The United States in a hostile world 8

Should the United States refrain from any intervention in the world beyond its borders except in its own incontrovertible interest?

Or should it act as the world’s policeman? Does it have a “responsibility to protect”- if so, whom from what? Populations from their rulers? Vulnerable groups from any and all attackers?

To bring the debate to the moment and the actual, should the US keep its forces in Afghanistan after 10 years of fighting savage peasants and failing to crush them? Should there still be a US military presence in Iraq? In Germany? In South Korea? Should the US be fighting – as it is –  in Libya, Pakistan, and Yemen?

Should it not be using force to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power? And immediately against Iran’s ally, Bashar Assad, the bloody tyrant of Syria?

Should it not be outspending China on defense?

Should it not be helping Georgia liberate two of its provinces from Russia?

Should it be protecting South Sudan from its northern neighbors and their Ugandan proxies? Or the Nigerian Christians from their Muslim persecutors? Or the ethnic African Muslims of Dafur from the Arab Muslims who are raping, robbing, hounding and massacring them? Or destroying the pirates of Somalia? Or putting an end to the Arab/African slave trade?

Can those who answer yes to the first question fairly be called “isolationists”?

David Harsanyi considers, in a column at Townhall, whether the label is apt when applied to those who want America to withdraw from Afghanistan and refrain from any further participation in the NATO intervention in Libya:

There’s been a lot of talk about an alleged turn in American public opinion — particularly among Republicans — toward “isolationism.”

In a recent debate among GOP presidential hopefuls, there was some discussion about ending the United States’ commitment to the tribal warlords and medieval shamans of the Afghan wilderness. This induced John McCain to complain about the rise of a new “strain of isolationism” … McCain sidekick Lindsey Graham went on to notify Congress that it “should sort of shut up and not empower Gadhafi” when the topic of the House’s potentially defunding the military — er, kinetic, non-warlike bombing activity over Libya — came up. It would be a mistake, he vented, for Republican candidates to sit “to the left” of President Barack Obama on national security.

So if you don’t shut up and stop carping about this non-war war of ours, you are abetting North African strongmen. Makes sense. It’s the return of Teddy Roosevelt-style Republicanism, in which arbitrary power (and John McCain’s singular wisdom) matters a lot more than any democratic institution.

Sure, some on the far right and swaths of the protectionist, union-driven left oppose international trade agreements and [are] endlessly freaking us out about foreign influences.

Our interpolation: Is this protectionist section of the left aware of the left-elite’s longing for world government?

But isolationists? Judging from our conduct in the real world of economy, we’re anything but insular. So perhaps McCain simply meant noninterventionists — as in folks who have an unwavering ideological aversion to any and all overseas entanglement.

That can’t be it, either. Maybe, like many Americans, some in the GOP are simply grappling with wars that never end and a war that never started.

And with plenty of troubles here at home, it’s not surprising that Americans have turned their attention inward.

We can’t be in a constant state of war. Then again, Afghanistan is not a war per se, but a precarious social engineering project that asks our best and bravest (or, as our ally Hamid Karzai calls them, “occupiers”) to die for the Afghan Constitution, which is roundly ignored — except for the parts codifying Islamic law, that is. But all these conflicts come with the price of endless involvement. We almost always win.

When and where? Since World War Two, where has America won a hot war? Oh yes – against Granada.

But we never really go home. …

Did sometimes. From Granada after victory. From Vietnam after defeat.

This week, we learned that Obama rejected the advice of lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department who questioned his legal authority to continue this nonmilitary military involvement in Libya without congressional authorization. Instead, the administration offered a string of euphemisms concocted to bypass the Constitution.

Without any tangible evidence that this conflict furthers our national interests or any real proof that we are preventing a wide-scale humanitarian crisis, it’s not a surprise that Defense Secretary Robert Gates says we’re “leading from behind” — which is, in fact, as stupid and deceptive as the case it doesn’t make.

Are you an isolationist for questioning those who continue to weaken the Constitution? … Are you an isolationist for questioning this brand of obfuscation? Are you an isolationist for wanting American forces to win and leave the battlefield rather than hang around for decades of baby-sitting duty?

And Tony Blankley writes, also  at Townhall:

I was one of the first GOP internationalist-oriented commentators or politicians to conclude that the Afghanistan War effort had served its initial purpose and that it was time to phase out the war. As a punitive raid against the regime that gave succor to Osama bin Laden, we had removed the Taliban government and killed as many al-Qaida and Taliban fighters as possible. …

But as the purpose of that war turned into nation building, even GOP internationalists had a duty to reassess whether, given the resources and strategy being brought to the new purpose, such policy was likely to be effective.

