Gun Control on an International Level

un-sanctionsI have long held the belief that we, the United States of America, as the preeminent world super-power, must do our best to protect the world. There is a certain honor in the biggest guy on the block protecting the 99 pound weakling from the bad kids. I served my country for ten years, and I wasn’t a pencil pusher. I did a job where I literally put my life on the line for our country and our way of life. I am still proud of that service. I will always remain that way because I also think there is honor in serving something greater than yourself that you believe in. I believe in America, and that she is a great country. I fought for you, not for the Presidents that I served. And I would do it again.

My belief that we should do our best to help protect the world has not changed. Some views have. Some of you had a part in that, which I thank you for. The recent discussion in “A Soldier’s Point of View” showed that I am for a completely defensive posture and intervention only when another country is both attacked without cause and said country has asked for international assistance. But I think I was pretty clear that the military dominance that we exert on many countries is not any longer in line with my beliefs. I won’t get into all of that again here. Another time perhaps. But tonight I am going to take a position that is not going to be popular, but that is OK. Because I think this is a worthy discussion and my taking this position will certainly spur some conversation. 

north-korean-missilesWhat I want to discuss is our position on the “evil” countries out there. Last night, North Korea launched a missile as a test. Our government has stated that this is the first step towards North Korea having the ability to hit Alaska with a Nuclear missile. The international community is up in arms over this missile launch and a UN Security Council Emergency meeting has been called to discuss further sanctions on North Korea for conducting this test. Now, I don’t know what North Korea’s intentions are. Maybe they are doing what the international community, led by the US, believes. Maybe they aren’t. I don’t know.

I do know that over the last 50 years we have seen an increasing amount of instances where the United States government, in the interest of protecting the world from rogue states, has taken steps to stop sovereign nations from pursuing certain measures. Here is a list of the countries currently listed as under US sanctions, along with their most recent review date, according to the Department of state:

  • Balkans (March 4, 2008)
  • Belarus (February, 23, 2009)
  • Burma (January 15, 2009)
  • Cote d’Ivorie (Ivory Coast)(September 19, 2006)
  • Cuba (March 18, 2009)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (March 4, 2009)
  • Iran (January 22, 2009)
  • Iraq (September 16, 2008)
  • Former Liberian Regime of Charles Taylor (May 23, 2007)
  • North Korea (June 26, 2008)
  • Sudan (Darfur)(July 31, 2008)
  • Syria (July 10, 2008)
  • Zimbabwe (November 25, 2008)

And those are just a single list. There are others. Many more with lesser sanctions. Even more that are under UN sanctions driven by the United States. A couple who have recently had their sanctions lifted because they agreed to US demands (Libya comes to mind). I know that some of you are looking at that list and thinking to yourself, “good, some of those countries are horrible and need to be on that list in order to keep the world safe/better.” I also am willing to bet a week’s paycheck that Black Flag isn’t one of those saying that 🙂 

Let’s get to my points. North Korea is a bad country. I acknowledge this to be true. I lived in Seoul, South Korea, for a little over a year. The South greatly fears the North will attack at any moment. We keep 30,000 troops there just to help prevent that from happening. The leadership in North Korea is appalling. They are killing their people through oppression. Their military gets all the money and food, leaving the people to starve. We have sanctioned them to death for their evil. And for the record I have never been colder in my life than the Korean winters.

 

Juvenile Executions in Iran

Juvenile Executions in Iran

Iran has earned our ire. I will give them that. The hostage situation in Iran was a bad move for them. It ensured that a generation of Americans will always fear them and hate them. They claim to not be pursuing a nuclear weapon. I personally believe they are full of shit when making that claim. They are pursuing a nuclear weapon. And if they get it, they very well may sell it to the highest bidding US/Israel haters. And that is if they don’t launch a strike on Israel on their own. They love to call us the “great Satan” and tell us that “first chance we get, you US assholes are going down.” They also, according to Human Rights Watch, have the leading rate of juvenile executions in the world. Juveniles can be executed once they reach the age of “majority” (9 years old for girls, 15 for boys).

 

Cuba is well documented. A brutal dictatorship taken by force and subjected to rule by the Castro brothers for decades now. They certainly would side with the Russians (and did in the past, hence the Cuban Missile Crisis). In fact they would side with anyone who opposes us. What is happening in Sudan, specifically the Darfur Region, is horrible and it certainly doesn’t make me warm and fuzzy when thinking about going there again. Syria is certainly not one of my favorite places either. I am surprised that I do not see a couple of other countries on the list. Venezuela certainly acts like idiots these days. Some of you know that Somalia is at the top of my list of countries I wish no longer existed. It’s personal.

sanctionmapMore than 100 sanctions were applied between the end of World War II and the United Nations embargo against Iraq during the Gulf War. The United States took a leading role in approximately two-thirds of them. For the United States, economic sanctions were a major foreign policy tool during that period. They continued to be used during the Clinton administration (I know that hurts your feeling liberals, but facts are facts, lol), when the United States imposed more than 60 sanctions, more than half of all U.S. sanctions in the 20th century. Examples include those mentioned above as well as sanctions against Russia and India for selling missile technology and sanctions against Myanmar (Burma) for human rights abuses. As of mid 1998 the United States had sanctions in effect against more than 70 countries, and the U.S. Congress was considering 30 additional sanctions.

My argument is not that these are not bad or that they are not willing to do bad things. I believe that some of them are. But I propose to you that we are missing the point when we make the statement that they are bad countries. That point is that they are countries. Sovereign nations. What right do we have to tell a sovereign nation what they are allowed to do or not allowed to do? I ask you whether you would be OK with Iran putting trade sanctions on the United States because we have shown ourselves to be an aggressor in the past (because we certainly have a lot more aggressive history than Iran, unfortunately)? Would it be OK for them to tell us whether we have the right to pursue nuclear technology?

I didn’t think so. I am at the point where while I understand that there are those in government that are looking for these sanctions with the best of intentions, we are not within our rights to tell any other countries what they can or cannot do. We would never stand for them returning the favor. 

