Foreign Policy Needs a New Policy

Blame America TourI am going to do my best to answer several of the positions taken on this site by various folks when it comes to our foreign policy. The fact is that our foreign policy in America is drastically flawed. Unfortunately so are some of the positions that have been espoused on the site when discussing foreign policy. The flaws are many, from taking a interventionist position within the world stage, to using that interventionist policy as a way to excuse away the heinous actions of others, many fail to see the reality of the world as it exists. I feel like I don’t suffer from that lapse in reality. I am not unique, but I am not just another dumb kid when it comes to examining the situation either. What I am is someone who has served this country, both here and abroad. I have seen the world first hand. I have seen the conflicts first hand. I have worked in Washington and seen the intel first hand. And what I offer on this subject is a voice not influenced by a hatred for either side and not rendered blind by a bias that keeps me from seeing the realities we face abroad. But that doesn’t make me right. So everything I say is certainly up for debate.

I have been very clear about where I would like to see our foreign policy go in past articles. For example, on March 9, I took the time to answer some questions that Just a Citizen directed at the veterans on the site:

World According to America1. Do you agree with the premise that our use of military force should be limited to only responding to those who attack us? Yes and No. I believe that we should be able to respond to aggression, no matter where it is aimed. We should only be able to initiate that response if the attack was aimed directly at us. So that means to me a direct attack on an ally can provoke us using military force, but only if that ally is formally requesting our help and they are not the aggressor. At that point, assist in repelling the aggression for them and disengage. The key here is we are responding to direct aggression in those instances. I do, however, feel we have the right to attack an iminent threat as well. But in a very limited set of circumstances. We couldn’t attack Iran right now, for example. But if they launched a nuclear strike on Israel and told us we were next, they are now a credible threat and I do believe we should take away their ability to follow up on their threat. The bottom line for me is that I don’t agree that we should be as passive as Kent or BF would espouse. However, we are far too active today, and should be doing far less. If we did, there might not be nearly as much of a need for such a large military.

2. Should we form military alliances with others simply to prevent attack on them (this is one way we get sucked in)? If they really are our allies, we have to stick up for them. We are the big guy in the group. If we went out with friends and one of us was a powerful brute and he didn’t defend us from some random guy in the parking lot who picked a fight, we would probably not be happy with him. I do, however, believe that this type of action must be in defense only. If England or Israel wants to pick a fight, they do so on their own. And if the one they pick a fight with whips their ass, tough luck. We do get sucked in a lot now, but a drastic change in posture for us could change that and limit it greatly.

Kennedy Obama Policy3. If you agree to #1, then can we defend our country by returning all military personnel to our own lands? We cannot and should not. In terms of Iraq and Afghanistan, absolutely bring them home. But when one of our allies allows us to have a base in their country, I have no issue with that. The second that ally wants us out, we should be gone. This allows us the ability to have a forward defense. A missle defense shield in old Russia isn’t a bad thing if it can shoot down a missle before it gets close to us. The key isn’t having all bases here, it is a change in posture that moves us to a completely defensive posture in those bases abroad. One big thing to consider is that our bases abroad do a lot to prevent attacks on our allies. Bad intentioned people know that we will jump into the fight, and they know it won’t take us three weeks to get there. Knowing that the US Air Force has fighter jets in a base in England or Italy is far more likely to make enemies think twice. The alternative is that it would take 2-3 weeks to float an Aircraft Carrier Fleet elsewhere to defend an ally, which is not nearly as much of a deterrent. Again the answer is not closing bases in ally countries, it is switching to a defensive only posture no matter where we are.

Weapons then Aid Cartoon4. Your thoughts on what constitutes an attack on the USA, especially in light of the new enemy without a definitive country. Some folks forget Iraq was shooting at our pilots on almost a daily basis. If you were in charge would you have considered this adequate justification for invasiion? For invasion, No, for shooting back at those shooting at us, yes. I stop short of saying that we EVER had justification for invading Iraq. I will argue WMD proof verus not and the complete irrelevance of that argument to begin with, but that doesn’t mean I think we were justified to invade. Take some actions? Absolutely. Full scale invasion, which should be a last step taken against a country that is clearly offensive, No. An attack is just that, an attack. 9/11 was an attack. I know that the current environment makes identifying an enemy very difficult. How do you hold Pakistan responsible for the actions of a Pakistani terrorist? But I think moving to a far more defensive position can clear that up right away. We heard a lot about fighting terrorism in Iraq rather than here at home. Then we heard about how we couldn’t fight them because they don’t fight in uniform and they blend with the people. Let’s eliminate the second part by eliminating the first. Fight them here, on our turf, where they are clear aggressors and they don’t have the support of the innocent people. I will take fighting terrorists in my house over fighting them in theirs any day. But that is the tactician in me.

I took that time because I thought as the person writing the site, and throwing around discussions about foreign policy, I should take the time to make sure that people understood where I am coming from in terms of where America should be as opposed to where it is. I am going to further expand on my reasoning tonight. We had the discussion on Iran the other night. And that turned into a large discussion on the “American mercantilism” the horrors of modern day American foreign policy. I will acknowledge those. There are many.

America’s mistake over the years has been the strict adherence to a policy of interventionism. There is no way around that in my mind. I understand the philosophy. The world is a complex and dangerous place. As a world power, we feel obligated to protect the weak, support our allies, and take an offensive position against those who seem to want to do us harm. I understand that position. I don’t necessarily agree with it in all situations, but I understand it, because many years ago that was the very position that I rested my hat, and my career, on.

Teddy Roosevelt Foreign Policy CartoonThe founding father’s did not intend for us to take this interventionist stance in the world. Thomas Jefferson made the famous quote that America should seek “peace, commerce, and friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” For a while our country, too weak to perform on the global stage as we do now, followed that mantra. At some point, I consider that point the turn of the century, we decided that we were powerful enough to begin playing ball with the big boys, and we began down the road of interventionism in all of its wicked forms. From controlling commerce relations to meddling in foreign governments to outright physical warfare, we have been one of the world leaders in that realm ever since.

I know that there are those who claim that the founding fathers lived in a simpler time and couldn’t possibly foresee the world today and the need for foreign policy as we now play it. I disagree. I think they were almost psychic in their vision. They knew the trouble that meddling in world affairs would bring. They wanted to keep us from doing so. The folks who will argue this point of view need to answer a single question that I have asked for the last several years, and that Ron Paul gave to me in his 2004 book, “The Revolution: A Manifesto”. That question is what exactly has the foreign policy stance of the last 100 years done for us? What good purpose or national interest have they served?

Bush MuscleFor example our consistent presence and meddling in the Middle East. And we must admit that most of this is due to the presence of a certain black liquid substance below ground there. We have always had the argument that the work our country does in the Middle East is important because we need oil, and without our government “protecting our interests” in that region, we would see a spike in oil prices that would crush our economy. I don’t buy that we would see those spikes, but suppose we assume that we would. Instead of $10 a gallon oil, we have spent TRILLIONS and TRILLIONS on several wars, massive amounts of rebuilding, massive intrusion into the rights of sovereign nations. Just think about all the costs associated with everything we have done in the Middle East since 1950. From covertly changing Iran’s government to Israel to Kuwait to Afghanistan (both in 1980 and now). Just think about how much money we have spent there. It is mind-boggling. Do you think without the taxes that had to be collected to pay for all those actions (remember this is TENS OF TRILLIONS of government spending), we might have had Americans having a lot more money in their bank accounts and we wouldn’t much care if gas was $10 a gallon. Hell for that matter, everyone could afford health insurance and we would be having that asinine debate either.

President George W. Bush had my vote in for the 2000 elections because of what he said about foreign policy. He ran on a stance of America being a moral leader, not intervening in other country’s business, and ending the practice of forcing our way on the rest of the world. He decried as foul the idea of nation building. Then 9/11 happened and he got my vote again in 2004 because I fell for the fear of being attacked again if we didn’t act. I didn’t, and still don’t, believe that John Kerry was the right choice to protect this country. By the end of Bush’s two terms I was disgusted to see that a man who ran on the principles of a foreign policy I agreed with had done a complete 180 in so short a time. Perhaps he was lying from the start, or perhaps he got pissed on 9/11 and said screw it. I don’t know, but I know he became something I did not agree with.

Iran I was being NICEI despise President Obama’s apology tours and his continued speeches decrying how horrible America has been. But not because I don’t agree that we have done plenty wrong. I simply expect more from the President. If I bought the Baltimore Orioles tomorrow, I would not, as the owner come out and say this organization sucks. I would simply make us better. And that is what the President needs to do. If Barack Obama wants to earn a place as a great President in history, he needs to drastically change our foreign policy and prove to the world, and more importantly to Americans, that there is a better way forward. And that way forward is to treat all nations as our equals, stop imposing our will on them, and become a country who will destroy those who attack us, but who will never initiate force against another.

Taliban Women to CollegeBecause you cannot blame much of the world for despising our country and what it has become. We are a bully. It is unfortunate, but true. We need to be a leader. A leader in a gang is the toughest guy who is volatile and violent. That is not the type of leader we need to be. A leader in the business world is one who leads by example, supports those who endeavor to be better, and acts in a fair and moral manner. THAT is what America should be. In so many ways we are the absolute best country on the face of the earth. A beacon for the rest of the world. And we ruin it with our foreign policy. What is the phrase, you get more with honey than vinegar? Why do we have massive warehouses full of vinegar and a rapidly disappearing honeybee population?

I know that 9/11 is a big issue and a point of contention for those that do not like the foreign policy of non-interventionism. But the question that people have to ask is what were the real reasons for those attacks on our soil? Was it because they simply despise our freedom and wealth and our choice of religion? Was it because the “muslims simply want to destroy and murder anyone who does not renounce their faith and convert to Islam?” I know many of you say yes. That is what the soundbite politicians and media tell us. I disagree. That was a small part in a big play. A larger part is the disdain they have for the fact that we have constantly had troops in their region of the world, that we have bombed their cities, that we have imposed massive sanctions on them that resulted in the deaths of millions of their people, that we have supported oppressive and horrible regimes in their countries (The Shah of Iran for example).

GOP IranThey have a good reason to not like America and what she has become. There are many things that we do in the world that we simply should not be doing. And please don’t make the argument that the “nice” muslims are guilty because they don’t stand up to the “evil” muslims. Because if you do, then you are in favor of the 9/11 attacks because the “nice” Americans didn’t stand up to the “evil” American government and stop them from attacking and meddling.

So I will stand by my belief that America must reform her ways. We must renounce, in a loud and thunderous voice, the government foreign policies that support interventionism throughout the world. We must learn that we can be the leader of the world, not at the point of a gun, but with the morality and freedom the country was founded on. We must take a completely defensive posture throughout the world. My guess is that over time, the world will forgive us for what we have done that was wrong, and we may find that it isn’t so hard to gain support when threatened by a radical force out there. Our policy of interventionism has put Americans at a greater risk from those who we have meddled in the affairs of. And that just isn’t smart decision making.

The bottom line for me is that we must change our foreign policy because the foreign policy that has been embraced for the last 100 years has not made us better, stronger, or safer. In fact, I would argue that it has done the opposite. It will not be a quick or easy task to change our foreign policy. In fact we are so intertwined at this point it will take significant effort, focus, and time. But we must do this if the United States is to regain any form of moral high ground or stature in the world.