Now many others in the GOP and in the non-isolationist wing of the Democratic Party are likewise judging failure in Afghanistan to be almost inevitable. That is not a judgment driven by isolationism. Neither are we isolationist in our judgment (along with the opinion of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and almost the entire uniformed chain of command) that we see no national interest in Libya.

This is not isolationism; it is a rational effort at judging how best to advance American values and interests in an ever-more witheringly dangerous world.

Both Harsanyi’s and Blankley ‘s opinions are apt as far as they go.

But  the problem is deeper, the questions that need to be raised about foreign policy harder than those they are answering.

Can America have a coherent foreign policy that America itself and the other states of the world can depend upon for any useful length of time? The two political parties are now so divided ideologically that foreign policy will depend on whether the president is a Republican or a Democrat. It will necessarily chop and change. Or if relations with some states stay more or less the same for a while, they will do so unreliably.

Could the very uncertainty characterize foreign policy usefully? No foreign state being secure in its relations with the US, each would have to be vigilant, tack according to the US wind, adjust to the changes. A case could be made that a Machiavellian preference to be feared by other nations rather than loved might serve America well.

But there are other developments to be considered. In countries throughout the world – led in this by Europe –  there is an ideological tendency towards world government. The nation state is not liked: new political alignments, such as the European Union, are trying to phase it out. Democrats, for the most part, are in sympathy with the movement; Republicans are not. Democrats – like most leftists everywhere – have a vision of the UN turning into a world government; Republicans – many of them at least – would be happy to see the monstrous institution disbanded. It cannot continue long as it is: being a house of lies, it must fall down.

NATO is weakening. Letting Turkey into it was fatal. No longer secular, Turkey is now in the camp of Islam, inimical to the West.

The world as it was conceived to be after World War Two is changing kaleidoscopically under our eyes.

In relation to the rest of the world, what are American interests? How should they be pursued?

Should America concentrate on preserving itself as a fenced-in area of freedom on an otherwise unfree planet?  That would be isolationism. Should it form a union with other as-yet-free nation-states: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel? India perhaps? Honduras? Papau? …

What would such a union do, what would be in its joint interest – “spreading democracy”, “protecting civilians”, “building nations”? The questions troubling America now would trouble it jointly, and the answers remain as hard to find.

  • Ben

    After my simple diagnosis I`ll add my conservative offer to stop “national projects spending”, to strengthen ties with the friends(old),to distance from the not dangerous enemies and watch the targets of the dangerous enemies.

  • Ben

    Foreigner`s opinion: isolationism  is the result of the world  leadership stress caused by excessive internal and international obligations (like in times of the Great Depression).And  it`ll disappear after the national success or national thread comes.

  • George

    NOTICE :
                  Due to economic , political and national security  , the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off until further notice.
                   The media predictions are just like weather forcasting in that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.
                   Put America FIRST !    Stand up , speak up and wake up for America !  My allegiance is ONLY for America.     We must fight terrorism where ever we find it and use whatever military means necessary to the fullest extent to save humanity and civilized world society.  Yes , it is a moral duty to help the oppressed and the subjugated  but NOT at the expense of putting our national security and economy on the “back burner ” while taking care of everyone else in need.