We have had the discussions on this site about how our federal government seeks to limit the right of Americans to own and carry guns. We were all in agreement that this was a bad thing. We have a right to our guns, after all. And while I am grateful that the Constitution guarantees that right, it didn’t give me that right. I already had it, regardless of what the Constitution says. And as I espoused in that argument, the biggest reason that we have as a belief in why we need them is that they are the only thing standing between us and an out of control government. 

Think of the US and UN as an out of control government for the world. Every citizen (Country) needs to be armed enough to stand up to the government. Think about how differently we treat those countries that have the ability to use nuclear weapons against us: Israel, Russia, China, India, Pakistan… I think you get the point. They armed themselves well enough for us to not think we have a right to jump in and dictate to them what they should or should not do. 

ahmadinejad-giving-fingerIran, North Korea, and Cuba should have the same ability. If they decide to develop a nuclear program, what right do we have to tell that they can’t? I have to admit that if I was a leader of some country in the world and the United States rode in and told me I couldn’t pursue nuclear power, I would give Obama the middle finger and tell him to zip it unless he wants to be the first to know when I have it. 

If Sudan, Bosnia, and North Korea want to kill their own people, it is a horrible thing. I despise it. And I do so wish that the WORLD decides that this is wrong and stops it. But I struggle with whether we have the right to tell them what to do in their own country? And to put sanctions on them for it seems reasonable. But would we stand for it if China told us that we had better get a grip on this whole black on black crime thing? It has gotten out of hand and if we don’t stop it from happening they are going to blockade us and sanction us. What if the world told us that we were way out of line with WACO or the storming of the Mormon compound and sanctions were forthcoming?

We laugh off these examples because we are a world power and we know that it cannot happen to us. But what if that suddenly were not the case. What if India and China, with their 2.6 Billion people, got together and decided they were going to start telling us what to do? Would Americans stand for it? Do you really think we could stand up to them with our 303 Million people?

I started to think about this the other night as I read the discussion about Muslims in one of the other articles. There was a claim that they are an inherently evil people with an evil religion. This was followed with a belief that we should not let them live here, or anywhere else other than their own countries. I chose to stay out of that argument because those in it seemed to be handling it on their own. But I do want to say a thing or two about the sentiment I saw there. 

muslim-childrenWe must be careful to not de-humanize what we do not know. If you have never spent time in a muslim country, no amount of reading or hearing accounts from friends can tell you what things are like. There are bad muslims out there. Of that there is no doubt. Those are the exceptions, just like the bigots or religious zealots are exceptions in our christian culture. But I have spent a lot of time in muslim countries, and one thing I learned quickly is that they are just people, like you and me. They get up, try to make a living, worry about their children, and have all the same wonderful things and flaws that we have. Their children are no less cute. Their adults are no less polite or caring.

200 years ago, white Americans thought that blacks were less intelligent, closer to being wild animals, and heathens. Only familiarity over time because of a forced civil rights movement has shown us what a bigoted and flawed belief that was. Believing that “muslims” or “buddhists” or “hindus” or anyone else is less of a unique person or less of a human being than we are comes from simply not having that familiarity. I have been fortunate to have gotten familiar with them all and it changed the way that I look at the world.

When you finally awaken, and realize the humanity that exists in every one of the 6 Billion people of the world, in every country, in every religion, in every belief system, in every political party…. how can you deem their rights or their beliefs any less important than yours? How can you justify treating them differently than you would allow yourself to be treated?

With all of that said, I return to the issue of America policing the world and telling sovereign nations what they can and cannot do. I simply don’t think we have the right to do that. When they take bad actions, I submit that we should hold them accountable. In that vein, when genocide occurs and the “world” sees it, perhaps there is a cause for action to stop it (and that does not mean punishing one side or the other, it means stopping it). But when it comes to the pursuit of nuclear capability, I don’t see why we don’t see this in the same way we see gun control in the United States, just at an international level. Let them pursue what they want, let them have what they want. But if they attempt to use that nuclear weapon, ensure that then there are consequences for their actions. 

Am I wrong?

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Comments

  1. I got a lot of information from this site

    • Two things.
      1. Islam is the only religion I am aware of that does not have tolerance of others at its core. To the contrary, Islam seeks to dominate everywhere and everyone.
      2. So much for the military strategy of pre-emption. With WMD, a little pre-emptive action goes a long way (casualties reduced).

  2. I don’t think there is one correct answer to this. I would certainly that looking at each country individually would be the way to proceed with any actions that may be deemed necessary. North Korea, for example, has a history of poor human rights, and tend to be known as aggressors. I like to think that the best way to predict future behavior, is to look at past behavior. In this context, based on the history of the individual government in question, certain proactive actions are necessary. It is human nature to warn an aggressor of what consequences their actions may cause.

    On the other hand, I’m a person that believes in minding my own business, and not stickin my grill in someone elses business. Getting involved in someone else’s business cause animosity and many other problems. So, it’s a fine line between taking proactive action against a known aggressor, and minding your own business and let other countries govern themselves.

    I’ve often wondered if a much stronger proactive stance would have kept Iraq from invading Kuwait? Had that happened, and the Kuwait invasion avoided, would we have been at war in Iraq today? The Iraq war is a touchy subject for many, and rightfully so. What many people who oppose this war don’t remember, or choose to ignore, is when Kuwait was liberated, the Iraqi regime entered into a “cease fire agreement”, of which they had to adhere to that agreement. Over a decade later, they had continously failed to keep their end of the agreement. After 9/11, there was fear that Iraq could sell WMD or the technology to a terrorist organization. After all, the sanctions against Iraq were working, the problem was, the integrity of the Iraqi regime was failing miserably. So, I ask, would a stronger proactive action, pre-Kuwait invasion, have avoided both miltary engagements?

  3. No, you are not wrong, USW. As I hope we have all discovered, it is some fanatical leaders of Muslims that are dangerous in their efforts to impose their law worldwide. And, it must be said, its is easy to question Islam as a religion of peace. The Qur’an’s many references to violence, killing and retribution would dispel, for many, thoughts of a moderate following.

    • you are definately wrong Qura’an is not like that, you have to read the Qura’an translation one more time. be carefull, do it just for yourself not to tell people what is Islam and what does the Qura’an say.

  4. No,we have no right to dictate to sovereign nations,but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to try.We have for years,with very mixed results.I can’t think of any shining examples to hold up as victories,but I can think of some where we should have stayed home.Cuba,for one.After we drove the Russian missles out was the time to deal with that problem and we failed to do so.