Obama becomes Bush CartoonAnd before I forget to say so, this interventionist policy is equally applied by both parties. I know the Republicans are often called the “warmongering” party. But both parties share the blame for this foreign policy of interventionism EQUALLY. Democrats are just as warmongering and meddling in foreign sovereignty as Republicans. And I do mean equally, not even a shred less guilty, despite the fact that they do it in sometimes different ways.

So there you have it…. oh, but wait.

I forgot someone.

Oh, Black Flag, you didn’t think I would forget you… did you?

There is equally a flawed position being argued by you, and it is about time that you were called on this one. So I will be the one to do it. You tend to argue on the other side of the blame game. What the terrorists do is justified because of what the mercantilist policies of America have done to them. I have watched you consistently point out all the flaws of American interventionism, and rightly so. But you have far too often dismissed the actions of those who do what they do in the name of standing up to America.

And there, my supremely intelligent friend, you are being hypocritical and somewhat contradictory in your position.

Outraged Muhammad CartoonI cannot remember where I read it, but I recall a quote that has stuck in my head for a few years.

“Only a fool would place the moral responsibility for terrorism on anyone but the terrorists who complete those acts.”

Regardless of what American has done, there is no justification for the actions of a terrorist. None. There is no honor in walking into a market and blowing up women and children who are innocent. There is no justification for terrorist bombings that kill innocent people. As you have argued many times, when it wasn’t the American government being discussed, there is absolutely no moral justification for revenge killing or or acting outside of moral or ethical boundaries. It is one thing to say you understand the reasons why those who commit those acts do so. It is quite another to not decry them as equally heinous in nature. Regardless of how immoral the initial acts of the United States when they take action abroad, that is not a justification of further immoral behavior.

Death to Those Call Us ViolentIsrael is immoral for what they do in Gaza. That does not make launching random rockets into Israel morally right. Iran has every right to be morally outraged with our meddling in their government in 1953. That does not make insurgents coming to Iraq and blowing up women and children morally right.

It is hypocritical to so strongly argue that America is so evil for the actions that are taken that are immoral while dismissing the fact that those on the other side who kill innocents are just as immoral and evil.

It is contradictory to justify the taking of life by terrorists in response to American actions while simultaneously decrying the death penalty for those proven to have murdered, and further dismissing the fact that some of what America does is a payback for actions taken against us. Afghanistan is an example. I know you will focus on this statement instead of my point, but save it for another time. There will be a later date for discussing Afghanistan.

I know you rely on the ability to be better than the rest of us at playing the blame game and being able to always go back to “America started it”, but the reality is that immoral is immoral. Murder is murder. And both sides are guilty in all of the conflicts we have discussed. No side is less guilty. No side is more guilty.

That is all. I really am done now. Sorry to everyone for such a long article.

Woman Terrorist Peace Sign

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Comments

  1. Ray Hawkins says:

    USW – good article my friend (and thanks for setting my brother-in-law straight on the Yanks). Two questions popped up if you can respond:

    From a military perspective what is defensive versus offensive posture? Is it based on number of troops? Proximity to hostile borders?

    The apology issue – I read through two statements you made that confuse me:

    “I despise President Obama’s apology tours and his continued speeches decrying how horrible America has been. But not because I don’t agree that we have done plenty wrong.”

    and then…….

    “We must renounce, in a loud and thunderous voice, the government foreign policies that support interventionism throughout the world.”

    The two statements seem conflicting to me. I have watched/viewed the speeches – I saw most of it as acknowledging and then renouncing what occurred in the past (although I reject any specific finger pointing – this you are also right about) but also, in several cases, calling others out (although not as direct as I would like) and then setting the table and asking how we are going to ‘do this’ going forward. “Apologist” seems out of sorts – just my imho.

    Anyway – good work.

    Thanks.

    Look forward to Flag’s retort.

    • I’m with Ray here (shocker, I know). I have to say that, as the current POTUS, he ultimately is representative of the US to the world. We have trespassed against them. We cannot seek forgiveness for our sins without first apologizing.

      If someone offended you, you might forgive them. But it would be much harder for you to do so, if they refused to apologize. Even saying “what I did was wrong” is not sufficient. You would want to hear the words “I am sorry for what I did to you,” would you not? Why is it so different for nations?

      I’m sure your mother told you growing up that you have to apologize when you do something wrong, not merely acknowledge the error and move along with your life.

      In my humble opinion, Obama should be grovelling for the world’s forgiveness. He should be blasting in no uncertain terms the Bush era aggression and all that came before it. The world needs to know that we are seriously repentant with regards to our past. But at the same time, I do agree with USW, that we cannot allow ourselves to appear weak. It must be clear that we are still willing and able to meet force with force.

      Though, I wonder… if we accept (and I know many here do not) that an Iranian nuke constitutes an unacceptable threat to Israel (our ally), middle-east stability (our financial interests – oil is, afterall, the lifeblood of our economy), to ourselves (would you really put it past them to “lose” one which would be “found” by Al Queda?), and to the world (if they decide that exporting the technology is in their interests..), then if we accept that it is in unacceptable risk, and they won’t listen at the bargaining table, how do we respond? A seal team? Air strike? Sanctions don’t seem to work and an invasion seems overkill, so how? We are the big kid on the block and the onus to act fall on us, so how does the non-aggressive US act to defend itself and its interests?

      • Bottom Line says:

        Mathius – “You would want to hear the words “I am sorry for what I did to you,” would you not?”

        BL – I wouldn’t want to hear much of anything. An active gesture would be the only way I would trust their intent.

        Say is one thing. Does is another. Actions speak louder than words.

        Mathius – “In my humble opinion, Obama should be grovelling for the world’s forgiveness.”

        BL – Groveling?
        I think not.

        Demonstrating gestures of good will?
        Absolutely.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I see several problems with Obama groveling for the world’s forgiveness:

        1. Obama is not Bush, nor is he any President prior to Bush. If he wishes to apologize he should clearly state, “Our Nation has wronged you under the leadership of other men. I am not any of those men.”
        That is all he needs to say. Then he needs to back up those words with concrete actions that clearly show a differentiation between himself and the “other men”.

        2. Groveling is essentially debasing oneself in front of others. It shows no dignity. One who grovels deserves to be spat upon. I am sure that in the eyes of some, we do indeed deserve to be spat upon for things we have done in the past, but that is NOT the image that we want to portray to the rest of the world. Dignified humility? Yes. Groveling? No.

        3. Groveling also shows that you are willing to put yourself in a weak position relative to someone else. This probably isn’t a great idea. It is far better to continue to indicate that we are strong; however, we need to demonstrate that now we are willing to reserve our strength to be used against those that attempt to harm us, rather than simply use it whenever and wherever we feel like it. Most other people do not respect weakness. Other people respect strength, especially if it is paired with self-control.

        However, NO ONE respects someone that SAYS “I apologize” and then continues to hit you in the face. People call a person like that a liar and a hypocrite.

        • 1. No, mercifully, he is not Bush. But he is the emissary of the US to the world. He is our face. If we committed grave sins against the world, they cannot simply be excused as the actions of the previous steward. Most of Congress is the same. Most of the government is the same. We are the same nation and the same people who allowed it. They do not care that we hung a sign on the White House door saying “Under New Management.” He must own our prior actions. Can I excuse my actions from when I was a teenager by simply saying “I was another person back then”?

          2. Perhaps grovelling is too strong of a word, but he needs to emphatically take personal responsiblitity for the mess he inherrited. Nobody like excuse, and they do not care if it was our previous leader – it was the US’s actions. Because we are part of the country, we see the distinction more clearly, but right after WWII, did you stop caring that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor – did you simply write it off because it was under different management at the time? I doubt it.

          3. Nobody will ever think the US is weak as long as we maintain the military power we do. Who would be so foolish as to perceive a sincere desire to rejoin the world community on humble terms as a sign that we will allow ourselves to be abused? Humility will get us further on the world stage than any show of strength.

          However, NO ONE respects someone that SAYS “I apologize” and then continues to hit you in the face. People call a person like that a liar and a hypocrite.

          Agree. The ship of state turns slowly. I think he honestly wants to scale back, but it is difficult. Let’s revisit this point in two years.

          • But I will admit.. I haven’t seen much to back up that faith.. maybe I’m just fooling myself because I want to believe that he will scale back… Sigh….

    • Ray,

      Some good questions.

      From a military perspective what is defensive versus offensive posture? Is it based on number of troops? Proximity to hostile borders?

      This is always tough to define. I think it starts with having soldiers not be “active” in other regions of the world where we are over-reaching our authority. But the overall thing isn’t about (at least for me) the number of troops or proximity. Ken Shamrock can sit in the booth next to me at IHOP without me feeling threatened. But when he starts throwing nasty looks my way and shouting threats over to me, I feel threatened and I am likely to take a shot at him when he isn’t looking.

      It is about what we say and do. We have to stop threatening to use those troops. We have to also stop rushing into combat and using our soldiers any time we fail diplomatically. The US currently uses its military as the enforcement wing of its foreign policy desires. We have to stop doing that. I hope this answers your question satisfactorily. If not, let me know.

      As to the two statements that seem in contradiction. I don’t like the President going abroad and telling the world how bad we have been. I don’t like him apologizing. For one, it makes us appear to be a weak country. More important, the real definition of being sorry for what you have done is making sure you never have to apologize for the same thing again. The apologies on the world stage make us appear weak, and too absolutely nothing else positive for us.

      As for the loud and thunderous voice, I don’t want that to be from the President. I want it to be from the citizens. The citizens of the US are the ones who have to loudly say to our government that we are not willing to put up with what is going on right now. I actually think that the citizens started down this path in electing Obama. They really did believe that they were voting for real change in DC. There will be a huge backlash because they realize now they didn’t get the change they thought they were getting.

  2. USW….question…now that Pakistan has been distablized should the US even consider leaving the area? I am thinking about the nukes here…..kinda worries me.

    • post for comments..

    • Amazed,

      I will have to really think about this one for a bit. But I do want to say that the US has got to find a way to disengage from the rest of the world’s affairs. Unfortunately I think that this means that our government has to stop using the threat of nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands as an excuse for being an occupying force, to for a reason to intervene.

      Completely defensive in posture means completely defensive in posture. Look at it this way. There is nothing we can do to stop a country that wants to do so from obtaining nuclear capability. There is nothing we can do to stop terrorists who are determined enough from using a nuclear device as a weapon against us. But they are not a threat to our existence. They might hit a city, and that would be horrible and devastating. But it wouldn’t threaten our existence. And the reality is that we are the lion in a cage of cats. Don’t poke the lion with too big of a stick applies here. 9/11 was a mere annoyance on the grand scheme of things. And look at the reaction from the US, 8 years of war and a lot of dead people. Terrorists are not silly enough to think they can actually defeat us. So I highly doubt they are willing to use a nuke and incur the wrath of a nation that is as powerful as us, and that would, at that point, be no holds barred. If we were attacked with a nuclear weapon, my guess is that no less than two countries in the world would be eliminated in our fury. Even the terrorists don’t want to get us that angry.

