .  But just doing what is popular is the base and cowardly move of hacks.  And to praise that is idiocy that only liberals can embrace.  It doesn’t matter if everyone thinks a course of action is wrong, if you believe it to be right and it is your job to set policy you do what you believe to be right.  Now there may be compromises here and there to ensure the most good comes about depending on the limitations of your power, but overall you do not care about what is popular if you are a leader.

But then let’s deal with the truly idiotic statement of “And I don’t see what the negative repercussions will be.”  Which pretty much sums up the rest of his comments and shows the differences between liberals and their opponents.  Liberals are too stupid to see any long term consequences.  They think only in the emotional moment.  Libertarians and conservatives on the other hand both consider the long term perspectives—where they differ is Libertarians focus on the consequences of action and conservatives point out that the consequences of inaction outweigh the negative effects of action.**

So let’s look over some of Obama’s foreign policy moves.

Iraq: Bush was an idiot who didn’t have a plan on how to rebuild Iraq.  But if I can lay into Bush for being short sighted, Obama was worse.  First off, did he do any of the right things and begin to rebuild Iraq?  Nope he left, and left it to crumble.  Yeah there are still US soldiers there (so if anyone tells you he ended the war in Iraq, they’re either lying or they’re dumb) but there are not enough there to do anything substantive…only enough there to get killed.  Great plan Barry.

Then he did something even more short sighted.  You don’t have to be terribly bright to realize that the Middle East is going to take up a large portion of foreign policy for a while.  Part of the reason to go into Iraq was not only to stop a dictator (something we should have done in the  early 90’s) and to stop support for terrorist networks…but one of the major reaons, long-term reasons, (besides stability, but you’d need a plan for that) was to establish a base from which we would be centrally located in the Middle East and thus have more effective influence on the entire area.  Right now our only major staging grounds (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Israel) are kind of on the periphery of the Middle East.

So thinking short term Obama not only doomed the nation to chaos again but he also blew one of the most important long term goals of the war.  Also since problems you don’t fix always tend to come back, don’t be surprised to see that this is not the last of major US troop deployments in Iraq in your lifetime.

time.afghan

Even the liberals at time seem to have an understanding of exactly what will happen if we leave the Taliban in charge.

Afghanistan:  Initially I thought this might not be a complete cluster.  We were burning more poppy fields than under Bush, and the initial stories of the uptick in drone warfare were hopeful.  But then we found out drones weren’t being used to take out high value targets we couldn’t easily get to, they were being used without any concern.  No one was being captured, no one was being interrogated.  You run a war as much on intel as you do on manpower….yes you can perhaps keep the problem at bay by an unrelenting drone war, but that is like sandbagging a river that shows no sign of stopping its flooding, the minute you stop sandbagging the flood will break, the second you stop the drones the flood will break (keep in burned with acidmind Obama was planning on putting strict rules on how to use drones should Romney have won).  And then you will have no drone and no intel to work with.  Whoever takes over from Obama will have their hands tied on both fronts.  And not only that…we’ve been in negotiations with the Taliban.  That’s right we want to make peace with the people who throw acid in women’s faces for not wearing a burka and who shoot little girls in the head.  I want you to take a look at these pictures.  Those are the people Obama has tried to negotiate a peace with.  Take a long look.  You cannot, you must not negotiate with things that can do that to the innocent. The collateral damage of war is one thing, the intentional mutilation of innocent is another, and any society that can coexist with people who do this as typical means to get what they want has no right to call itself civilized.  And to negotiate with butchers like that sends a very clear message that America does not stand for ethics, values nothing but her own whims, and will tolerate any evil so long as it does not bother us.