    North Korea,Iran,Venezuela,there is going to come a time when these countries will have to be dealt with.To me,that appears inevitable.Add Pakistan to that list also.

    Obama has told Europe that it is time for them to start footing the bill for their own protection,that he is going to spend American money at home for a change.It will be interesting to see how the Europeans deal with this.

    Then we have the Muslim problem,and problem it is.They are rapidly invading Western civilization,They are not here to become Americans,English,Canadian,or French.They are here to be Muslims living in those respective countries.The will use the fact that in Western societies,one is free to practice the religion of one’s choice.They are demanding that their reigion be respected in all of it’s aspects even when those aspects supercede the laws that the respective nations live by.

    Sharia law,limited so far to domestic matters has been granted to Muslims living in Britain.Under this law women are second class citizens.In court testimony,inheritance and other matters the weight of the testimony of two women is equal to the testimony of one man.Under Sharia,a man is in Britain can have four wives.The practice is de facto in Canada,but not explicitly granted as yet.This is contrary to British and Canadian law,but allowed under religious freedom.

    We have Americans of Somali extraction engaged in an Islamic attempt to overthrow a moderate government in Somalia.These men are freely passing from here to Somalia and back.So far they have limited their fighting to Somalia,but their recruiting goes on here.

    There is an attempt being made on an international level,via the U.N. to pass a law forbidding anyone to criticize the Muslim religion.Should that pass,freedom of speech becomes a relic of the past.A lot of other freedoms will follow it out the door.

    There are other aspects of the Muslim religion such as the fact that two factions of the religion hate each other,the honor killings of their women,the fact that half the population believes that the other half should be subserviant that make Muslims less than desirable neighbors.Their religion rules every aspect of their lives and they are never going to change.They will never assimilate with any adopted country,they don’t allow other religions to coexist with theirs.They have a deplorable record of human rights and their treatment of rape victims is famous unto itself.

    • Some good points, Ron.

      • i disagree on the point tht people have the right to criticize the Islam religion, or any other religion. There needs to be a limit on the the freedom of speech.

        • John,

          What if a bunch Roman Catholics decide that their Church is just the fix needed to straighten out the mess in Michigan. So they get the Vatican to subsidize Parochial schools, pay for a civil rights group and lawyers for offended Catholics, so that they may sue everytime they feel offended. The Catholics ultimate objective is to convert the state of Michigan to a Catholic majority and change the laws reflect Church law. Are you saying no one has the legal right to point out that this is going on and that it isn’t in the best interests of the citizens of the state of Michigan?

        • John,

          How free speech do you allow? Or is it as long as you agree with the speech, its allowed – but as soon as you disagree with it, it should be banned??

    • Hi Ron,

      I like your points about the muslim immigration. They are very similar to the points I brought up the other day with BF. Now, I don’t know if USW was relating my supposed comments about ALL muslims being evil. If it was me he was refering to, he missed a couple of things I stated. One is that non violent, peaceful muslim are very quiet for some reason, and two, if muslims just want to be left alone, then why to they move to non muslim countries and behave as you describe? All I managed to get was a litany of supposed Israeli crimes against peaceful muslims. BF had plenty to say on the matter but never responded to my points. There are 56 responses as I respond here, and a couple of them from BF who still hasn’t addressed your points. I find your points worthy of some thought, particulary since these are the actions of peaceful, morally superior, at least to someone like me, people. I’m looking forward to the discussion.

  5. US, I agree, the United States should not be interferring in the business of other soverign nations. I understand the point of “policing” but believe we have taken it too far. If a nation wants our involvement, they will ask for it.

    As a nation we spend untold billions of dollars every year, both in the form of aide and military presence in foreign lands. I am personally sick of the US providing money and support to nations that would rather spit on us, but tolerate us because of money or military support. I believe that perhaps the US would enjoy a much better reputation worldwide if we could mind our own business more often. We are looked upon (and justifiably so) by other nations as being high handed and arrogant.

    • Terry:

      Perhaps most importantly, we are viewed as Hypocrits.

      When mixed together it is a toxic brew.
      JAC

    • That may be true, but the minute they run into any struggle themselves, guess who they run to for support and money? The US! So for many of these countries, I’d say you can’t have it both ways – leave us alone unless we get into trouble?

      • Black Flag says:

        Actually, its the other way around.

        Because they know we are so eager to jump into briar bushes and mud holes that they come to us.

        America has had a 200 year inferiority complex – we have to ‘prove’, generation after generation, that we aren’t a bunch of castoffs of other nations and hand-me-down people. We seem to need to prove – “WE be TOUGH!” – too bad our psychology isn’t up to it yet.

        The moment we grow up, the less “they” will come-a-callin’.

  6. US: You are dead on but here is the foundation for your position.

    We as Americans have a unique set of values, or at least had. They are based on the primacy of the individual. The right to exist, to think, to learn, to pursue our lives to the best of our ability…..in the absence of force. No one person has the right to use force on another, except in self defense. That does not include retaliation, as that is delegated to the govt. Coersion is a form of force. Economic or other sanctions are coersion, thus force. While they may be less violent than shooting or beating they are non the less the use of coersive force.

    If we as individuals do not have the right to initiate force then we can not delegate that power to our government. For once we do, it now has the power to use it on us, not just those dirty little bastards over there.

    If we truly want our country back, that beautiful Constitution, then we had better change our approach to foreign policy to match the values we so cherish at home.

    Regarding the use of economic santions, the question should be whether as a nation of free people we should restrict trade with any nation, no matter how awful, that has not attacked us. In my dream world the govt would not have the power to restrict trade between individuals. As free men they are free to trade with whom they choose. So that means the real question is whether it is moral for a free man to trade with a despot. Keep in mind it was free men who traded with the Nazis prior to the war, thus in effect enabling them to grow stronger, and faster, than they might have otherwise. If we are consistant with our philosophy then I say the decision to trade is up to the individual. If we have formed our moral base on the foundation of individual liberty and the right to pursue one’s happiness (self interest) then I would think it not moral to trade with a tyrant. Logic would dictate that in the long run such behavior would be disadvantageous to me, as a free man. Because the tyrant will be enabled to eventually come after me. But that would be up to the individual to decide based on his or her own situation.