      • USW….I agree. I too wish for a defensive instead of an offensive posture for the US. I do not think that means we sit on our duff like WW1 an wait till half the world is in danger of becoming POW’s before helping other countries, but I think they need to ask for our help. I just worry over the nukes in countries that are not capable of guarding them. The terrorist do not have the capailities of getting the nukes into the US very easily but there are countries that could be in a very grave position if nukes fell into the wrong hands. If we were in the position to stop the theft of the nukes, and we did not, would we not be cupable for the damage when it is use else where? It is nearly like we have gone so far that we have put ourselves into a catch 22 position and to me that is a very scary place to be.

  3. We are at a point in the United States where drastic and radical changes must be made to our foreign policy. Since WWII, we have maintained large military forces around the world and have engaged in military alliances that no longer serve a purpose today. We can no longer afford to maintain military forces around the world. I understand the forward deployment argument but we can trim down our commitments.

    I am guilty of over simplification but I would do the following:

    1. End the NATO alliance. Europe is capable of defending themselves. Pull all troops out of Europe. If those countries allow us to maintain bases there, then I propose maintaining some bases but at a minimum level. By minimum I am talking about maintenance of the bases only with maintenance crews. We would no longer maintain large numbers of jet fighters, tanks, artillery, etc.
    2. Pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
    3. Pull all troops out of Japan. Again, we could maintain bases if they let us. Japan is capable of defending themselves.
    4. Pull out of South Korea.
    5. Resume underground nuclear tests in the USA to ensure the integrity of our weapons.

    The bottom line is that we can no longer afford to maintain a large military around the world and need to trim our military down. I’m in favor of bringing most, if not all, troops home. I would maintain a large Navy.

    • 1. I don’t think it wise to have Europe feel that we are deserting them… nature abhors a vacuum, and someone who seek to fill it. China, perhaps? But yes, we could scale back somewhat.

      2. AMEN. And replace the troops with humanitarian worker.

      3. AMEN. Japan probably has plenty of defensive capability given their constant Godzilla attacks. Plus, who are we kidding, they probably have death rays and all other kinds of cool tech. It’s Japan for crying out loud!

      4. Eh… not so fast there, cowboy.. we pull out of South Korea and I promise you, the will be attacked immediately by North Korea. This is a place where I think our presence is legitimately needed (and as a bonus, we are in a pretty clearly defensive posture). Though N.K. may spin it otherwise, their government knows that we are not threatening them, but rather just protecting S.K. This, I think, is exactly how the military should be used to defend our allies.

      5. NO! We have plenty of nuclear capability. Our weapons work just fine (and if they don’t, that’s fine, too*). Detonating a few is going to do nothing except scare the bejesus out of the rest of the planet. Russia would interpret it as a challenge. Putin would respond in kind. The French would probably get in on it because they still think they matter. N.K. and Iran will feel it’s even more important to develop nukes. Israel.. well they’ll sit quietly and pretend they don’t have any. China will see the US and Russia as saber rattling and decide that it should flex a little and test a few. And now we’re in a three-way cold-war with a has-been and the up-and-comer. So now we’ve destabilized the planet.. and for what?

      *The only scenario where we launch nuclear missiles is as a response to a massive nuclear strike against us. MAD. And if they launch against us, we are dead, killing them too won’t change anything. I would prefer that we not kill millions (billions?) out of spite. If we launch for any other reason (WWIII, etc), we would have plenty of time to test them for effectiveness before we needed them.

      Adding, I don’t know about WWIII, but WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones.

      • Mathius said:

        “2. AMEN. And replace the troops with humanitarian worker.”

        That would equal dead humanitarian workers at that point. They do not want anyone there.

        • Hmm.. true.. not sure what to do.. but we can’t leave them like they are.. we’ve caused too much devastation to just up and leave them to their misery. Yes, a healthy portion of it may have been deserved, but we still have to clean up the mess we’re leaving.

          it’s a tough question and I don’t have the answers…

      • Mathius:

        4. We have been in South Korea for over 50 years. I understand the issues with N. Korea. I no longer want to defend South Korea. It is not U.S. territory. The South should be able to defend themselves. If the North invades after we leave that’s not our concern. Do we have a treaty with South Korea that we will defend them? We are there due to United Nations action and the U.S. sent the bulk of troops. I doubt that there are other countries with troops in the South.

        5. I may be off on this issue. I don’t want to start another Cold War with Russia or China. North Korea and Iran will continue to work on nuclear weapons no matter what we do. I want our nuclear weapons to work and I believe that they deteriorate over time. If we can refurbish them to ensure that they work then I’m fine with that. We need to maintain deterrence, especially if we pull most of our troops out from around the world.

  4. CanadianFox says:

    Us Weapon,

    It has been a long time my friend and I just happened to come across your website and am really glad I did. I support what you have said on our need for foreign policy change. As my “handle” suggests I have spent a fair amount of time in the “land north of us” and can tell you quite honestly that although our country is liked and respected there – we ARE definitely viewed as a bully. And no one fed that “image” better than George “W” Bush. Canadians are funny when they talk about it because as a whole they are an extremely, gracious people. You have to let them know how you felt about “W” yourself before they open up their true feelings. But once that happens let me tell you one thing for sure – they let you know very quickly that he was despised and hated. And it was all about his “attitude” and choice of foreign policy. Now if the response I get from an extremely docile, peaceful population such as this is any indication – I cannot begin to imagine the feelings of people in countries we have actually “meddled” in.

    The question then becomes , “how do we change”? It has amazed me how we go into countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and arrogantly think we are going to change their culture and beliefs. Cultures that they have had for decades and centuries. Who do we think we are? LOL! Look at us as we try to change our own country. Look at how a certain segment of our population (who I would characterize as the rich “haves”) are fighting change. Look at what it has done to our political atmosphere. Totally divisive and poisonous because of pandering politicians (on both sides) utilizing “sound bites” in the media to stir their “bases” up.

    My point is this. We do not even know how to effect or handle “change” ourselves without turning this into our own “cultural war”. How do we even begin to believe we can understand another countries “problems”?

    You are exactly right in saying we need to get our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan as soon as we can. We need to stop “bleeding ourselves financially” on lost causes. I have said (to anyone who will listen) that I fully expect Iraq to split into three seperate entities and we will end up with a “base” in Kurdistan. I agree – we need a base in a friendly entity over there. The main reason the “cold war” was so effective was because of deterrence and fear of total mass destruction.

    Well, I have said more than I thought I would. But I had to comment on your post… it was very well thought and put together.

    CND FOX

    • Hey Candian Fox,

      I have to disagree with George Bush being the culprit of America’s bully reputation. I lived in Germany from 1984 to 1991. Guess what. Regean was ‘bully’. I lived in England from ’95 to ’97, Clinton and ‘you Americans are bullying and ruining the world’. By the time Bush came along I’d come to the conclusion that hatred of America wasn’t about foreign policy. It was about Leftist propaganda. I’m a firm believer in giving people what they want. Yeah, lets pull out everywhere. Let’s go isolationist. Let the average world schmuck have want he or she demands. And when they have problems ten time worse than they have with America being involved, just tell them, “hey you insisted on having the rope, now take a swing.”

      If we had a president who really wanted to improve America, putting America first would be a great opportunity. Unfortunately for Americans, we have a guy in office, you wants to destroy the country so he can remake it into his fanatasy land.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        From Teddy Roosevelt onwards American “foreign policy” has been pretty consistent. I think that is what USW was trying to point out. I am pretty sure when he said that it has been interventionist since the turn of the century he meant starting at around 1900 (not 2000).

        Correct me if I am wrong on that USW.

        • You are absolutely right Peter. That was why I put the picture of Teddy Roosevelt in the mix. I was hoping it would help everyone understand that I meant the turn of 1900, not 2000.

          • I’m still not used to it being a new century.. I still think of “last decade” as the 80’s.. Maybe I’ll get there eventually, but I thought it was pretty clear what your meaning was.

            But I am going to have to agree with Mr. Fox, that Bush’s attitude while doing the same things was substantively worse. If a man wrongs you but explains, he’s sorry, but he feels he must because XYZ, you may still object, but you will probably not hate him for it and you are much more apt to forgive him afterward. However, if he says “do what I say or you’re with the terr’ist[sic],” you’re going to object and hate him. How dare he? It’s a subtle distinction but I think it makes a difference.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Mathius,

              If someone wanted to kill you, but before they did it, they came up to you and said, “Sorry old chap, but I feel like your a menace to society, so I have to kill you now.” you are telling me you would not hate him and would be much more apt to forgive him?

              • Yes, Peter, I would. Perhaps not much, and I would still oppose his efforts to kill me, but I would understand it from his point of view. I would still object, but assuming his reasons were good (a big assumption), I would not hate him for it. And if he later came to me and said “I feel that you are no longer a hazard to society, I no longer seek to kill you, I am sorry that I felt it was necessary.” I still might be pissed (very likely), but I would be far more likely to get over it.

                Think about it in different terms. Someone cuts you off in traffic causing you to hid the guard rail and then drives off, you get angry.

                Scenario A: But if that someone could explain to you that their child’s spleen had ruptured in a freak playground accident and they had to cut you off to get to the hospital or their child would die and that they’re sorry they cut you off and they’re sorry about the damage to your car, but they simply felt they had no choice.. well, you’d probably get over it pretty fast, no? You still might be annoyed, and you’d still probably want them to pay for the damages, but you would forgive them.

                Scenario B: That person says “ha, screw you. I drive a Humvee and can do whatever I want. You were in my way, so I ran you off the road so that I can get where I’m going sooner.” Now how do you feel about it? Are you likely to forgive this person?

                Attitude makes all the difference in the world. If we explained to the Iraqi people that, sorry, we don’t want to do this, but we think your government has WMDs and plans to give them to terrorists, they will forgive our intrusion – maybe not immediately, but eventually. If we say instead, we think your government has WMDs and we’re not going to allow that, so we’re going to ‘shock and awe’ you (what condescension!), and there is nothing you can do to stop us so we don’t really care what you think, oh and we have no respect for you or your culture and think you’re all just a bunch of backward a-rabs, yeehaw,” they are going to hold it against us much longer. But the action in both is identical: we invade, overthrow their government, institute a sham, kill a bunch of people, etc. But one they’ll eventually forgive and the other they’ll hate us eternally for. And in that part of the world, they know how to hold a grudge.

              • I think the Left’s problem with Bush is that not only did he put American interests first as he believed them to be, but he refused to apologize for it. Personally, I respect someone who’s like that, much more than some wimpy, wussy type who is overly concerned about what ‘people’ think. I’m pretty much the same way. I’m a non-conformist and I can respect that quality in others.

              • Riding rough-shod over others is not an admirable quality.

              • Saddam Hussein, AQ and the Taliban were the only ones Bush ‘ran roughshod’ over. I admire him for it. Having what’s called backbone and principles isn’t the same as running roughshod. Unless you’re a liberal. I have no admiration for the overseas-ass kisser-in-chief.

                Why is you seem to admire ‘riding roughshod’ when Obama does it to Americans who oppose his Marxist/communist agenda? How is that? If you dispise Bush for ‘running roughsod, how can you not despise Obama?

              • Bottom Line says:

                Matt,

                So what if the person rushing the child to the hospital says…

                “Screw you A-hole, I had to take my kid to the ER.”