  • George

      We Americans are the most technically advanced and the most industrially advanced nation on earth , but when it comes to using rational and reasonable good sense to protect ourselves and our soverign ideals we are the most stupid fools on earth.
                   The wars in Irag and   Afghanistan and also the conflicts in Libya and Yeman have costs us thousands of American lives and over one a trillion dollars in debt.   Here we are over there giving our lives and tons of money to people who would literally kill us and destroy our way of life if given the chance. How stupid and foolish !  We can’t  police the  world. Here we have that dictator nut-case in Iran attempting to build a nuclear weapon and we call ourselves negotiating with him and suppposedly fighting him with some  f###ing sanctions. Spare me !   You can’t negotiate with terrorists.   We should have launched a barrage of nuclear tipped cruise missles or dropped a bunch of ‘Daisy Cutter ‘ or MOAB bombs on that nuclear facility in Iran  ( problem solved ).
                    We have our borders with Mexico and Canada wide open and yet we have over 30,000 troops in South Korea defending their border with North Korea.  Again—how utterly stupid !   Neither the Democrats or the Republicans have closed our borders here in America. Both political camps are two sides of the same coin. The Democrats want the Mexican-American border open because the Democrats want  the illegal aliens to come freely into America knowing the illegals will always vote Democrat in the elections ( even though they are illegal and have no legal voting rights ).  That’s why Democrats are against Arizona’s enforcement of it’s border and why Democrats are against having voter ID for voters which makes perfect sense while screaming  against voter ID using false allegations of xenophobia. 
                    On the other side of the coin , the Republicans don’t want our border closed because the Republicans want the illegal Mexicans here to use them for their cheap labor to make more profit for their BIG business ventures and they pay the illegals pennies on the dollar to increase their business profits because of their lustful greed. Their ( Republican ) mentality is screw the people—-money comes first.   It’s the Almight Dollar ( which is really their GOD ) which they worship.
                           The conservative Republicans want these wars to continue because they want to make billions of dollars in profits in the Military Industrial Complex selling weapons , and engineering to the war effort. Do the names Dick Cheney and Haliburton ring a bell ?  Afghanistan was at first at war with Russia and kicked Russia’s butt using Stinger Missiles  to shoot down the Russian Hind D attack helicopters in the mountains and dessert of Afghanistan.  Take a guess where Afghanistan got the Stinger missiles from.  Now the Afghans are using those same missile launchers  against us to shoot down American Apache helicopters .   Are we suppose to be surprised ?  Stupid is what stupid does.
                                Russia has a high-speed torpedo that is operational called the sqval ( aka -squall ) capable of speeds of 230-250 mph underwater and is rocket powered instead of propeller powered and travels through an air cushion of emitted gas at the tip which allows it to slip at high speed under water. Check out  [ Russian High Speed Torpedo ] on the internet .    China has now purchased these torpedos and there is no ship vessel anwhere that can outmaneuver it anywhere.    Japan has produced a hydromagnetic propulsion powerplant that has NO moving parts and has an operational boat  ( Yakamoto 1 ) using it . A sub using this technology can be literally undetected and totally silent.   The latest technology is using UAV’s  ( Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ) such as HiMat which is a remote control small fighter plane with no pilot  that is guided like an RC model airplane . Then there are weapons like HARP and HARM and a bunch of others that would make your hair stand up on your head if I told you.  Most people  have no idea what’s out there and they  haven’t been told about what’s in the skunk works and black ops.
                       Our enemies send spies posing as students or allies into our country and they steal our technology and the use our technology against us and we let them without protecting our technology.  America sells  China sensitive technology.   Bill Clinton is allegedly reported to have sold China our nuclear missle technology to finance his campaign which amounts to treason and sedition.   Even conservative business tycoons sell out America for a big buck. It’s all about the MONEY !  Our jobs are shipped overseas for cheap labor and cheap material and parts. 
                                             Here we are protecting everyone else around the world while we leave our nation vunerable.    Obama is cutting  back our nuclear arsenal while Russia and China are increasing theirs. It’s crazy.  We no longer have any strong and true patriotic leadership.  Our enemies laugh at us and have become bolder and stronger because they smell weakness.   When Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor we responded by dropping two nukes on their a** .   Well , that took care of that——- WAR OVER !!!!!!!    Don’t expect Obama to get tough with our enemies —instead that bastard caves in to them , panders to them and kisses their butts and he is selling us out.     Russia , China , and the Muslim extremists love the fact  that Obama is in office and they actually hope he gets re-elected .
                           We need to take care of America first and get our nation back on track —especially our economy and our national security.   Put a halt on immigration , expel the illegals , have military tribunals for captured terrorists and get a spine for f###ing crying out loud.   We can’t support and protect the world.   Our obligation is only to America and it’s citizens . Political correctness could very well spell our doom. The reason this problem continues is because the American people at large are silent and refuse to speak up and stand up and have passively allowed this to continue.   In addition , they continue to vote into office people who have no allegiance to America and what we stand for but are only in it for themselves  and their own power.   Remember , the  Roman Empire annd many great empires before that were great empires and they FELL . People said it wouldn’t happen ——and it did.    It appears that we are following in the same foot-steps.   Either things are going to change soon or it’s over for us.      We are living in dangerous times and it’s getting more and more dangerous each day.   People had better wake up and get their collective act together before it’s too late ( if  it isn’t already ).   Change requires action and deeds and NOT talk & lip service.   The problem is that so many people still don’t get it ( both liberals and conservatives ).   It’s so very sad and yet so very true ! 

    • George

      In continuation of above post—  the torpedo is called  Shkval or VA-111 or BA-111   also known as squall which is a supercavitating rocket propelled torpedo. Check it out on the internet—take a look at photos and description and performance data.  Also check out the Japanese boat known as Yamato 1 .      Then check out the HiMat made by Rockwell International.   We need to protect our security , our borders, our technology , our economy and our soverignty. Why have such a great military and advanced weaponry and we don’t use it  ?  We have fourth world 7th century throwbacks kicking out butts because our rules of engagement have been hindered. Our troops are not allowed to do their jobs because of political correctness and places them more and more in danger. It’s crazy.   The hands of our troops and law-enforcement have been “handcuffed”.    We need to COME OUT and speak up and stand up for America —–NOW !