    The modern dilemna is that we are hated for interfering everywhere, but we are hated for not interfering where certain people think we should. If we decide to stop pushing everyone around because it is consitant with our true beliefs, then by what right do we stop genocide in another country where it is committed by its citizens on its other citizens. The cold answer should be when it is advantageous to us as a nation of individual free men and women. So, change the question to: Is it advantageous to us, as a nation of individuals, in the long run, to stop the genocide? The answer lies in whether it would protect us from the use of force by others. The answer in most cases is NO. Moral absolutes can be a real bitch.

    You may recall, that I asked our vets several questions on this topic. My purpose was to get their views on how our foreign policy has played out and what changes are needed. I think US has captured the essence of the change needed in policy quite well. One question was whether we should pull our troops and hardware home. From those who have been on the front lines I heard a resounding NO. I believe this is an appropriate tactical response and is consistant with the policy, as long as we are welcome. That means we are invited to stay without using coersion to get the invite. A more difficult question is whether we stay in countries where the govt invites us, but the people there don’t really have any say (Saudi Arabia for example). For now my answer would be NO. If a country wants our troops there, they are essentially asking for our protection. If our young men and women are “asked” to shed blood for others then they had better share our values for individual liberty. I am not naive. They don’t have to be as perfect as us, but they had better be close or working damn hard to get there.

    Once the world sees we are no threat and assuming the whole planet chills out, we pull everyone home.

    Meanwhile, we had better start spending some real green on developing decisive defensive capability against any conceivable type of attack.

    Should get some more coffee so guess I’ll stop here for now.
    Hope everyone has a great day.
    JAC

  7. CWO2USNRet says:

    USWep,

    I’ve been reading you and your regulars here for several weeks now. Good thought provoking debates. I find I agree with most of your positions but also gain insight from the responses. As your readership grows the number of responders/responses has grown, a good thing for diversity of ideas but hell on my time management. Concerning today’s piece…

    In principle I agree we should keep our nose out of other nation’s affairs. In practice, the ability of WMD to inflict massive harm before we could retaliate changes the equation. All nations, ours included, are duty bound to protect their citizens from harm. Because of the first strike problem of WMDs, proactive measures against would-be aggressors enter the mix. While we should stand on principle, I think it reasonable to carve out an exception to prevent the Jericho (TV Series, highly recommended) fiction from becoming a reality.

    To continue your gun control analogy: think of rogue nations and proven bad actors as violent felons. We don’t, and shouldn’t, allow our violent felons to arm themselves with weapons (visualize automatic firearms with high-cap magazines, it more closely aligns the analogy with WMD) and subsequently roam the mall creating a tragic bloodbath.

    I hope you can “stay on the air” for awhile. I’ll continue to read as long as you do. Do you intend to finish the LP Platform analysis? I am close to jumping ship from the Repubs to the LP. I hesitate because, in the short term, only the Rs have the ability to slow or stop the Dems march towards European Socialism. To join the LP would weaken the Rs ability to resist. On the other hand, I feel we need a strong, viable third party to fix our country. A strong LP needs to start somewhere. The founding idealists need to be displaced by pragmatic realists such as myself to even have a chance at becoming mainstream. I recognize my reason for hesitation as a rationalization, but it is a strong one.

    John

    • CW

      Don’t fall into the “pragmatist” trap. Be an idealist as that is our only salvation. You just need to clearly define the ideal.

      Pragmatistism leads to the situation we are in today. It results in taking the most expediate path at the moment.

      You can be an idealist and a realist at the same time. A philosophy based on the reality of the real world we live in would be ideal, don’t you think??
      JAC

    • CW:

      Sorry, forgot to make my other point. I don’t think you want the LP. It needs more changes than just its leadership. Besides, where would BF, Kent and other anarchists go for their political parties.

      We have kicked it around before but I think we need a coalition not a party. Then we pick and choose who we want from what ever party or parties exist. Political activism doesn’t need a party it just requires action.
      JAC

    • I think your analogy of WMD and looking at rogue nations like felons is excellent. I would agrre that minding our own business would be the ideal, moral position to take, as you said, the threat of WMD makes the alternate position of getting involved necessary.

    • CW

      Goggle GOOOH, Get out of our House. I am more of an advocate of getting away from political parties. This MIGHT be a way.

      • CWO2USNRet says:

        Fascinating! I am going to give GOOOH some serious thought.

        USWep, what’s your take on this? I know you’ve been considering running for office.

    • Of course, I believe I have no right to deny a “violent felon” his right to own and to carry weapons (rights are not subject to being “lost” or given up), BUT should he initiate force against someone at the mall, I, and everyone around, have every right to drop him where he stands.

      The same goes for the leader of any country that decides to initiate force. Don’t kill the innocent people who happen to live in the territory he claims to rule; kill HIM. Make it personal. How does killing strangers that he cares nothing about (but who happen to live in “his country”) create justice? Of course, few “world leaders” will support this plan since it might open Pandora’s box for their evil actions as well.

  8. To All:

    On the broader topic raised by US I would like to suggest you read the following, if you haven’t already:

    “World on Fire” by Amy Chua

    A very thought provoking read. I caution those who haven’t read it, you will start getting mad at the author part way through it. Don’t give up….you’ll be somewhat surprised by the end.

    Good Reading
    JAC

  9. Calf Roper says:

    USW,

    Right on the mark. I always simplify things so let’s take this to a personal level. I have a neighbor who hates me. I have a feeling that if given the right opportunity he will try to take me out. Naturally, I don’t do business with him or trade with him because we do not get along; however, I do not try to force my will on him. I cannot control him just as he cannot control me.

    With that said, if he builds a sniper rifle and I know he built it and he aims it at my house, then I would deem him as an immediate threat to me and my family. Therefore, I would be justified in attacking him as a defense mechanism. I have not tried to control him and I haven’t put sanctions on him. I have only made a decision to protect myself.