                …and the guy in the hummer said…

                “Sorry, I was just being an asshole. Please forgive me, I’ll be more than happy to pay for repairs”.

                ???

              • EXACTLY!

                Attitude makes the difference.

          • A look at history shows that the US came late to the game of expansionist sentiment. The European nations had been in the expansionist mode since Columbus and were in the beginnings of a contraction of influence by 1900. Our first nation state to be abused was Mexico in 1846, then Spain in 1898. Without the Mexican War of 1846 our entire Southwestern part of this country would still belong to Mexico. In 1846 we were the big boy on the block and went down south and beat up the little kid and took away over half of the nation of Mexico, how immoral is that? Now fast forward to 1898 to the Spanish American War where we went on the international stage of intervention and fought a war with Spain over a bunch of false trumped up charges. But hey it netted us Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

            I say until the morons in Washington begin to act moral, nothing will change on the foreign policy front. Immoral men will never get it right.

        • Actually it began in the early 1800’s.

  5. Common Man says:

    All;

    JAC, USW, BF especially. Is what he talks about true? What treaty is he talking about? What are the complications it Obama does sign?

    CM

  6. Ray’s Nightmare is being composed – Hopefully UNDER 20,000 words…. 😉

  7. Bottom Line says:

    USW – “1. Do you agree with the premise that our use of military force should be limited to only responding to those who attack us?”

    BL – Yes and no.

    Yes, we should maintain a strictly defensive posture. However, defense is not limited to just ourselves, but would include our CLOSEST allies.

    USW – “So that means to me a direct attack on an ally can provoke us using military force, but only if that ally is formally requesting our help and they are not the aggressor. At that point, assist in repelling the aggression for them and disengage.”

    BL – Exactly.

    USW – “I do, however, feel we have the right to attack an iminent threat as well. But in a very limited set of circumstances. We couldn’t attack Iran right now, for example. But if they launched a nuclear strike on Israel and told us we were next, they are now a credible threat.”

    BL – In response to such threats…
    get into position, lock and load, closely monitor, and wait. If one tiny piece of ordinance leaves the ground…

    Completely and thoroughly annihilate their country in it’s entirety by whatever means necessary.

    USW – “2. Should we form military alliances with others simply to prevent attack on them (this is one way we get sucked in)?”

    BL – No. Let the stupid kids fall off of the cliff. Not our problem. Not our responsibility.

    USW – “If England or Israel wants to pick a fight, they do so on their own. And if the one they pick a fight with whips their ass, tough luck.”

    BL – Exactly.

    USW – “3. If you agree to #1, then can we defend our country by returning all military personnel to our own lands?”

    BL – No. Defense doesn’t work like that. Deployment elsewhere is necessary. We can, however, reduce the number of deployed troops to a bare minimum. I.E.: a few well selected bases on allied soil and naval patrols/positioning.

    USW – “The key isn’t having all bases here, it is a change in posture that moves us to a completely defensive posture in those bases abroad.”

    BL – Exactly.

    USW – “One big thing to consider is that our bases abroad do a lot to prevent attacks on our allies. Bad intentioned people know that we will jump into the fight, and they know it won’t take us three weeks to get there. Knowing that the US Air Force has fighter jets in a base in England or Italy is far more likely to make enemies think twice.

    BL – Agreed. Deterrance. Quiet steps, big stick.

    USW – “…The alternative is that it would take 2-3 weeks to float an Aircraft Carrier Fleet elsewhere to defend an ally, which is not nearly as much of a deterrent. Again the answer is not closing bases in ally countries, it is switching to a defensive only posture no matter where we are.”

    BL – I have a better idea…

    Our Navy is managed in a fashion that allows a quick response. At any given time there will be a carrier group in each of 7 or 8 areas of the world, and many more in port preparing for deployment. The rotation cycle allows a constant presence wherever needed. Response time can be measured in hours/days instead of days/weeks.

    I would reduce the numbers of deployed ships, but continue to manage the deployment rotation as is.

    USW – ” …which is not nearly as much of a deterrent.”

    BL – I dunno. If it isn’t “as much of a deterrent.” …It should be. A battle group holds alot of fire power.

    USW – “4. Your thoughts on what constitutes an attack on the USA, especially in light of the new enemy without a definitive country. Some folks forget Iraq was shooting at our pilots on almost a daily basis. If you were in charge would you have considered this adequate justification for invasiion? ”

    BL – What constitutes an attack? If they attack (in any way, shape, or form), our soil, sovereign territory, and/or military…If they execute a naval blockade and or confiscation of weapons platforms, piracy, attack on U.S. merchant vessels & airliners, Ect ect… Ya know, the usual stuff.

    Iraq? Well, …it was all bullshit. We had no real reason to wage war on them.
    They were in no way a threat to the U.S.

    USW – “How do you hold Pakistan responsible for the actions of a Pakistani terrorist?”

    BL – Easy. You tell Pakistani leadership to fix the problem. If they can’t…offer assistance and do it for them. If they don’t, …Annihilate them.

    USW – “Then we heard about how we couldn’t fight them because they don’t fight in uniform and they blend with the people. Let’s eliminate the second part by eliminating the first. Fight them here, on our turf, where they are clear aggressors and they don’t have the support of the innocent people. I will take fighting terrorists in my house over fighting them in theirs any day.”

    BL – Nah. Fight them on their soil, but not on their terms. Forget about invasion tactics.

    DAISY CUTTERS AWEIGH!!!

    USW – “America’s mistake over the years has been the strict adherence to a policy of interventionism.”

    BL – Agreed. We should have let so many children fall off of the cliff.

    USW – ” The founding father’s did not intend for us to take this interventionist stance in the world. Thomas Jefferson made the famous quote that America should seek “peace, commerce, and friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.””

    USW – “I know that there are those who claim that the founding fathers lived in a simpler time and couldn’t possibly foresee the world today and the need for foreign policy as we now play it. I disagree. I think they were almost psychic in their vision. They knew the trouble that meddling in world affairs would bring”

    BL – They saw it coming.

    USW – “Perhaps he was lying from the start, or perhaps he got pissed on 9/11 and said screw it. I don’t know, but I know he became something I did not agree with.

    BL – google “Project for a New American Century”

    He was lying the whole time.

    USW – “I despise President Obama’s apology tours and his continued speeches decrying how horrible America has been.”

    BL – Humble is good diplomacy. Weak and Submissive is vulnerable and stupid.

    USW – “Instead of $10 a gallon oil, we have spent TRILLIONS and TRILLIONS on several wars, massive amounts of rebuilding, massive intrusion into the rights of sovereign nations. Just think about all the costs associated with everything we have done in the Middle East since 1950. From covertly changing Iran’s government to Israel to Kuwait to Afghanistan (both in 1980 and now). Just think about how much money we have spent there. It is mind-boggling. ”

    BL – Mind boggling is right. What else could that $ have been spent on? Sigh—

    USW – ” …we must change our foreign policy because the foreign policy that has been embraced for the last 100 years has not made us better, stronger, or safer. In fact, I would argue that it has done the opposite. It will not be a quick or easy task to change our foreign policy. In fact we are so intertwined at this point it will take significant effort, focus, and time. But we must do this if the United States is to regain any form of moral high ground or stature in the world.”

    BL – It’s not only about moral high ground. It might be in our own best interest to NOT piss the WHOLE WORLD off. Who wants to fight everyone?

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    As one of the caroons so accurately depicts, in spite of Obama’s “Apology Tours”, our foreign policy has not changed one bit from Bush to Obama.

    Apologizing is not only worthless when you are totally insincere, it just makes the rest of the world hate you even more.

    Yes, the words, “I apologize for what I did to you” are symbolically important. However, apologetic words while you continue the exact same behavior just paint you as an bully who now thinks he can get away with continuing the same actions simply because he says, “I’m sorry”. That just isn’t going to wash with the rest of the world.

    Plus, if we weren’t giving people $3500-4500 to buy cars, and $6500-8000 to buy homes, and still building tanks, planes, bombs, and the like, the economy (which “grew” by 3.6% last quarter) would still be in the crapper… OH WAIT, it STILL IS! All of this massive government spending is merely creating an illusion!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Oh, and before any of you respond to my economic claims of illusion, here is WHY it is an illusion:

      Let us say that some random entity prints up $12,500.00 of what it calls “money” and gives it to you, provided that you go out and buy a car or a home. You think that this sounds good, so that is precisely what you do.

      You did nothing to EARN the $12,500.00 that you just spent (so you PRODUCED nothing of economic value), and yet that $12,500.00 that you just spent is counted as “economic growth”. For those of you that ACTUALLY know anything about economics, you know that counting that as “economic growth” is complete nonsense.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Peter – “our foreign policy has not changed one bit from Bush to Obama” – laughable but you are wrong. Foreign Policy is more than guns and bombs.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Ray,

        It is nice for you to claim that I am wrong and then not provide a single example of my wrongness. Since you have failed to support your position, I still assume my “rightness” to be the case… sorry.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Here is my basic premise:

        Although Obama has SAID different things from what Bush SAID, Obama’s ACTIONS have not been significantly different from Bush’s ACTIONS.

        In my opinion, saying something different while doing things exactly the same does not constitute a significant change in foreign policy.

      • President Bush has many examples of foreign policy that didn’t involved guns and bombs. He did a lot of good in Africa with AIDS medications and prevention. In Indonesia, he sent ships with aid and medical services to help after the tsunami. There were earthquakes and storms all over the world and guess what; Bush didn’t send bombs and guns, he sent food, water, blankets medicne. But forget all that, innocent muslims died while be used as human shields by fellow muslims. Yeah, I get it.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Not sure what you’re getting at in the last two sentences Cyndi – I agree completely with the rest of your post.

          • Bush had wars in Iraq and Afgahnistan. Muslims live there. Complaints about innocent civilians being killed by American bombs are all most people hear in the msm. AQ and the Taliban make a point of getting civilians killed by hiding among them. Nevermind the humanitarian aid and outreach progams Bush sent/conducted. The Leftist propaganda machine almost completely overlooks the good things America does while focusing on anything that can be used to villify the US. Its wearing quite thin with me. I have almost no tolerance for dishonesty.

            • CanadianFox says:

              Cyndi, There is a much bigger world out there beyond our borders. That means for our country’s own good we need a leader (especially in foreign policy) that is not only intelligent but he must be flexible, adaptable, relevant, current (as in up to date) and have common sense when it comes to dealing with different cultures. Most of all a leader must be able to communicate well. We did not have any of those things with George Bush. He created so much animosity not only by what he did, but also by how he did it. And that has absolutely nothing to do with the way the MSM presented anything. When a “principled person” as you describe “W” being, gets “off track” the way he did and then does not possess the common sense to change from that course of action (even as evidence points to the contrary), then the “bully tag” is well earned. What you do and how you project yourself doing it, in this day of immediate media coverage, is entirely “your deal”. You only have yourself to blame when it goes bad. The bad image “W” got was entirely of his own making. It does not surprise me at all that President Obama has chosen (and is fortunately capable of conducting) a different approach.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                The only thing “different” about Obama’s approach is he makes CLAIMS that he is sorry that the US has been the bully of the world, and then he continues down along the same path that Bush was on.