Iran: Besides leaking information about the virus we planted in Iranian computers and probably leaking information of Israeli plans to attack to ensure everyone in Iran was safe.  But while general incompetence abounds in not seeming to realize psychotically crazy religious people with nuclear weapons is a bad thing (and I would like here to thank Bush for blowing all his political capital by not having a plan, thus not being able to deal with this before moron boy took over) it takes a special kind of stupid to consistently back the wrong horse.   In Iran that would be the uprising in 2009 where (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/15/iran-elections-protests-mousavi-attacks)  the people of Iran rose up against the government run by the Ayatollah…and the US did nothing.  Now you can argue to me all day long about how we couldn’t do much…but please consider that in the light of running guns to Al Qaeda backed rebels in Lybia and Syria…to using US intel to help these groups allied with our enemies…to giving money and weapons to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt…during the pro democracy, true pro democracy uprising in Iran, we did nothing.  No word of encouragement.  No behind the scenes support, not even running our jets and ships dangerously close to their border to remind them we are watching.  NOTHING.  When it is a real battle between tyranny and liberty, this worthless pieces of scum did nothing.  I can’t promise that there was any way for this uprising to succeed, there probably wasn’t, but because we did nothing we made it very clear to every real desire for liberty in the world that we will not back you.

Israel: Obama has made it clear time and again he will not defend the democracy of Israel, going so far as to compromise the safety of Israeli intelligence officers so he could appear like the leader he is not (notice also they haven’t gone after this and like leaks that they thought made them look good…but leaks that made them look bad hell they’ll bug the AP, call reporters criminals for reporting, and god knows what else in the days to come.

In each and every dealing with Israel Obama leaves no doubt that support for Israel will be tepid at best, and nonexistent at worst, only encouraging further buildup and, God forbid, aggression.

Arab Spring: So while the pro-democracy protests of Iran were left to die, the pro tyranny, pro-Sharia, pro-Al Qaeda uprising of the Arab Spring were praised, supported, encouraged, armed, supplied, and even given money after their reigns are in place.  I wonder if the long term consequences of this will be five countries supporting terrorism where we had just gone through so much in Iraq to get rid of one.  Again I feel the long term effects of this will be less liberty and more terror.

I could go on, but in every single move the Obama administration has taken it has set long term advantages for the very people who want to destroy liberty and held back the long term strength of those who defend it. Don’t believe me on the weakening of our side, well then I would suggest you take a look at the latest lawsuit against Obama by the families of some of the dead members of SEAL Team 6…they’re not happy.

(yes the video of the press conference is very long, you may want to come back later and watch it because it’s worth it…though infuriating).

But back to Bill Schulz, it’s not a one night occurrence.  Try this recent debate with former CIA Agent Mike Baker on the May 1st show.

BS:The congress thing is true.  When he ran in 2008 it was not a Republican led Congress.  It is now.  There is no way he can get this to happen.  You guys can complain about that but that’s the fact.

Mike Baker: You know why he’s not closing Gitmo.

BS: Because Congress won’t let him.

Baker: Bush spent several years doing what Obama found out is almost impossible to do.  Get someone to take these people.

BS: Well Yemen wants 90 of them why won’t we give them to them.

So Bill’s genius idea is to send them to a nation where terrorists are numerous and partly in control.  Can’t see the possibility of a jail break at all, can you?

Baker: The best way to end this prison let them die from the hunger strike.

BS: A lot of them have never been tried for anything and we don’t know if they’ve done anything.  I don’t necessarily know if that’ s a great idea.

This is the face of "You can't possibly be that stupid." brought to you by Mike Baker.

This is the face of “You can’t possibly be that stupid.” brought to you by Mike Baker.

Baker: I’m sorry what.

BS: None of them have been tried for anything and we’ve already released a bunch that were innocent.

Baker: We just randomly picked these guys up and threw them in there?

BS: A lot of people have admitted that we’ve done just that.  A guy working under Cheney said just that.

Greg Gutfeld: I think Baker’s going to kill you .

BS: No but isn’t that true?

I’ll agree Gitmo isn’t perfectly simplistic and that we probably did pick up a few innocent people (there is a reason we have the term “the fog of war”)…but the way Schulz is portraying it (especially if you watch the recording) is that everyone down in Cuba was just minding their own business and the US military randomly picked them up off the street (hence Baker’s face)…also the guy Schulz is likely referring to, Lawrence Wilkerson, who was on Colin Powell’s staff (yeah real conservative credentials there) is also on the record that we made up all the evidence against Saddam and he never had any WMD programs…which in light of the fact that we had to ship 500 ton of yellow cake uranium out of Iraq (according to CNN).  Also Wilkerson currently makes a living as a pundit who goes on left wing shows and says that the GOP is nothing but a bunch of racists.  Given that he’s clearly a liar (or too stupid to understand what 500 tons of uranium is) and he hates the party he supposedly is from (thought I doubt) his statements about us taking the innocent and shipping them to Gitmo so one finds that his statements may be more motivated by leftist ideology than those pesky things known as facts, which makes most of his points as being the kind you should take with a grain of salt.