    The same applies in foreign relations. Sanctions are idiotic simply because they don’t work. Noone can control the actions of another entirely. North Korea (neighbor) hates us and is developing weapons. However, they do not yet have the sniper rifle capable of reaching us. They are not an imminent threat to us. Therefore, sanctions against them are idiotic at best. What do we think we are doing with our sanctions? We’re punishing the people of that country while they don’t threaten us. At the same time, we are continually backing our neighbor into a corner.

    If North Korea, or Iran, or someone else ever pointed the “sniper rifle” at us, then simply take them out. That’s the only sanction needed.

  10. I have to agree mostly with US here. I also agree though that WMD somewhat changes the situation somewhat. I’m not sure what the answer to the WMD’s are. My Daddy, Brother and I, always have discussions on what we would do if WE were President. We usually don’t think of Congress when we are discussing this so it’s kind of silly. For instance, on WMD’s, I would tell Iran and N. Korea to go ahead, build your Nucs. But if you try to, or do, use them on another country, You will be a Radioactive Parking Lot the next day. I realize that would be threatening a sovereign nation. But I also know that those two in particular threaten the US every day just because we’re TALKING against them having Nucs. They also threaten their neighbors who are all well within reach of even Scud missiles. Should we force them to stop developing Nucs? My answer is NO. Should we at least try to keep them from using them? My answer is YES. Should we go it alone in this? NO. As nuclear powers themselves, with the power to destroy the world, Russia and China should be in it with us or at least backing us instead of their usual obstructionism. Did I forget to mention the UN? There is a good reason why I haven’t. It’s because the UN is worthless. I can’t think of a single good reason America is even a member of the UN. They are a toothless tiger. Or better yet, they are just a bunch of toothless pussycats! The ONLY thing they are good for is Disaster and Famine Relief. The UN gives their troops no military option but to stand and watch as people are slaughtered right in front of them. Even when they are sent into a country to stop violence or downright genocide all they succeed in doing is getting their butts kicked because of stupid UN regulations. I would say that the answer to all problems such as Iran and N. Korea and others was “let the UN handle it” since that is supposed to be what they were created for. All they’ll get from the UN though is a stern letter of protest and more sanctions. How’s that going for the UN so far? For that matter, how has it gone for us? As far as I have seen, sanctions ain’t done doodly squat to make them change their minds. The only ones we hurt are their people who they obviously don’t give a big dookey about anyway. I don’t think WE should be the World Police. But somebody needs to be at least trying to rein in some Countries. Sovereign or not. What the answer to that is I just don’t know. I do know that we as Americans should worry more about our own Nation and less about others. We have people in our own Country who are hungry and homeless. Our foreign policy should be smaller and less intrusive. But we also should not “bend over and spread ’em” for any other Nation either.

    • Esom, you said “But if you try to, or do, use them on another country, You will be a Radioactive Parking Lot the next day. I realize that would be threatening a sovereign nation”. I submit to you that under the current administration it would be and everyone on earth realizes it would be just that…a threat, and most likely a hollow one at that. Under the former administration, I believe it would be fact, and I also believe that everyone knew that as well. You can tell somebody you’re going to kick their butt, but unless you have kicked somebody’s butt before and he knows it you are only shootin’ off your mouth…

      • esomhillgazette says:

        You’re right Terry. But notice that I said what I would say if I were President, not Obama. And believe me when I say the threat would NOT be idle and I would not be kidding!

  11. If all nations were peaceful in nature, our only support to any nation would be humanitarian only. I don’t think anyone here would disagree that helping a foriegn nation recover from a major natural disaster. We have in fact done that for countries who basicall hate our guts. Well, we care about our fellow man, especially in their time of need. Famine, especially in Africa, seems to have been a problem most, if not all of my life. The U.S. has always helped feed these people. Why don’t we help them move out of the desert where they can grow food and raise livestock, and feed themselves?

    Todays subject of discussion is mostly about North Korea shooting of a missile. Would we be talking of this matter if Australia or Sweden tested a nuke? I would say “probably not”, as both countries do not pose a clear threat to us or any other nation. North Korea, in most opinions, do pose that threat. Known threats should always be dealt with in some manner, with hopes of avoiding violent actions by violent governments. If minding our own business is the absolute answer, then we will eventually see another Hitler, sometimes, no action may lead to bigger problems.

    If Clinton would have pulled the trigger on Bin Laden, would 9/11 occured. While I can’t say that it wouldn’t have occured, one must wonder just how much that inaction will ultimately cost in innocent lives.

    • Forgot to add this thought. As BO is overseas talking about a nuke free world, we are here talking about a subject that is the result of a rogue nation testing a missile to potentially deliver a nuke. Maybe it’s just me, but is BO and me on the same planet?

  12. Black Flag says:

    But I have spent a lot of time in muslim countries, and one thing I learned quickly is that they are just people, like you and me. They get up, try to make a living, worry about their children, and have all the same wonderful things and flaws that we have. Their children are no less cute. Their adults are no less polite or caring.

    I’ve lived in Switzerland.

    I’ve lived in India.

    I’ve lived in Africa.

    I’ve lived in Latin America and throughout the Caribbean.

    And that is exactly what I saw, universally, with all people in all cultures.

    US: You are dead on but here is the foundation for your position.

    We as Americans have a unique set of values,…. No one person has the right to use force on another, except in self defense….

    🙂

    I’d never thought I’d hear JAC say the value of Americans is “anarchy”!

    Boy, wait until Chris hears you say that!

    If we truly want our country back, that beautiful Constitution,..

    I do not believe the Constitution is consistent with the goal stated above…but that’s another blog post!

    what right do we stop genocide in another country where it is committed by its citizens on its other citizens. The cold answer should be when ….

    We diverge here.

    I see this as no different then your reasoning on the economics of trade with despots.

    There, you reasoned it is not in the right of the government to interfere on the decisions of the free man. I agree.

    Here, I hold with that same reasoning. There is no right for the government to interfere with the actions of violence of a foreign government upon its own people – if freemen here chose to involve themselves in that fight, that is their right as individuals.

    There remains no right for a group of individuals to commit the Nation (ie: me) to such an action.

    Besides, where would BF, Kent and other anarchists go for their political parties.

    Party? Party? Who’s having a party, and who is buying the beer!?? 😉

    • Howdy BF, glad to see your up and about today.