                I would think most of the rest of the world would recognize him as a hypocrite pretty quickly and despise him equally as much.

                If that is not the case, then in the rest of the world, words matter far more than actions do, and that makes no sense.

  9. To USW and Mathius, I agree. Yes and No As per involvements and vacuums do like to be filled. We could hope the World studies war no more (fervent prayer), then we could return to Nation building at home, we Yanks would never be dragged into a war as we so vividly remember when Pearl Harbor took us there. Therefor, what is a Free People (finger’s-toes crossed), to do? Human nature,,,for now scale back, ’til it’s clear we really CAN go home to our own business!

    • Nature is red of tooth and claw. The only difference in humans is that we have far better tools than teeth and claws. But we’re equally vicious. And we always will be. I am a dove at heart, but I am not so stupid to think that if the world will simply let me be.

      We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad.

      • Bottom Line says:

        The Network – 1976

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        Politicians are only guaranteed a job if people are conviced to be mad at other people and convinced that the sky is falling.

        If people were indeed left alone, they would suddenly realize they don’t have much of a reason to be mad at anyone else and that the sky is not really falling.

        Politicians CANNOT leave people alone, because to leave people alone means almost certain extinction for the politicians.

  10. Hi All

    Here is the cartoon of the day.

    Hope you’re all having a good day.

  11. For might makes right,
    And till they’ve seen the light,
    They’ve got to be protected,
    All their rights respected,
    Till somebody we like can be elected.

    ~ Tom Lehrer
    (Lyrics from his “Send the Marines”)

    USWep

    …. they are not the aggressor. …..

    That’s the problem.

    Since the environment of political machinations are surrounded with an opaque screen of hidden agendas and motives, the label of aggressor may be impossible to discern.

    The Japanese vs. FDR is an example (see President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941: Appearances and Realities by Charles Beard ) and even Gulf War One – where Iraq’s complaints about Kuwait went unanswered, and the vague statements of Glaspie*

    (*-link posted in sepearte reply post to bypass filters)

    With such grave uncertainty on determining “aggressor”, it is very dangerous for any nation to assume it has a right to intercede on the behalf of any nation, lest one becomes an ally to a criminal nation.

    …If they really are our allies, we have to stick up for them…..

    What defines an ally?

    Accepting any nation that knocks on the door is folly. The consequence of such folly ends with the US bleeding itself to death to hold sand dunes.

    Simply being “friendly” is not sufficient, nor simply being a “trading partner”.

    Further, it is not in the USA interests to ally itself with any nation that becomes a detriment to the security of the USA. It is in the interest of small nations to ally with the USA to increase is intimidation ability to its neighbors (see Israel, Georgia and Ukraine), but their ability to enhance the security of the USA is negative (riles a potential and very formidable adversary).

    But when one of our allies allows us to have a base in their country, I have no issue with that.

    Advancing US troops to the borders of nations thousands of miles away from USA borders can only provoke and create adversaries where none existed.

    No nation will act kindly to mercenary troops adjacent to its national interests. Further, these bases are there, not to protect our ally, but to protect the USA mercantile interests both in the nation of the bases and within the region.

    The military bases are a consequence of mercantile forces – and are not a bulwark of global peace.

    Further, military bases require a standing army – and the consequence of all standing armies is the destruction of the liberty of the citizens and a constant threat to all People globally.

    Iraq was shooting at our pilots on almost a daily basis.

    Yes, LOI – comes with flying over their country with planes that have bombs and weapons. Tends to cause the people of that country to believe they are under attack.

    I’m sure you’d be annoyed if Russia was flying bombers and dropping weapons on Seatle on a daily basis.

    For a while our country, too weak to perform on the global stage as we do now, followed that mantra.

    This is not true. Jefferson had the military ability to carry a force across the ocean and invade Northern Africa.

    The nation founding understood the consequences of large militaries and standing armies, which in history 100% of the time were eventually used against the very People of that nation.

    At some point, I consider that point the turn of the century, we decided that we were powerful enough to begin playing ball with the big boys, and we began down the road of interventionism in all of its wicked forms.

    As with all thing, accepting a small perversion to the core principles leads to accepting further perversions and expanding exceptions to those principles until there is nothing left of the founding principles.

    The Monroe Doctrine was a United States policy that was introduced on December 2, 1823, which said that further efforts by European governments to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would be viewed by the United States of America as acts of aggression requiring US intervention.
    The Monroe Doctrine asserted that the Western Hemisphere was not to be further colonized by European countries, and that the United States would not interfere with existing European colonies nor in the internal concerns of European countries

    It didn’t take long for the promise of interference was discarded.

    From controlling commerce relations to meddling in foreign governments to outright physical warfare, we have been one of the world leaders in that realm ever since.

    All with the excuse of requiring a standing army.

    A standing army is expensive, and therefore, requires it to justify itself. Mercantilism was a perfect justification – ‘National Interest’ in foreign countries.

    That question is what exactly has the foreign policy stance of the last 100 years done for us? What good purpose or national interest have they served?

    It has made this nation incredibly rich at the expense of the rest of the world.

    TGctically, mercantilism it is very successful.

    However, strategically, it probably will destroy the nation.

    Oh, Black Flag, you didn’t think I would forget you… did you?
    There is equally a flawed position being argued by you, and it is about time that you were called on this one. So I will be the one to do it. You tend to argue on the other side of the blame game.

    No, I expose this blog’s and participant’s hypocrisy and polylogisms.

    It may appear to you to argue “their side” – I have no side in an argument of who is the worse actor in acts of evil.

    However, basing one’s justification of action against another nation because of actions of that nation while being the largest, most perverse actor engaging or supporting exactly the same actions of complaint is wholly hypocritical and eventually, incredibly dangerous.

    The country loses its moral high ground, and when in the future, the nation is required to appeal to morality from other nations to aid this nations prosperity, or survival – it will be denied.

    What the terrorists do is justified because of what the mercantilist policies of America have done to them.

    I have not justified anything they do. I have explained why they act as they do.

    If one ignores the reason for why they act simply because one does not believe it is ‘justified’, one will never be able to mitigate or end the acts of terrorism.

    “Only a fool would place the moral responsibility for terrorism on anyone but the terrorists who complete those acts.”


    Terrorism is the weapon of the weak and the oppressed.

    Terrorism is the only weapon left to those that have no other weapons.

    If “they” had M1 Abrams tanks, B1 Bombers, Blackhawk Helicopters, and hundreds of thousands of mercenary troops to inflict horror upon human beings, they would use them instead of their own bodies.

    It is quite another to not decry them as equally heinous in nature. Regardless of how immoral the initial acts of the United States when they take action abroad, that is not a justification of further immoral behavior.

    Again, I do not justify.

    I explain.

    As long as this Nation does not understand, this Nation cannot resolve. If it cannot resolve, it will eventually be destroyed by it.

    There is a multitude of plenty in the Nation and on this board to argue that because a People are unjustified to use terror, this Nation and its ally is justified to continue to use terror upon them – based your polylogism.

    To justify the assaults on a People, whose “advanced weapon” consists of this * by using these weapons ** is hypocritical and evil.

    Against this multitude, I find only Bob and myself offering the point that America is the cause of blowback against the USA.

    and further dismissing the fact that some of what America does is a payback for actions taken against us. Afghanistan is an example.

    Afghanistan, in fact, did nothing to the USA.

    There is no evidence that Bin Laden did anything.

    Even the FBI does not claim any link Bin Laden is linked with 9/11.

    These are facts.

    What is wholly missing is your facts.

    Yes, you’ve offered some vague references, inside knowledge, and no different than Bush who claimed irrefutable proof which, unfortunately, could not be disclosed.

    That simply made such proof worth ‘zero’, but enough to fool weak minds.

    Murder is murder. And both sides are guilty in all of the conflicts we have discussed. No side is less guilty. No side is more guilty.

    I completely agree.

    But it is not ‘guilt’ that is being sought.

    It is Peace.
    As pointed out to LOI.

    When the Weak power stops fighting the Strong power, it is called “surrender”.

    They will not surrender.

    When the Strong power stops fighting the Weak power, it is called “Unilateral ceasefire”, which often leads to an Armistice, which often leads to Peace talks.

    Therefore, calls for Peace wholly requires the Strong power to cease action.

    Who do you think is the Strong Power in these conflicts?

    • Examples of polylogism

      “Palestinian Advanced Rocket weapon”

      Unjustified by Israel!

      • Please define what polylogism means. I cannot find this word in my dictionary.

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polylogism

          It is using one set of logic an argument here, and a different set of logic an argument over there.

          Example:

          Because Muslims blow up kids, they are immoral and terrorists.

          When US Soldiers blow up kids, they are not immoral, it’s just the nature of war and not terrorists.

          • SK Trynosky Sr says:

            Great example. However does intent not count?

            If Victor Charles in the late RVN killed village chiefs and their entire families in very gruesome ways in a deliberate effort to frighten and intimidate the population, is this not different than the US Air Force accidentally bombing a village and killing it’s inhabitants? In the one big instance that everyone knows about, that of the ville of My Lai, it was a lone brown bar Lt. who lost it. Some of his superiors, may have misled him into believing that it was ok but when the story broke, it was an outraged populace along with an outraged army that came down on them quite clearly demonstrating that unlike our opponents at the time, such atrocities were not company policy.

    • Israeli Jericho

      Justified by Israel because of the above advanced weaponry of Palestinians.

    • 1,499 Words
      7,188 Characters (no spaces)
      8,652 Characters (with spaces)
      71 Paragraphs

      You’re getting lazy, old man.

    • Afghanistan, in fact, did nothing to the USA.

      There is no evidence that Bin Laden did anything.

      Even the FBI does not claim any link Bin Laden is linked with 9/11.

      These are facts.

      What is wholly missing is your facts.

      Yes, you’ve offered some vague references, inside knowledge, and no different than Bush who claimed irrefutable proof which, unfortunately, could not be disclosed.

      That simply made such proof worth ‘zero’, but enough to fool weak minds.

      Do not attempt to oversimplify the issues. Whether Bin Laden had anything to do with 9/11 was not the issue or the claim. And there are those with far more insight who would argue on that fact alone, I am not one of them. However, to deny that the Taliban allowed and supported terrorist entities to train in their country would be to ignore the facts. To claim that Bin Laden has never done anything to the US would be to ignore the facts.

      but then again, ignoring the facts that don’t support your version of history and cause and effect seems to be something you are adept at. As I have said to you before, I am willing to set aside my bias and acknowledge the fact that the US has done much wrong in the world. Unfortunately you lack that ability to detach from those who oppose the US and acknowledge that they are just as bad, just as guilty, and just as at fault. That is fine, you can do so. But you won’t win any debate points by ignoring the realities on both sides.

      I have not justified anything they do. I have explained why they act as they do.

      But you have, over and over. Go back and read the arguments you make. You justify the actions of terrorists over and over, as rational and expected reactions to American aggression. To claim that you have done nothing to justify the actions of terrorists or to claim that you have, at any point, taken a single sentence to hold terrorists to the same moral and ethical standards that you attempt to hold the US to, would be to ignore everything you have written on this subject over the last year.

      Don’t be offended my friend. This is not an attack on your character, merely an observation of the double standard you apply to your arguments.

      Terrorism is the weapon of the weak and the oppressed.