Yes military tribunals would be nice…but Schulz in his hypocrisy has forgotten about the constant blocks from liberals who wanted to give them every single civil liberty of US citizens and all protections of the Geneva Conventions (this ignores that little point that the Geneva Convention only applies to those in uniform, and the uniform clause was put in there specifically to prevent the major kind of terrorism that these terrorists were engaged in.  The Geneva Convention wanted to set rules that you will fight in certain ways, or we will not guarantee your safety in the least and you’re on your own.  To offer this scum those protections only encourages the kind of behavior you don’t want to encourage…but there again we go back to Obama and other leftist). And their lack of understanding of all rules and regulaions, laws, constitution, etc.

And an earlier part of the conversation dealt with the foolish idea that Gitmo is something that makes us enemies…yeah cause our drone attacks are making us so many friends (I don’t buy into the pacifist BS that the drones do nothing but kill innocent children, I’m an adult and realize there is such a thing as unintended collateral damage…but on the same token Barry is rather haphazard in his use of drones and doesn’t seem to care about doing the normal thing and trying to limit collateral damage where possible).  But back to creating enemies. It’s not creating more enemies.  Religious psychopaths tend to hate whether they have a reason to or not.  Note they hated us before the first Gulf War, they hated us before the Shah was put into power, the Mufti of Jerusalem was conspiring with Hitler on how to kill all the Jew in the 1930’s before there was a major Western presence, they have waged endless and constant war on the west since, well, their founding. When you found a religion on an act of genocide (the killing of the Jews of Medina) the after effects tend to be people who find enemies whether you give them a reason or not.  If we pulled out every Western base from the Middle East tomorrow AND moved all of Israel here to America…I’d lay down my entire net worth on a bet that would say they would still be calling for death to the Great Satan.  We’re not making enemies by our actions, an ideology that hates reason is going to find any example of it as an enemy.

The fact of the matter is that no sane person thinks the people in Gitmo are a bunch of saints.  The fact of the matter is that liberals only care about what’s popular now and doing what they want now with no concern for long term.

Yeah Bush botched the job at rebuilding…probably because he wasn’t a real neoconservative (go back to the Bush/Gore debates, you will hear him say he doesn’t believe in nation building), it’s just that like his liberal sensibilities he did the only thing that made sense in the short term.  The fact of the matter is that we don’t have anyone in power right now in this nation who thinks long term, and we haven’t had one for a while (although we did blow the chance to have one very recently).  I’ve pulled out Bill Schulz  as the representative of liberal thought here, but you hear dumb shit like this all over the place, not just on the token liberal of one show, and it is an ideology of short term thinking that will always lead to problems.

*Honestly, libertarians, why are you letting your party get taken over by the whiny anti-war crowd. You used to be Ayn Rand and Barry Goldwater types who encouraged destroying tyranny.  What happened?

**Libertarians may dispute the idea that they don’t see as far into the future as conservatives, but history backs up neoconservatives on this point in terms of foreign policy

***Anyone who thinks George W. —Let me expand entitlements, give federal control of education, sign stimulus bills, not worry about Tort reform, Social Security reform, cutting any part of the government, do nothing about Fannie and Freddie –Bush was a fiscal conservative in any way, shape, or form is deluding themselves.  But he lowered taxes!  No he didn’t, conservatives know that a temporary tax reduction has no lasting effect on the economy, so even that move wasn’t conservative.   The man was conservative only in the part of “conservative” that is a gross misuse of the word and that the GOP needs to drop, let’s the use government to promote social values.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Conservative, Evils of Liberalism, Foreign Policy, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Israel, liberal arrogance, NeoConservative, politics, Tyranny, War on Terrorism

I agree, America is not and cannot be the Policeman of the world….

But we are a decent people.

I bring this up because I have been getting a lot of people telling me that “The U.S. is not the policeman of the world” in that snide way only a coward can manage.  And again let me say, I agree with you, America is not and cannot be the Policeman of the world….but we are a decent people.