      “I’d never thought I’d hear JAC say the value of Americans is “anarchy”! ”
      My stated principle is shared by both of us but as you know I am not suggesting anarchy as an answer. Of course, anarchy is not a value but a governing system, is it not?

      “I do not believe the Constitution is consistent with the goal stated above…but that’s another blog post!”
      I agree with both of your points. That is the big discussion we keep putting off. I think we’ll have to address that pretty soon though. I am sure we reach the same conclusion but for different reasons and end goal.

      “Here, I hold with that same reasoning. There is no right for the government to interfere with the actions of violence of a foreign government upon its own people – if freemen here chose to involve themselves in that fight, that is their right as individuals. ”
      You skipped the rest of my point. Perhaps I should have gone straight to it. I think we agree, in that I ended up with the only correct situation is “if it would protect us from the use of force”. Hard to imagine this criteria being met. I will concur that it could leave a crack in the door if not clearly articulated and guarded. But then I expose myself as the optimist who thinks such controls are possible while you do not. Correct?

      I am glad you caught the intended humor regarding parties. I hope Chris gets the more serious point.

      Hope your day is going well
      JAC

    • BF, PS: I hope we get the chance and if we do, I’ll buy the first round. You can bring your home brew for the second. Then we’ll get into USW’s pocket and then we can begin solving all the problems of the world.
      Keep smiling my friend.
      JAC

  13. US

    I think you are wrong. If we COULD have prevented 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, SHOULD we have? If it meant a preemptive attack on another nation.

    I hope others will weigh in here and answer how does America compare to other nations in the use of force? Iran, Iraq, France, UK and so on for say the last 30 years? The world is not peaceful. Most places are, but not the world. And to view the argument from the gun ban view, what provides us the most safety? Is it the cop down the street, or the possible 12 gauge in your house or the 45 under your shirt? I think its a combination, it is how likely they feel it would be they would be caught. It is fear of the consequences that stops many.
    And the fear must be based not only on the fact you are armed, but that you are willing to use your weapon.

    And I do not think N. Korea is a “threat” to America. A missile strike on Alaska would do nothing but bring about their near total destruction. But they are a threat to S. Korea. And here is the real issue. We are the super power. We are the worlds policeman. How do we decide what “laws” to enforce?
    How do we justify, mainly to ourselves, who we protect and why. And that seems to be defined by our culture, based on Judeo-Christian view on the value of human life.

    Were we “right” to invade Iraq? I think only history will be able to answer that. I believe we were, not because of anything they had done, but as a demonstration of what we were willing to do,as a nation, to ensure we were left to live in peace. It produced results with Libya. Iran and N. Korea were a little better behaved until Bushes lame duck period. If EsomHill were president, I think we would be looking at a different world. China & Russia would be a lot less inclined to be playing games with our navy.

    Speak softly and carry a big stick worked for a little while.

    JAC

    You had some good points on free trade and getting the government out of it. Its not a question if its moral to trade with a despot. If a sovereign nation has an element in it, like Mexico, and you trade with them, they will hold the US accountable. I agree that sanctions are overused, sometimes by politicians as a tool to advance their personal gains ( as in almost everything done in the UN). I think there are cases where it is appropriate to use it to try to bring about a peaceful solution. It might have worked in Iraq if China, France and Russia had not violated the food for oil program. Funny no one mentions that when bashing Bush for his war crimes.

    Beer 30, and goodnight

    • Life:

      I disagree on the moral issue. I think it is a question of morality, at least for me, as to whether I should trade with a despot. If I believe in the inalienable rights of liberty, which is a moral proposition, then how can I support one who is the antithesis of what I believe?

      Therein is the moral dilemna. Nothing to do with the govt, but to do with we individuals who comprise the country.

      By the way. Amy Chua has another book called “Day of Empire” that will make a good read after you finish the other one. I would love to have a long dinner with her some day to discuss her theories and opinions. Let me know what you think when your done.
      JAC

  14. I’m with President George Washington when he said we should avoid entangling aliances. We sure haven’t managed that have we? America would be much better off if we minded our own business a bit more. I also think sanctions are a bit ridiculous.

    As for telling other countries which weapons they are or are not allowed to have, it seems a bit hypocritical. America can be trusted to have nukes? Why, because we’re the only ones who have actually used them against people? No, I think we mind our own business until we’re attacked and then we beat the heck out of the agressors. No warnings or sanctions etc.

    Anyone should be welcome within the US, but we don’t bend our laws for them. They don’t like our laws, then they can go else where.

    • But yet we DO bend our laws, we DO bend or morals, we DO bend our liberties. Is that part of our fabric as Americans or are we caving into the pressures of the “global community”??

  15. USW,
    I agree that we have no right over sovereign nations. I think that it is an extension of our policy towards citizens. Gun control is out of line, period. If I were a supporter of international law through a central government like the UN (only with more teeth), then I would say that “criminal” nations could be treated like “criminal” citizens, not being allowed certain weapons because of their past actions. I do not think the US itself has the right to be that central power, I do not think we should be the enforcers for the UN, as that is an undue stress on our economy without compensation. And I am not so sure I like the idea of international law or any sort of one world government, even in the loosest of terms.

    Essentially, no control should be exerted over other nations by us, and I cannot think of any other organization that I could trust to do so either. I don’t think that we can be asked by such an organization to be their enforcers either, even if such a one existed. If I were to ever have the resources to create a sovereign nation, I certainly would not want the US or any other country dictating my actions.

    Those who value security over freedom, and are willing to exert authority elsewhere to that end, deserve neither security nor freedom. It is a violation of a freedom loving philosophy, and therefore not a proper American attitude. We cannot be so risk averse that we abandon the principles of our life.

  16. To answer your question – yes – you’re wrong (and what a complicated subject to wrestle with).

    “With all of that said, I return to the issue of America policing the world and telling sovereign nations what they can and cannot do. I simply don’t think we have the right to do that. When they take bad actions, I submit that we should hold them accountable. In that vein, when genocide occurs and the “world” sees it, perhaps there is a cause for action to stop it”

    ~ The problem here is who decides what bad actions are? The U.N. (I think you said the World should decide)? The argument is lacking merit – you cannot say that the government should not tell other people what to do and then say the government should decide that one action versus another merits action/inaction. The U.S. tends to piss on the U.N. when it does not like decisions made by the security council or other prevailing bodies. You cannot have the cake an eat it too, which this country has struggled mightily with.