      No. Terrorism is the weapon of the weak and the immoral. You simply choose to justify their use of immoral tactics by pointing out the immoral tactics of the US. Explain again how women and children in a market are causing terrorists to be weak and oppressed? Yet that is who they kill. Your logic is failing you, my friend.

      When the Weak power stops fighting the Strong power, it is called “surrender”.

      They will not surrender.

      When the Strong power stops fighting the Weak power, it is called “Unilateral ceasefire”, which often leads to an Armistice, which often leads to Peace talks.

      Therefore, calls for Peace wholly requires the Strong power to cease action.

      Who do you think is the Strong Power in these conflicts?

      Rhetoric and little else. Had insurgents stopped blowing up markets 5 years ago, we would not still be in Iraq today. This whole stronger and weaker business is nothing more than an emotional appeal. I expect better from you.

    • BF said: “There is no evidence that Bin Laden did anything.

      Even the FBI does not claim any link Bin Laden is linked with 9/11.”

      Wait a minute….was there not video of Bin Laden stating he was responsible for the WTC? So are we suggesting he lied and took blame (or glory) for something he had nothing to do with?

      • That video has long been discredited as a forgery.

        There is a fully credible video by a French journalist with Bin Laden where he specifically denies any involvement. In this video, he does say “When an enemy breaks his leg – even if you did not break it – you rejoice”.

        You can go to the FBI website itself – the FBI does not have Bin Laden as a suspect for 9/11.

        I’m sure if they did, they would say so.

        SAMA BIN LADEN IS WANTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE AUGUST 7, 1998, BOMBINGS OF THE UNITED STATES EMBASSIES IN DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, AND NAIROBI, KENYA. THESE ATTACKS KILLED OVER 200 PEOPLE. IN ADDITION, BIN LADEN IS A SUSPECT IN OTHER TERRORIST ATTACKS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
        http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten/fugitives/laden.htm

  12. Common Man says:

    BF;

    Have you studied Murray N. Rothbard (I’m betting you have) and if so where would a laymen start if said laymen was interested in first garnering a basic concept prior to going whole hog? Below is a link that lists some of his publications, although I wonder if I should start with his book “Man Economy State”

    Your thoughts sir…

    Mises Daily archive for Murray N. Rothbard

    CM

  13. Common Man says:

    BF;

    Sorry link didn’t work.

    CM

  14. I think I am going to get in trouble again, because I do not agree at all with your statement of we did not become an interventionist country until the turn of the century.

    To explain; When this country was founded we were thirteen small colonies that became separate states. We had just whipped – with the help of the French – one of the most powerful empires in the then history of this planet. We owed a lot of money to the French and had made one heck of an enemy in England. Our saving grace was the Atlantic Ocean that kept us apart from England, and even that did not last for very long. The Brits came back and burnt our Capitol to the ground, but by then we had grown some and were able to kick them out again – but that little lesson taught us the one thing that all military men should – and so should you – know, and that is those who adopt a defense only posture are always defeated. Ronald Reagan was very correct in saying that we could only guarantee peace through strength. What he forgot was that with great strength comes great responsibility.

    To get back to what I was starting to say is that when we began moving West we began intervening in other political societies – The natives of this land had their own politics that we did not understand and we just took from them what we wanted. In essence we had the policy of clubs. He who has the biggest club wins, and we had the biggest club. When the South began seceding we prevented that by whipping them back into the fold – we had the bigger club again.

    The war with Spain, and again with Mexico. We have had an interventionist policy ever since the war of 1812, I think.

    We Americans, as a nation, cannot ever just sit back and adopt a defense only policy. That is suicide, pure and simple.

    We must, however, revamp our politics here at home while keeping a proactive stance in world affairs. If not, we will wind up being dominated by Marxist leaning nations such as Russia and China.

    Remember what I said the other day about being the 500lb Gorilla? Wether we like it or not that is what we have become from our actions of the past hundred years or so, and we cannot change the past – However, we can alter and control the future by what we do today. Our current POTUS has turned us into the 500lb wuss-monkey with his globe-trotting apologetic tour and we are now the laughing stock of the international scene. The sooner we kick this fool out of office – along with his Marxist cronies in the Senate and the House – and replace them all with some intelligent people, the better off we will be.

    • A little historical correction.

      War of 1812 was the USA invading Canada, Canada whipped their arses, took Detroit, and the British using its naval superiority taught the US a lesson – don’t mess with Canada.

      It is hardly a war to prove the USA ‘defensive’ posture.

      I do not believe the USA has ever been a peaceful nation.

      • BF said:
        A little historical correction.
        “War of 1812 was the USA invading Canada, Canada whipped their arses, took Detroit, and the British using its naval superiority taught the US a lesson – don’t mess with Canada.”

        Come on you can do better than that. Invading Canada for territory gain was not the reason for the War of 1812. England was locked in a bitter war with France in Europe. The US was trading with France and England wanted it stopped. England was intercepting and inspecting our ships on the high seas and was also impressing (kidnapping) US sailors to man their ships. England was arming Indians in the Northwest Territory (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois) and the Southeast Territory (Alabama, and Mississippi) and encouraging them to attack settlers. You are correct that England had a superior navy, as they had over 3 times as many warships as the US possessed but total losses in numbers of ships were almost exactly even during the war. You can decide what lesson that taught. As a side note, the US navy completely defeated England on the Great Lakes and cut off the water route to western Canada.

        • Bama

          As Horsman concluded, “The idea of conquering Canada had been present since at least 1807 as a means of forcing England to change her policy at sea.”

          …. The combination suggested an easy conquest, as former President Thomas Jefferson seemed to believe in 1812: “The acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching, and will give us the experience for the attack on Halifax, the next and final expulsion of England from the American continent.”

          The lesson taught was such a belief was folly.

          The US lost the war, IMO – she did not get Canada nor sanctification of any of her goals, humiliated by the burning of Washington and the war with France over, the US was threatened with the full force and fury of Britain.

          Britain was exhausted however, and in no mood for an intercontinental fight, especially when a rift with Russia was starting.

          • Add the next sentence and 3 different people refute the conquest claim.

            Hickey flatly stated, “The desire to annex Canada did not bring on the war. Brown (1964) concluded, “The purpose of the Canadian expedition was to serve negotiation, not to annex Canada. Burt, a leading Canadian scholar, agreed completely, noting that Foster—the British minister to Washington—also rejected the argument that annexation of Canada was a war goal.

            Not a loss, closer to a draw. We got the Northwest and Southeast Territories and unmolested use of the high seas out of the deal.

      • Okay . . . 1814?

        I know, the 2 and the 4 are too close together . . .

        And it is not just the U.S. that does this . . . The Ryukyu Islands have been invaded by Korea, China, Japan, and Russia many times over the last few centuries. Europe has always had a war going on somewhere since time began. Likewise the middle east and do not forget our precious “Native Americans” who regularly raided each others tribes long before the white man came here.

        It has always been human nature to fight and kill each other over trivialities.

        It will not end anytime soon.

    • CanadianFox says:

      GA Rowe… This is about your post on October 29th @ 3:04. What makes the difference WHEN we became an “interventionist” superpower? The point is “that is exactly what we are” …and that has to change. Now how can we change if we put another MORON in office like we had for the past eight years, from the same party that has embraced this “interventionist concept” for who knows (and cares) how long? We will remain a “500 pound gorilla” for some time, whether we want to or not, when it comes to international affairs and conflicts. But don’t you think it is about time we “re-trained the gorilla”?

      Now I do not see that having a “snow ball’s chance in hell” of happening with anyone other than our current leader. It is pretty evident the Republican Party has no leader or leadership worth the powder to blow them to you know where. So what good do you think you are doing our country by “name calling” our President and his supporters (i.e. Marxists etc.) That crap comes from the “lowest of the low conservative handbooks”. It is false and totally misleading and anyone with common sense or a brain knows it. It is this crap that makes our political scene subject to “soundbites” and the divisive mess it is. I know this post will upset you, but I really do not care anymore. Our nation will NEVER get any better until we get away from this sophomoric garbage and get better educated on how to find solutions together again.

      CND FOX

      • CND Fox,

        I’m no great fan of President Bush, but when you referred to him as a MORON, I lost interested in your argument. Not that I expect you to care why, but here it is: the man is obviously NOT a moron. You disagree with his decisions and then you insult his intelligence. How very childish of you. You, as so many others who hate Bush, have no idea as to the how’s and whys of Bush’s decisions. Neither do I, but that doesn’t make him a MORON. In any case, so far as I’m concerned, whenever someone, anyone, starts with the childish name calling because they disagree with someone’s opinion or decision, I just tune them out. I’m sure there are others that do the same. You might want to consider that IF you’re really interested in enlgihtening others. I’m just sayin’.

  15. Common Man says:

    Time to laugh, here are some obama jokes

    Q: What’s the main problem with Barack Obama jokes?
    A: His followers don’t think they’re funny and everyone else doesn’t think they’re jokes.

    Q: Why does Barack Obama oppose the Second Amendment?
    A: It stands between him and the First.

    Q: What’s the difference between Rahm Emanuel and a carp?
    A: One is a scum sucking bottom feeder and the other is a fish.

    Q: What’s the difference between Greta Van Susteren and Barack Obama?
    A: Greta only talks out of one side of her mouth.

    Q: What does Barack Obama call lunch with a convicted felon?
    A: A fund raiser.

    Q: What’s the difference between Obama’s cabinet and a penitentiary?
    A: One’s full of tax evaders, blackmailers and threats to society. The other is for prisoners.

    Q: What’s the difference between a large pizza and the typical Obama backer?
    A: The pizza can feed a family of four.

    Q: What’s the difference between Simba and Obama?
    A: Simba is an African lion while Obama is a lyin’ African.

    Q: If Pelosi and Obama were in a boat and it started to sink, who would be saved?
    A: America!!

    Q: What do you call the US after four years of Obama and the Liberal congress?
    A: An Obama-nation.

    Q: What’s the difference between Obama and Hitler?
    A: Hitler wrote his own book.

    Q: What’s another difference between Obama and Hitler?
    A: Hitler got the Olympics to come to his country.

    Q: Why doesn’t Obama pray?
    A: It’s impossible to read the teleprompter with your eyes closed.

    – Barack Obama: He has what it takes, to take what you’ve got!

    – Barack Obama’s campaign slogan, “Yes we can” has become, “Yes you will!”

    – No one wants to see GM’s new convertible, the Pelosi, with its top down!

    – The liberals have asked us to give Obama time. 25 to life seems appropriate

    – Obama doesn’t want terrorists tortured. He wants to torture American taxpayers instead.

    New Barack Channel (NBC)
    Another Barack Channel (ABC)
    My Seriously New Barack Channel (MSNBC)

    A woman applying for a job in a Florida lemon grove seemed to be far too qualified for the job.
    The foreman frowned and said, “I have to ask you this; “Have you had any actual experience in picking lemons?”
    “Well, as a matter of fact, I have!” she replied. “I’ve been divorced three times, owned 2 Plymouths, and I voted for Obama.”

    CM

    • Funny, but you know you’re going to probably get some flack for these.

      Hope your day is going smooth.