What do I mean by that?

Well think about it this way.  If you are walking down the street and you see a woman getting raped in alley.   Do you just walk past?  I hope not.  I hope you at least scream, although it’s not quite as effective as looking for a piece of rebar and, in the parlance of Pulp Fiction, going medieval on someone’s ass.  You do it not because of some rule or regulation, not because of some obligation, but because you are ethical, we feel empathy and we understand a basic concept of natural rights.  You of course could walk by, but that would mean you are unethical, have no ability to feel empathy or any respect for another person’s natural rights.   But I assume you are a decent person and will stop evil when you see it and are in a position to stop it.  Now what if it wasn’t one person you had to fight off but a large group who caused not a single act of violence but were terrorizing your neighborhood.  I believe a neighborhood watch would solve that issue.  And the larger the problem the larger the group we form to counter that evil (I remember a couple hundred militias being formed to fight the greatest empire on Earth and their lobster-backs).  We as individuals know that we should stop evil when we find it and are in a position to do so.  We don’t do it for a reward or even to secure our own safety, as often ignoring the problem would put us at less risk…yet somehow we know that it is wrong to ignore evil and do nothing.

Yes we have police, country sheriffs, state troopers, and federal special agents…but we don’t say that these people make it ethically acceptable to walk by when we see evil right in front of us, we hire these professionals to be available to protect not just us, but those around us when we can’t be everywhere.  We believe everyone is entitled to be free of the threat of violence, even if we have never met them.

And we would rightly judge anyone who did walk by and ignore evil in front of them morally reprehensible.  Yes we might forgive someone if the problem was too big for them to deal with personally and if they did contact the police, but otherwise there is no ethical excuse.

Now some will say: Isn’t what you’re describing an ethical duty?  Something you claim to hate?  No, no it is not.  A duty is a moral obligation, a concept that you have to do this, not because is good for you, not because it brings you pleasure or makes you feel good, not because to not do it will bring you emotional pain…no a duty is done because that is the rule, that is what you do, and you don’t question it.  (Notice duty, when properly used is often in the context of a military organization, a place where you don’t get to question why, yours is but to do and die.  Improperly duty is often misused in the place of “virtuous.”)  We have a choice we can do something or not.  There is no rule or obligation or duty toward one side or the other.  But to do nothing does not mean we condone, we allow, we support that evil because we did nothing.  And we are thus guilty for doing nothing.   But we do act and stop evil where we find it, because we are a decent people.

But I go back to my original example.  There are times and places where there is no authority, no cop to call upon to stop evil and it falls unto you, the person who sees it and has the power to act.

And as this is true with individuals, and groups of individuals, so it is true of governments.  When a government is a tyranny, it is evil—the worst evil known, which commits as standard operating procedure the worst atrocities on a daily basis.

We as individuals see these evils, and we know our government is not ignorant of them.  There is no police force of the world (if you even thought the U.N. you clearly don’t know how corrupt, evil, and ineffective that organization is) thus there are only individual nations.  Nations which can act, which have the resources to act.  They just lack the will.  The world knew what Hitler was up to, maybe not down to the details of human skin lamp shades, but they knew he was killing people by hundreds of thousands and enforcing slave labor.  That alone should have necessitated attacking Germany, but everyone waited until it was their own country being invaded before it became an issue…and millions of innocents died because no one had the will to challenge what they knew to be evil.  Innocents were sacrificed, no one wanted to be viewed as acting unilaterally or being called the policeman of the world, no one wanted to take responsibility and say “This is wrong and it must stop.”  (At least nowadays.  Back in the old days Jefferson, the most anti-war of the Founding Fathers, would use the cutting down of a flag by the Bey of Tripoli as the justification to invade not just Tripoli, but Algiers and Tunis and bring the Barbary pirates to their knees.  Not because they were a direct threat to U.S. interests, hell might have been cheaper to pay them off…no, because they were engaged in piracy and extortion and they needed to be stopped.  And that was over piracy, nowadays we turn a blind eye to genocide, how distorted a policy is that?)