    As I read through the posts I’m scratching my head wondering, “well what in the hell are we supposed to do?” I think government does have a role, they must use judgement to protect its citizens, and to suggest that while Iran (or some other rogue nation) builds weapons we merely wait until they scare enough shit out of us just seems nuts. So we wait until we think the may do a backroom deal with Osama bin Nutjob then we act? No thanks. Isolate the problem and deal with it through diplomatic means first and force as a last a final resort (and only when supported by corroborated evidence of a threat). Sanctions usually are never intended as the end game, it is just part of it – a bargaining chip to get to what the other party really wants.

    Lastly, and for the record, not everyone that reads and sometimes writes to this blog supports gun ownership. I am fairly certain our Founding Fathers, in all their wisdom, were not thinking its okay to arm a citizenry with more firepower than the very public servants charged with protecting them. Our Founders were not perfect, and I can think of no better example than this one (before I’m crucified please Google Orange Revolution).

    Cheers.

    • Ray:

      Re gun ownership. Acutally the founders did believe in arming the citizens with more firepower. Because the army was the citizens. The sales job on a standing army was primarily to have a full time paid force to protect the frontier settlers from indian raids, which were encouraged by the Brits or French, depending on who was trying to screw who in Europe.

      The wealthy citizens owned the cannons and other artillery, as did the regular army. That is why the second amendment states right to bear arms and not just hunting rifles or sidearms.

      Some even argued for an amendment to guarantee the right to hunt. Mr. Madison, I believe it was, responded that it was absurd to think the federal govt would ever try to remove arms or try to control citizens right to hunt for food. I always found that little tid bit interesting. Can anyone say US Fish and Wildlife Service and Endangered Species Act????

      Hope this was enlightening.
      JAC

      • Thanks JAC – not really enlightening – am a history buff as well. I was referring more to the litany of incidents nowadays (Pittsburgh, Binghamton, etc) – not emotional reactionary, its just to make the point. This is a Nation armed to the teeth and for mostly the wrong reasons. The need for arms 250+ yrs ago was far different than today imho.

        • CWO2USNRet says:

          Ray, note that the vast majority of these multiple murders (Columbine, VT, Binghampton, etc.) occur in “gun-free” zones. This fact is no coincidence. If the responsible, law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry these tragedies would be far less damaging and far less frequent.

          Note that I am not a gun owner. My state, MD, is not a right to carry state. I don’t feel as safe here, and especially DC where I work, as I do when I visit VA, which is a right to carry state. Statistically, the thruth of this is inescapable.

          Best regards, John

          • Thanks John – it was more so an allegory because of the use of automated weapons and assault rifles used in the attacks. I’m not sure which truth is inescapable? Are you suggesting that should we all carry weapons we would feel more safe and there would be less damaging and less frequent multiple murders? I was more so thinking murder and associated violent crime in general. Shockingly I am not a gun owner, although I was trained as a youth in the proper use and care of guns. If I were to carry a gun it may give me a sense of security but I wonder how much of that sense would be false versus actual. What I do do is engage myself in rigorous self-defense training that has given me more confidence in using my hands and my head rather than something tucked away in my coat, waistband or strapped to my leg (or the top of my car). For instance, several years ago I was surprised by a would be attacker – in mere seconds he appeared from nowhere, put the barrel of a handgun to my head and demanded money. The immediate intervention of a parking lot attendant (screaming) likely prevented any further escalation. Me carrying a gun may have given me brief and short lived feeling of safety, but it would have done very little to stop the crime.

        • esomhillgazette says:

          Glenn Beck talked about this very issue last night. We should have our right to own guns. Maybe if the justice system would be a little harsher on the Criminals who used the guns that they aren’t supposed to be in possession of to begin with, it might be different. You cannot punish good, responsible gun owners for the acts of criminals and murderers. If you take our guns, then truly only the outlaws will have them! Do you imagine that if the govt made all citizens turn in their guns, that the criminals would pay attention to it? They aren’t supposed to have them anyway! And 1 other thing, people have been killing each other with clubs and knives and rocks long before guns were invented. All taking the guns away would do, even if they got them ALL, is make it neccessary for those kind to find another kind of weapon. Every time someone is shot, whether dead or not, Liberals hop up and start hollering about our guns! Like the gun picked itself up and shot some one. If somone has the mentality to kill, they’re going to do it whether they can get a gun or not. Not jumping on anyone here. Just stating the facts as I see them.

          • I’m poor at making my point sometimes – take away all guns? No. But I am a huge advocate of limiting the type of weapons that can be made available. There is no reason any citizen needs an assault rifle – ever. Handguns – see ya. And to be certain – look – I know the bad guys all have weapons – buying ammunition should be as difficult as being licensed to be a fighter pilot. And yes – I am well aware that if someone wants to kill another person they will certainly find a way to do it. Guns are simply more immediate and tend to have a more lasting effect than other weapons. The purpose of a gun is to shoot something – usually to inflict death, no? The reason for guns then and today is vastly different, and we as creatures capable of making decisions have proven a distinct capability of making the wrong one all too often when it comes to guns.

            • The most recent murder hereabouts (last week) was committed with a rock. “Assault” is an action, not a weapon.

              Who is to say what other people “need”? Humans need food, water, shelter, air, fire, and in most cases, clothing. Everything else could be denied us on the basis of “need”. Do you trust any government with that much power?

              Since there is no such thing as an “assault weapon” except among the hoplophobes, what are we really talking about here? We are talking about a “semi-automatic gun”; one that shoots ONE bullet with every pull of the trigger. That’s it. Sometimes appearances are demonized, but they are only cosmetic differences. Any call for banning these guns is a veiled attempt at banning ALL guns. And by the way, the founders of the country intended for you and me to own and to carry “every terrible implement of the soldier”. That means, in todays world, fully automatic machine guns. They intended for you and me to be equally armed compared to the military (which they did not trust).

    • Ray: Please explain what the Orange Revolution has to do with your comments regarding the founders imperfections.

      And by the way, in my estimation they are a hell of alot closer to perfect than anything I have seen in my lifetime.

