The last week or so has seen a growing call for the President to withdraw participation in the conflict in Libya. These calls, which I certainly echo given my “defensive only” posture on the use of our military forces, are currently being based on the fact that Obama did not seek or receive Congressional approval to conduct this particular military action. Well, in the official answer from the White House this week, we were told that, TECHNICALLY, he doesn’t need Congressional approval for what is happening in Libya. His reasoning is that the war in Libya is too small to require Congressional approval and that United Nations has approved the action anyway.
First, let me say that I don’t give a rat’s behind what the United Nations does or does not approve. I have worked under their banner and used to feel differently. However, the more I watch the United Nations, the more I recognize the body as a useless and agenda driven machine that doesn’t practice what it preaches, doesn’t even begin to acknowledge the concept of individual national sovereignty, and that wishes to makes its own rules in order to bypass the governmental systems of countries that don’t fall in line on their own (specifically countries like the USA). As a very simple litmus test, do we really think it prudent to adhere to the standards of a body that would place Libya, China, and other serial abusers on the UN Human Rights Council (a body who’s ONLY permanent agenda item, literally, is Israel)?
I do not recognize the United Nations as a legitimate body any longer. I think that we should pull our funding of them (the US currently contributes roughly 22% of the UN’s annual operating budget). And we certainly should not attempt to justify our actions by claiming that “the UN approves of our actions.” The UN also thinks Israel is a blatant violator of human rights while ignoring Syria, Darfur, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, North Korea, China, and actually praising Libya…
And let’s not forget what NATO is doing in Libya. It is clearly a violation of the very mandate that they were created under. The NATO mission is supposed to be one of defense of nations only. Exactly what other country did Libya attack again?
The bottom line is that George Bush started two wars during his administration. He sought and received Congressional approval for both of them. That hasn’t stopped the radicals on the left from claiming he is waging illegal wars. Yet many of these same radical lefties refuse to denounce President Obama for military actions in Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and plenty of others that aren’t being heralded in the news.
The fact is, as we have discussed on many occasions in the past, that the United States seems to have a predisposition to involve itself in military action whenever and wherever we feel like it. And this has got to stop. I am a military guy. I get it; there are some really bad folks out there and it certainly appears to be prudent in the eyes of some to be proactive in rooting out those bad folks before they have the opportunity to move against us. The result has become that, simply because of our size and power, the United States has fallen comfortably into the role of the world’s police force. I used to accept this. After all, someone has to keep rogue groups and rogue nations in check. And we are the most capable at doing so.
I don’t accept it any longer. Because we have become less like Andy Griffith as a benevolent police force that protects the helpless and more like the group of jackasses that brutally beat Rodney King and then attempted to justify it afterwards. We are “bad cops” now. We are that cop who takes bribes from drug dealers, allows hookers to go free so long as we get a free session, offers protection in illegal activities for a price, and is willing to kill our partner if they threaten to rat us out. We have become Alonzo Harris in “Training Day”, without the possibility of getting an Oscar for great acting.
And what makes it even worse is that now we seem to deem it acceptable to take military action against a country under the banner of “in the national interest of the United States.” What a vague concept. And what a wrong concept. We deem our national interests so important that we feel it acceptable to attack other nations in order to benefit our economy, our imports, our likes and dislikes, our whatever. This is like the police force saying that it is in their interest to not have any black men in their city, so they start shooting every one that they see. After all, they are acting in the best interest of the city in general. We wouldn’t accept it in our cities, so why are we accepting it when our government does it to other countries?
The time has come for the United States to stop intervening in the world. If we are willing to put aside the fact that we are morally wrong for interfering in the business of other sovereign nations, the fact remains that we simply cannot afford to continue these foreign policy approaches to dealing with the world. We, as a country are far beyond “broke”. I heard a Congressman the other day say that our nation is flat broke. I thought to myself, “we were flat broke about 14 trillion dollars ago, jackass. Now we are worse than broke, we are in a hole we cannot get out of.”
And this presents the United States with a unique opportunity, that is if we can somehow force our politicians to stop their war-making ways. We have the opportunity to disengage from the pattern of intervention and intrusion that we have been on for decades and decades. We have the perfect excuse. We cannot afford to intervene any longer. We should be telling the world, “listen, we are financially struggling these days. So we are going to bring all our troops home, stop spending money fighting your battles for you, and work to ensure that we get our economy fixed. Trust us, this will be more beneficial to all of you in the long run anyway since the world economy is so vitally linked to ours.”
It is the perfect excuse to change the way we engage the world. It isn’t too late for us to learn from our mistakes and become a better neighbor. Can you imagine the difference this might make in the world’s perception of the USA? It wouldn’t happen overnight, but it would happen. The animosity towards the US would die down. The terrorist recruiters would lose one of their major tools (that would be the fact that we interfere with their region and their religion). I have outlined my thoughts on when our military should be used extensively in the past. The key point should be repeated, however: DEFENSE ONLY. Defend ourselves and defend our allies only upon request and proof that our ally was not taking actions that warranted their being attacked.
Just think about the time and attention that is dedicated in this country to fighting wars, protesting wars, planning wars, funding wars, debating wars. Think of all the resources that we could put into more productive endeavors if we just stopped taking military actions in countries that are not the United States of America.
How easy would it be to secure the border if that was the only real action required of our military? Illegal immigration would become a thing of the past. And Mexican drug lords wouldn’t operate anywhere near a border defended by our real military, and just as importantly, backed up by Special Operations Groups that don’t have to waste their time abroad.
How easy would it become to fund our military if we focused only on weaponry designed to defend our country instead of destroying other countries? Of course a lot of our weaponry does both. We occupy a land mass that makes it damn near impossible to effectively invade our country and that makes defense far more simple than most countries can dream of. Deploying our military throughout the US only would make it impossible to attack us effectively.
How much better would our economy be if we could put our focus there instead of dividing our attention between it and a myriad of other military actions and foreign policy SNAFUs?
How much easier would obtaining the resources we need be if we were suddenly able to fairly negotiate with all countries instead of eliminating half of them because they are our “enemies”?
How much harder would I have to search for writing topics if Washington didn’t supply me with an endless supply of hypocritical and immoral excuses for violence abroad?
I am sure you all know this but I will put it in writing anyway. This is not a slap at the military. I don’t fault the military for a single bit of this. They are honorable and honest men who do what is required of them. This is a slap at our foreign policies and the bullshit politicians from both parties who seem to love initiating violence against anyone they please. And it is absolutely both parties. The Democrats are just as much war-lovers as the Republicans are. The Republicans just turned away the dirty hippies because it was clear all the acid and marijuana had eroded their critical thinking skills ;)
The bottom line is that I am through accepting these arguments from politicians like Obama (who I absolutely think is the biggest liar we have had in office to date, and that is saying something). He can make the claim that, technically, he has a right to engage in military actions of the type he is defending. But I am not interested in what is “technically legal.” I am interested in what is moral and what we should be doing.
Being a “technically legal” ass clown doesn’t make you any less of an ass clown. And Washington has two buildings at the opposite ends of the National Mall filled with nothing but ass clowns.