      • George

        Also in continuation—— news reports have indicated that Muslim terrorists are entering our country via the Mexican border posing as Mexicans .   There is also a realistic fear that one of these extremist radicals could bring a ‘suitcase nuclear dirty bomb” into our country.  Closing our border should be the utmost priority. The FBI should be rounding up any and all suspected terrorists and members of these training camps and arresting them for plotting against America. It’s really crazy that anti-American people can get away with this right under our noses in our own country. It’s mind boggling.   Technologically ( when it comes to building things ) we are a smart people, but intellectually , rationally, and reasonably we are dumb , stupid and foolish as crap.   It’s astonishing . Either we as a people are going to stand up and get pro-American people into political office or in the future , people will be reading in their history books about that once great country called America just as they read about ancient great civilizations that attained greatness and fell. The liberals are committing soverign national suicide.  The liberal Democrats are selling us out by trying to make our great nation socialist with  their redistribution bullcrap.  By the same token , the conservative Republicans care more about monetary greed and profits than about doing the right thing . Neither side truly cares about the PEOPLE as a whole but about catering to their constituents , their agenda, their party,  their selfish interests and above all———their POWER and CONTROL  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • George

          Continuation —————-Here’s a question for you guys.   Where do you think the Muslim terrorists get the billions of dollars to purchase massive weaponry and bombs ?   Take a guess.   They don’t have any industry over there to sell us anything except OIL   OIL   OIL   OIL   OIL   OIL !  Our government donates many tens of billions if not hundreds of billions to these third world nations that have political regiemes that are anti-American and then they use the money our government donates to them to purchase bombs and weapons to use against us. Now our political leaders are talking about NATION BUILDING in the Muslim countries we are at war in ( at the expense of American taxpayers of course ).  We are heading into a deep economic depression and yet we’re funding terrorist nations.  Unf###ing  real !  Unemployment is on the rise rapidly.  People in America are losing their jobs, their homes, and all hope and yet we take care of everybody else but Americans.  Taxes are skyrocketing, but we supposedly have such excess cash that we can give away hundreds of billions of dollars away to other nations.      Talk about pure insanity.  Where’s the public outrage ?   
                         That would be like me having a gang problem in my community and these gang members are threatening and murdering innocent citizens. Instead of the people donating money to the police to improve their patrol ability , we donate money to the gang members .  Can you believe this s###  !          How can supposedly intelligent people who are in political office who are suppose to be protecting us be so f###ing stupid ?   Furthermore how can the American citizenry at large be so  f###ing  stupid and not protest or not vote these scumbags out of office ?  How can they get away with this ? I worry about the future of my great country—-  AMERICA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • George

          Still in continuation—-    One more question. I was reading a letter to the editor and the statement was —   ” There is no point in overthrowing tyrannical regimes in North Africa and the Middle East only to replace them with religious fanatics” .   In Libya we have Muslim terrorists as part of the  citizenry and if Qadafi is overthrown and toppled , his regime  will be replaced by even more hostile and dangerous citizen terrorist wackos. So now , we’re caught between a rock and a hard place.   We get rid of one crazed nut-case only to be replaced by even more dangerous nut-cases.   We go overseas and fight Muslim terrorism only to put Muslim leaders in power who still replace the former government with a new sharia law lead government. This is still not democracy or instituting a republic.   What were we fighting for in the first place ?  If ordinary citizens like you and I can see and understand this , then the question is why can’t highly educated people in political leadership see and understand this ?  I asked this question to a Marine friend of mine who served in combat in the Middle East.  He stated that they DO understand what the deal is but they have an agenda that prevents them from doing the right thing.  As a result , many of our troops and many innocent people are at risk and dying as a result.  As the saying goes— ” Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” . Bring our troops home and take care of America first.      If these Muslim terrorists over there threaten America with war and put us in risk of anihilation. Then hopefully we get a president that will follow in the footsteps of President Truman when Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor and we set an example at Nagasaki and Hiroshima.   We have to fight fire with fire .  The only thing these terrorists understand is brute military force. Anything else to them is considered weakness.   I remember the old military slogan—  ” Peace through firepower superiority ! “.    We need new pro-American leadership to get our great nation back in gear.     It’s time to speak up publicly for America———NOW !!!!!!