      • Sure – revolutions (as are often espoused herein) can be very successful without closets full of assault weapons.

    • Ray- Regular people, and even most violent criminals, don’t own the fully automatic weapons that have become routine for police departments. The “more firepower” myth is a self-serving myth for statists who listen to the Bradys. It just isn’t true at all.

      Still, I hope if you truly believe what you say, that you will avoid using a “fully-automatic assault quill” (computer) when you write from now on. After all, the founders couldn’t have possibly intended for you to use such a thing, and as we all know, words and ideas have killed more people throughout history than any type of weaponry.

      • Was simply an example Kent – when the bad guys have more firepower than the good guys then we have gone terribly wrong somewhere. It seems weird that the same folks that say gun control is bad also believe nuclear proliferation is bad also – that definitely does not make sense.

        • The only reason the bad guys have more firepower (if they really do, which they don’t) is that only the good guys are inclined to obey counterfeit “laws” regulating weapons. We really need to get over that.

          Nations, the one with the nuclear weapons, have no rights, therefore they have no right to keep and bear arms. Nations may have “authority”, legitimate or not, but that isn’t the same thing as “rights”. Authority is given to you by others, rights are yours by virtue of being born.

  17. If we have no right over sovereign nations, then who gives that most impotent body of politic called the United Nations the right to interfere with what any nation would do?

    I neither agree nor disagree. However having said that, and with certain recent disclosures about the FDR cabinet members political affiliations to the former Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin, we could have prevented our involvement in WW2 for perhaps another two to three years. I wonder just what the outcome would have been if that would have happened – (the ME262 would have been the frontline fighter for the Nazi’s and Japan would have built a better Kai-Tan and the Italians would have improved their torpedo boats) – We could be goose-stepping under a swastika or rising sun . . . who knows?

    My point being that we will always be between a rock and a hard place, no matter what we do for the simple reason that we are (for now) the ONLY actually free nation on this planet. That makes us the 800lb Gorilla in the room. Which is something no one can successfully ignore.

    Someone will always be trying to turn us into the meek and mild trained organ-grinders monkey.

    My personal opinion is if you are the 800lb Gorilla, then BE the 800lb Gorilla.

    • Black Flag says:

      ME262 would have wrecked havoc to the bombers, but would not have changed any outcome of the war. Strategic bombing was a wasted effort.

      Of course there was no way and no how any Japanese or German ‘take over the world’. The world events would have changed course without American involvement – for better or worse, we’ll never know. We just know what happened.

      As far as the UN, I agree – they have no right. As a body to “jaw jaw” as Churchill said is a good idea. A body to enforce “global action” will be and is a disaster.

      The ‘only free nation’ – a bit of a leap – but you’re passionate about your country.

      The more we use our power, the less we have when we’ll need it. 800lb gorilla’s get exhausted too.

      • BF,

        By our own admissions, you and I have been to many nations on this planet and stayed there for a while in each of them. We both know how other governments treat their citizenry (if we let O’prompter and his minion continue I fear that we will all find out).

        That is the “bit of a leap” that I was referring to. At least, for now, we do not have soldiers on every street corner demanding our identity papers like a lot of those other countries I have visited.

        The more the Gorilla sleeps, the longer it takes him to wake up.

  18. One thing that keeps sticking in my mind as I read the opening paragraph (“There is a certain honor in the biggest guy on the block protecting the 99 pound weakling from the bad kids.”) is that the bad guys are also “99 pound weaklings”. There is only one remaining “superpower”. The US government is it, for good or for bad. In other words, here’s this “big kid” roaming around with all the 99 pound weaklings whining to him about the other 99 pound weaklings who are picking on them. Instead of learing to defend themselves, or learning to get along, they run to the big guy, who then gets this idea in his head that he is somehow above everyone else. This is a recipe for disaster.

  19. you are lying.

  20. Mr. Fix says:

    Wow, you guys really are out of your minds, aren’t you?

  21. FreedomToTalk says:

    This may be very long and you may not want to take a second look, but please read it, you may not agree but this is my point of view on things.

    The United States have done some Bad Things (Bush Administration) and some Good Things (US Today), but overall I think that they have made plenty of excuses to invade other countries.

    If Iran threatens the US about helping Israel, they really aren’t making a mistake, why are the US helping Israelis invade other countries?
    To top that, these countries have huge amounts of Muslims that reside there.

    Islam is one of the largest religions in the world, along with Christians.
    there are 2.1 billion Christians in the world
    The Muslim Population is 1.82 billion in the year 2009.
    There are more Christians than Muslims and, yet most of those Christians just claim, but do not practice it.

    Not all Muslims are evil, yet there are very little of them that do not practice the religion, Muslims are mostly content.

    I personally do not believe the “9/11”, but that does not mean you shouldn’t too.
    My point of view is that it was put together and that the building was demolished, think about it, American engineers are very smart, they make sure that anything can be “nearly” indestructible…Terrorist are framing muslims.

    I have read the Holy books of many religions, and I know that someone who kills or causes destruction is not a proper muslim.
    Why else do you think Muslims countries mostly depend on militia for support in case of war.

  22. the whole iran problem is not islam actually!!! i’ve born here,i’m iranian.my mother’s muslim but i really don’t care about islam! religion is opuim, yea our country sux.it really does,but if we were christian or if we were jewish, our country still would suck!! islam is just a way o brainwash civil ppl,so when you’re spending time on readin that quran (which has no point in it) you don’t think about the lie propaganda n democracy.

    (n beside i know that i’m in danger of getting arrested cause of what i said above!!!! email me guys, if i cloudn’t answer it means that i’m in jail so plz notice unicef n peace cores!!!)

  23. Loved leader says:

    We can ((build Iran’s Without USA))

  24. fuke the America and Israel

  25. I never support such actions and behaviors but it was a horrible judgment about others who western governments never like them. worse than these pictures and reports have done in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Russia and… but they are friends of US! no sanction has done against them. What US himself has done in Guantanamo was terrible but no one can restrict them.
    Safety of Americans not means unsafe conditions for others in Afghanistan , Iraq, Somali…. Poverty is the motivation factor for Taliban, who used Saudi Arabia Dollars. send money,If people have the job and future, Terrorism will be stopped.

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