      Judy

      • Common Man says:

        Judy

        If we can’t enjoy a laugh each day then our world is filled with to much stress and anxiety

        Hope you are well and laughing

        CM

        • Yes, I am, thought it was funny myself. And you’re right, if we can’t have a little fun, then we do have problems. I was just saying that those who might be an Obama fan here might find these not funny, that’s all. I am doing just fine, and thanks for asking.

          • Eh… I actually think some of those are a little mean-spirited.. none of them were particularly funny.

            Better luck next time

            • Common Man says:

              Matt;

              Damn, if you can’t laugh at some of these you are a bit too tightly wound.

              I bet you laughed at almost all the Bush jokes.

              CM

              • See, I told ya.

                Judy

              • No flack, not offended.. just didn’t find them particularly funny.

                An exercise to help clarify your understanding of the concept.

                Google “Jewish jokes” then check out the first few hits.
                Then Google “Jew jokes” and check out the first few hits.

                See the difference? These are in vein of the second set. Jokes can be good natured, or they can be mean-spirited.

                Hear the one about the Jewish car? It can stop on a dime and pick it up! (see, good natured)

                How many Jews can you fit in a Volkswagen? It depends on how big the ash tray is. (see, mean-spirited)

                Q: What’s the main problem with Barack Obama jokes?
                A: His followers don’t think they’re funny and everyone else doesn’t think they’re jokes. (a little stale – just plug in your politician de jour – but good natured)

                Q: What’s another difference between Obama and Hitler?
                A: Hitler got the Olympics to come to his country. (not so nice)

                Just my thoughts.. I’m not really all that concerned either way, but I’ve found some of the jokes here hysterical (the one about the pope slapping Pelosy is one of my all-time favorites), but these didn’t do it for me.

    • Bottom Line says:

      lol

  16. Here is one a friend just sent me, and I’ll probably get flack for this myself.

    Subject: FW: The Detroit Lions the Super Bowl

    Subject: Super Bowl

    The Detroit Lions Win the Super Bowl

    The coach had put together the perfect team

    for the Detroit Lions… The only thing that was

    missing was a good quarterback. He had

    scouted all the colleges and even the Canadian

    and European Leagues, but he couldn’t find a

    ringer who could ensure a Super Bowl win.

    Then one night while watching CNN News he

    saw a war-zone scene in Afghanistan. In one

    corner of the background, he spotted a young

    Afghan Muslim soldier with a truly incredible

    arm. He threw a hand-grenade straight into a

    5th story window 100 yards away.

    KABOOM!

    He threw another hand-grenade 75 yards

    away, right into a chimney.

    KA-BLOOEY!

    Then he threw another at a passing car going

    90 mph.

    BULLS-EYE!

    “I’ve got to get this guy!” Coach said to himself.

    “He has the perfect arm!”

    So, he brings him to the States and teaches him

    the great game of football. And the Lions go on to

    win the Super Bowl.

    The young Afghan is hailed as the great hero of

    football, and when the coach asks him what he

    wants, all the young man wants is to call his mother.

    “Mom,” he says into the phone, “I just won the

    Super Bowl!”

    “I don’t want to talk to you, the old Muslim woman

    says.”You are not my son!”

    “I don’t think you understand, Mother,” the young

    man pleads. “I’ve won the greatest sporting event

    in the world. I’m here among thousands of my

    adoring fans.”

    “No! Let me tell you!” his mother retorts. “At this

    very moment, there are gunshots all around us.

    The neighborhood is a pile of rubble. Your two

    brothers were beaten within an inch of their lives

    last week, and I have to keep your sister in the

    house so she doesn’t get raped!”

    The old lady pauses, and then tearfully says,

    “I will never forgive

    you for making us move to Detroit.

    • Common Man says:

      Judy;

      This one gets forwarded to all my people here in Michigan, it was a great one

      Thanks

      CM

    • Now that was funny

    • There were two muffins in an oven.

      One muffin turned to the other and said
      “Boy, it sure is hot in here!”

      The other muffin turned back and responded
      “Holy shit! A talking muffin!”

      —————-
      Q: What do you call a black pilot?
      A: A pilot, you damn racist!

  17. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Sorry to interrupt today’s foreign policy fun, but the following post from Ray yesterday had so many things wrong with it that I just had to bring it over here and dissect it:

    ” If Black Flag feels it is his moral foundation to reject any particular aspect of law or more that is drawn from government or society due to his reasoning (‘government is evil’, society has no right whatsoever over what I do with my kids), then by definition he can and must logically reject ALL laws and mores of government and society. That is the dilemma of the absolutist – but their own ability to carry this out is neutered – they will still pay taxes, they will still drive the speed limit.”

    Ok that was paragraph one. There are many flaws in Ray’s argument here already, and most of them are obvious. First of all, the sentence “If Black Flag feels it is his moral foundation to reject any particular aspect of law or more that is drawn from government or society due to his reasoning (‘government is evil’, society has no right whatsoever over what I do with my kids), then by definition he can and must logically reject ALL laws and mores of government and society.” is completely illogical. Ray takes something that he CLAIMS to be Black Flag’s position, and then uses that CLAIM to make an assertion of something that Flag MUST or MUST NOT DO. The problem with that is that the INITIAL CLAIM WAS FALSE, so the resultant assertion is also false.

    “Government is evil” is a true position of Black Flag, and “Society has no right whatsoever over what I do with my kids” is also a true position of Black Flag, BUT YOU MISSED THE KEY POINT! Black Flag HAS NO RIGHT TO INITIATE VIOLENCE AGAINST THE NON-VIOLENT, SO BLACK FLAG WOULD NOT ACT IN A WAY WHICH WAS HARMFUL TO HIS OWN CHILD! DUH!

    “…then by definition he can and must logically reject ALL laws and mores of government and society.”

    This portion of a sentence is interesting, although again, COMPLETELY WRONG. Black Flag CAN AND MUST REJECT ANY LAWS AND MORES OF SOCIETY WHICH ARE NOT CONSISTENT WITH NATURAL RIGHTS. If there is a societal more or even a “law” which ACTUALLY IS CONSISTENT WITH INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS, then there is absolutely no need for BF to reject it. Simply because government is evil doesn’t mean that it doesn’t pass laws that occasionally do actually make sense. “Don’t kill anyone else” is a perfectly good law. Black Flag agrees that this is a perfectly good law. He may think that the governments methods of PUNISHING VIOLATORS of the law are immoral and stupid, but the LAW ITSELF is perfectly valid.

    “It reminds me of a short dialogue I had with Kent a while back with respect to land ownership. The dialogue essentially broke down as – the anarchist/objectivist/libertarian desires little/no interference from government with respect to land ownership. It’s mine, keep your hands off, I am the rightful owner – and importantly – you have no right to ’steal it’ from me. But again, here is where this type of argument breaks down. You see, typically, be it myself, Black Flag, USW, or Kent – it is likely impossible that the land on which you live is ‘rightfully’ yours. In most all cases, it was likely ’stolen’ or taken inappropriately from the originating settler or owner. In our cases, that usually means a native American tribe.”

    This is an interesting (though completely vapid) argument as well. You see Ray, WHO OWNED THE LAND BEFORE THE NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES? Evidence shows that they most likely originated in Siberia and came over here on the land-bridge that crossed into Alaska, and then they came down through Canada and into what is now known as the United States. What claim did THEY have to “OWNING” any of the land that they settled on when they got here? By your own argument, none! Now, you could argue that perhaps NO ONE was settled on the land that they chose to occupy when they arrived, thus making it legitimately THEIRS. Ok, let’s try that argument on for size. Let’s say you personally “OWN” a 150-acre estate, but most of it is undevelloped fields and forrests. If someone new to your area moves into a remote part of your property and builds a small home, do they then have legitimate claim to that portion of your property, because clearly that portion was previously uninhabited, even though some piece of paper somewhere says you “OWN” it? Most likely, the property you CURRENTLY LIVE ON was once inhabited by Native American Tribes. ARE YOU GONNA GIVE IT BACK???

    “Over the generations or years, as we move further and further away from the original theft, it somehow becomes more legitimized. I may have ‘bought’ my house and land from the previous owner, but in an absolutist sense, it really originally belonged to the Lenape tribe a few hundred years ago.”

    Ok Ray, first of all, go ahead and POSITIVELY DEMONSTRATE that the land actually BELONGED to the Lenape tribe. They may have lived in that general area, they may have even had habitations ON THE SPECIFIC LAND WHICH YOU NOW CLAIM TO OWN. First of all, you must demonstrate that THEY THEMSELVES BELIEVE THAT THEY ACTUALLY OWNED IT, and second of all, you must POSTIVELY DEMONSTRATE THAT SOMEONE ACTUALLY STOLE IT FROM THEM. If they do not make any claim of previous ownership, then there was no ownership involved. If you cannot point to an actual instance of land that they claimed to own being stolen from them, then there was no “original theft”. However, if you can positively demonstrate these things which you claim, then YOU BETTER GIVE “YOUR” LAND BACK TO THE PEOPLE WHO REALLY OWN IT.

    “To paraphrase Kent, at some point we have to say ’screw it’, we cannot fix what happened a hundred or more years ago, we should just accept it as it is now. Not that I disagree with that – its just a contradiction for the absolutist to (a) think this way and (b) not see the hypocricy in their argument that any form of government with respect to controls over land is evil and thievery. Not hard to understand thus why Ayn Rand didn’t think highly of native Americans.” This one is fun too… First of all, what Ayn Rand thought of Native Americans is completely and totally irrelevant, but thanks for bringing it up. Secondly, there is no hypocrisy involved. You claim that you own the land that you currently own, yes? You state that you BELIEVE that it once “belonged to” members of the Lanape tribe. Once again, if that is your belief, I encourage you to go out and find descendents of the members of that tribe that had a claim on your specific plot of land AND GIVE IT BACK TO THE RIGHTFUL OWNER.

    You see, you cannot prove that such claimants exist. All you KNOW is that members of the Lanape tribe once inhabited the general area in which you now live. You do not KNOW if any of them at all lived on the specific plot of land which you now inhabit. Nor do you know IF SOME OTHER TRIBE LIVED THERE BEFORE THE LANAPE. It is also possible that NO ONE AT ALL lived on your specific plot of land, and it was just a dense forrest. IF THAT IS THE CASE, IT BELONGED TO THE TREES! BETTER TEAR YOUR HOUSE DOWN AND PLANT A BUNCH OF TREES IN IT’S PLACE!!! YOU HAVE USURPED NATURE!!! The whole argument you make comes from a phenomenon known as “White Guilt”. White Guilt is what makes you want to give land back to the Native American Tribes 400 years after your ancestors (or more likely someone else’s ancestors) drove the tribes from the land you now occupy with your family. White Guilt is what makes you want to pay reparations to currently living African Americans because of what your ancestors (or more likely someone else’s ancestors) did to them 150 years or more ago. When you make the argument that YOU can do something NOW to atone for the sins of people who lived hundreds of years ago, you are engaging in fallacy. In order to ACTUALLY atone for the sins of people who lived hundreds of years ago, you would have to invent a time machine, go back in time, and PREVENT THE INJUSTICE FROM HAPPENING IN THE FIRST PLACE. You cannot prevent it now… it already happened hundreds of years ago!