Nations like individuals have an ethical choice to make.  Do they stop the evil which they know about and have the power to do something about, or do they ignore it and thus condone and agree with it.  This is a choice every nation faces.  When the U.S. acts “unilaterally” as the misnamed “policeman of the world” it’s not because it’s our job, it’s because we recognize evil when we see it and choose not to stand by and willingly let it happen.  (I put unilaterally in quotations because I recall there being about 40 other countries that joined us in Iraq and Afghanistan, other nations that made the correct ethical choice to not sit quietly by and do nothing.)

Should the people in these nations rise up and overthrow their tyrants as the people of other nations have done.  Yes, they should.  But either they haven’t or they’ve been killed when they tried.

Does that mean we shouldn’t first try negotiation and diplomacy?  No. We should because we are the reasonable ones…but don’t expect it to do much.  Please tell me of the last time a dictator reformed when there wasn’t a threat or implication of force but just out the warm fuzziness of their cuddly heart?

Does that mean we should attack and not care about rebuilding?  No.  You do this to help the victims of evil, not because you enjoy beating up people.  That means, unlike the actions of Clinton, Bush and Obama, when you invade a country the first thing you do after you beat them militarily is you rebuild the nation.  Energy production and delivery systems, roads, plumbing, water…all the infrastructure we take for granted.   And creating government.  Notice that the biggest problem with Afghanistan and Iraq was we tried to immediately give control of the government back to the people (both within Bush’s first term).  I love democracy as much as the next sane person, but shoe horning it in before the people have the structural and local infrastructure necessary to support it is insane.  It was 4 years before we returned control of Germany to Germany (and that might have been rushed due to the Cold War) and 7 years before Japan was under self rule after their surrender.  Classical liberal democratic-republics take time and support, they cannot be rushed and that is one of the biggest flaws of our invasion and occupation of these two nations.  Oh, and why do we have a Peace Corp if we don’t use them in nations we’re helping to rebuild?…you know kind of what they’re supposed to be there for.

Now does this mean we should we invade every dictatorship this second?  No, are you out of your mind!  I said what you are aware of AND IN A POSITION TO STOP IT.   Right now we first need to disentangle ourselves from our current exploits abroad which have either been bungled to the point of being irreparable in the immediate future (Afghanistan) or simply it was pointless to be there (Libya, Yemen, Uganda).  I would say personally we should drop a massive amount of ordinance on every Taliban controlled area, carpet bomb (and possibly Dresden-style fire bomb) the hills where they are hiding (yes even in Pakistan), burn every poppy field, and send special forces in to kill every drug lord in the country and the get the hell out of there.  We screwed up Afghanistan so badly I think the best thing we can do is destroy the worst aspects of the evil still left in the country and try to let them find their own way at this point.  Had it been done better at first I would be having a different argument, but the actions of Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama in regards to that country had been so stupidly incompetent we need to disengage from there for a while.  Yes, right now the U.S. and the Western World need to re-embrace capitalism and get their economies straightened out, because then and only then will they be in a position where we can help others, but putting first things first does not mean we are not committed to the goal of stopping evil.

But we can’t act unilaterally, some say.  The hell we can’t.  Just because a group of people can watch a single woman get raped and murdered doesn’t relieve you of the ethical call to be the one person who actually does something.  If the whole group does nothing, then the whole group deserves to be damned.  And if one person chooses to act unilaterally, then they are the only good person among the group and the fact that they went against the will of the crowd does not condemn that one, it condemns the group.  The same applies to nations.  Every free nation on Earth should be doing all they can to end tyranny (granted, a lot aren’t exactly in an economic position to do so right now, that doesn’t exactly excuse the last 70 years of being complacent about evil).

There is no policeman of the world.  There are merely free nations that have a choice.  And because, on occasion, we are a nation made up of decent people who act to end evil rather than condoning it we act in a way that cowards label us as unilateral.  (Again I would like to point out that other nations were with us in the Balkans, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan…so we are not alone in knowing right from wrong, the media just likes to paint it that way.)

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”—attributed to Edmund Burke (he didn’t actually say it, but it is a nice summary of a large point he was making).

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Filed under Afghanistan, Evils of Liberalism, Foreign Policy, Free Will, Long Term Thinking, Natural Rights, Patriotism, Tyranny, War on Terrorism