    “To use an even more germane example. If your car is stolen today, and over the next five years is ’sold’ ten times over on the street and then Ward and June Cleaver end up buying it for little Beave (for sake of argument your title was either stolen as well, or a new one fabricated) – is the car still a stolen car? Are the Cleavers the rightful owners of the car?” This example is indeed more germane. You see, in THIS example, you originally held title to the car, and the title matched the VIN number on the vehicle. As such, IF YOU CAN PROVE that the car is the one which you originally purchased (perhaps even if the title was stolen you have other original sales documents which match the VIN number), then IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW MANY TIMES IT HAS BEEN SOLD, it is still VERIFYABLY YOUR CAR. If you do not have the original title, and you do not have any documents PROVING IT TO BE YOUR CAR, then you are shit-outta-luck, because in that case, Ward and June Cleaver DO INDEED NOW OWN IT, because YOU COULD NOT PROVE OTHERWISE.

    There, does that clear up any of your assertions any???

    • Bottom Line says:

      If you do not have the original title, and you do not have any documents PROVING IT TO BE YOUR CAR, then you are shit-outta-luck, because in that case, Ward and June Cleaver DO INDEED NOW OWN IT, because YOU COULD NOT PROVE OTHERWISE.

      It’s YOUR car. You KNOW it. Take it back. You don’t have to prove anything. You just have to take it covertly without incident.

      • Bottom Line says:

        Correction to previous post:

        PeterB in Indianapolis – “If you do not have the original title, and you do not have any documents PROVING IT TO BE YOUR CAR, then you are shit-outta-luck, because in that case, Ward and June Cleaver DO INDEED NOW OWN IT, because YOU COULD NOT PROVE OTHERWISE.”

        BL – It’s YOUR car. You KNOW it. Take it back. You don’t have to prove anything. You just have to take it covertly without incident.

    • Peter vs Ray; Subject – Me and Law

      Peter is correct regarding “law”.

      The government prohibiting murder does not contradict my prohibition on murder, just because it is a government law.

      Ray, you trying to argue this:
      Because an evil man loves his children must mean that if BF loves his child he is evil.

      Further, Ray, I reject the premise of government, which by my definition is an act of evil (‘self-proclaimed right to the monopoly on initiation of violence’).

      Re: Land ownership

      When the ‘rightful’ individual owner of property cannot be found, the property becomes owned by whomever possesses that property now.

      You find a $50 bill on the ground. The ‘rightful’ owner cannot be found. The money is now yours.

      Further, land is claimed three ways:
      – Land without law is given law.
      – Land with law is traded or granted.
      – Land with law is conquered by force of arms.

      Ownership (Property Rights) is a requirement for social order. A man as a physical being must exclude others to goods for him to use for his own benefit. We both cannot eat the same apple. One of us must obtain exclusive use of that apple to eat it. We can determine that exclusivity by many means, including violence, however violence destroys social order. Therefore, a methodology which recognizes mutual Property Rights by non-violent means maintains social order.

      Therefore Property Rights requires law.

      The law I suggest that maintains a sustainable social order is a law based on a moral premise.

      Government is not based on a moral premise, and therefore is destructive to social order.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Peter – ‘flawed’, ‘vapid’? Wow – your head must literally explode anytime you see a posting from me. Thanks for the honor of that Rorschach mess of a response you posted – as I said before – arguing with you is like yelling at my senile, deaf, blind dog when she shits on her blanket – it is pretty much pointless and there is still going to be a mess to clean up later. Having said that – I feel energized to bang my head against the wall – so I will provide you a response in kind – will just be later this evening as I have some grilling to do and baseball to watch. Cheers.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Ray,

        Your dog must be very good at reason and logic in spite of his/her incapacities. Perhaps you find it difficult to argue with me because in your mind you know that my reasoning is sound?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Basically, the biggest problem I had with your post is that it attempted to compare the injustice of SOMEONE depriving Native American tribes 400 years ago with someone stealing your car.

        First of all, it is debatable whether any Native American tribes ever made any claims of ownership of land. You probably think that that is irrelevant. It is not. When we bought Manhattan Island from Native American tribes that were living there, we thought that we pulled one over on them because we got all that land for almost nothing.

        Conversely, the Native American tribes were literally laughing out loud, because they had just received a bunch of stuff in exchange for SOMETHING WHICH THEY CLAIMED NO OWNERSHIP OVER. To them, the concept of owning land was completely foreign, so taking a bunch of stuff from us in exchange for land made perfect sense to them.

        Now, there are countless examples of Native American tribes being violently driven from the land which they inhabited with all of the associated killing, raping, maiming, and other injustice of every imaginable sort. Do I condone this in any way? Of course not. It is a prime example of the initiation of violence against the non-violent, so I could not possibly be in favor of that.

        My question to you is, HOW and WHY do you propose to make redress for injustices that occurred hundreds of years ago for which you hold no DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY?

        Basically, your argument seems to be that ALL LAND OWNERSHIP IS IMMORAL, because at some point, someone killed someone else in order to get that piece of land.

        The example of the car does not relate to the example of Native American tribes being driven from “their” lands in any way. In the case of the car theft, no matter how many times that car changes hands, the original owner should be able to produce PROOF OF OWNERSHIP showing that he indeed holds title to that vehicle and that he has not voluntarily sold the vehicle nor has he voluntarily passed title of the vehicle to anyone else.

  18. He ran on a stance of America being a moral leader, not intervening in other country’s business, and ending the practice of forcing our way on the rest of the world.

    A leader in the business world is one who leads by example, supports those who endeavor to be better, and acts in a fair and moral manner.

    We must learn that we can be the leader of the world, not at the point of a gun, but with the morality and freedom the country was founded on.

    But we must do this if the United States is to regain any form of moral high ground or stature in the world.

    As you have argued many times, when it wasn’t the American government being discussed, there is absolutely no moral justification for revenge killing or or acting outside of moral or ethical boundaries.

    Not enough time for a big one on this, but I’m still having trouble with all the “morality clause(s)”. I only copied a few above.

    I voted for Bush because I was sick and tired of our country being used for a punching bag (Clinton). Big mistake on my part (because I don’t believe in fighting wars with handcuffs). Fortunately, we didn’t go Roman, so to speak, because after 6 years (because I didn’t want to believe it), I realized I’d been lied to and neither war was necessary. My issue is with morality and the feeling (my feeling) that there are too many different definitions of it to use as the basis for any policy.

    Also, when a nation state (just like any individual) is fighting for survival, I’m not sure morality isn’t necessarily tossed out the window. I don’t know, but I’m not sure. More later (hopefully).

  19. USWep

    Do not attempt to oversimplify the issues.

    I use the very comments you have made and Bush has made, and suddenly I’m simplifying the issue.

    How does that happen?

    Whether Bin Laden had anything to do with 9/11 was not the issue or the claim.

    Really?

    Are you saying the USA went into Afghanistan for another reason??

    However, to deny that the Taliban allowed and supported terrorist entities to train in their country would be to ignore the facts.

    Again, polylogism.

    The USA trains terrorists, but claims no country has the right to punish the USA (or provide compensate the victims).

    Yet, you claim it is a reason to attack an entire nation and its people.

    To claim that Bin Laden has never done anything to the US would be to ignore the facts.

    It would be, so don’t put words into my mouth, Mr. Strawman!

    I said he didn’t do anything with 9/11 which was the excuse for the invasion.

    but then again, ignoring the facts that don’t support your version of history and cause and effect seems to be something you are adept at.

    You have not provided anything to contradict my history other than your typical stawmen.

    This does mean my ‘version’ still stands.

    But you won’t win any debate points by ignoring the realities on both sides.

    I repeat, I have no side.

    I resist, however, your blatant hypocrisy and polylogism, for you use these fallacies to excuse and justify continued US and ally actions.

    I have not justified anything they do. I have explained why they act as they do.

    You confuse explanation with justification.

    You justify the actions of terrorists over and over, as rational and expected reactions to American aggression.

    Explain, not justify as this is simple praxeology, and Yes!, it is rational and expected! Now you are getting it!

    It is rational because it is expected.

    Law of Mutuality, old friend.

    Inflict Suffering=Face revenge.

    To claim that you have done nothing to justify the actions of terrorists or to claim that you have, at any point, taken a single sentence to hold terrorists to the same moral and ethical standards that you attempt to hold the US to, would be to ignore everything you have written on this subject over the last year.

    Hypocrisy, polylogism, blindness and hubris all lead to national disaster.

    No. Terrorism is the weapon of the weak and the immoral.

    You expect those with nothing but rocks to ‘fight fair’. You expect those without weapons to do….what?

    I see you are arguing that if they had M1 tanks, they’d still use strap on bombs. That, of course, is absurd.

    Go back to your military textbooks regarding choices of weapons and tactics.

    Terrorism is after all, a tactic. -Jason Burk. Al Qaeda, ch.2, p.22)

    Terrorism is the weapon of the weak – Canadian war historian Gwynne Dyer

    He does a great job discussing terrorism as a weapon and a tactic.

    Quote:

    GWYNNE DYER: Well, because it isn’t. I mean, terrorism is in fact the weapon of the weak. And although they can make a splash, they remain weak. I mean, states are infinitely more powerful actors than terrorists. If you think about, you know, let’s take Al Qaeda if it still really exists. It’s more an idea and a network than an organisation. What does it really have at its disposal? It’s probably got somewhere between 5,000 and 20,000 activists. That’s compared to 1.4 million people in the US armed forces and 52,000 people in the Australian armed forces, and a Government with, you know, a billion dollars a day, $10 billion a day of income to play with. They’re minor actors. They can make a splash. Make a headline. But the only real strategy that any terrorist group’s got is prod the opponent in exactly the right place where he’s very vulnerable and will overreact, and trick him into striking back massively in ways that played into your hands. All terrorism is a kind of political jujitsu. They don’t have the ability to harm us, though they can trick us into doing things that will harm us.

    Explain again how women and children in a market are causing terrorists to be weak and oppressed? Yet that is who they kill. Your logic is failing you, my friend.

    You appear to have a limited understanding of 4th Generation warfare or the tactics of terror. There are a few books I can point you to so you can get up to speed – it would save me typing out a book here to explain it to you.

    Rhetoric and little else.

    You dispute my analysis? Provide yours (and sources, as I have above) where you found a weaker party stopping the fight and ‘winning’ the war.

    Had insurgents stopped blowing up markets 5 years ago, we would not still be in Iraq today.

    They blow up market places because the US was and still are in their country. You, typically, have the cart backwards.

    This whole stronger and weaker business is nothing more than an emotional appeal. I expect better from you

    So you are arguing that the insurgents and the USA military are equals in armaments, manpower, and firepower?

    But have you not argued that the US is the most powerful military force in the world?

    Which flip-flop are you tying your argument to today, USwep?

    • Are you saying the USA went into Afghanistan for another reason??

      I think I made it quite clear that 9/11 was merely a catalyst. They were supporting terrorism. They were supporting Bin Laden. We knew it. You know it. We launched a war against any nation that harbors terrorists. Afghanistan was first on the list.

      Again, polylogism.

      The USA trains terrorists, but claims no country has the right to punish the USA (or provide compensate the victims).

      You are correct… polylogism. I did not claim the terrorists had no reason to act. I merely pointed out that both sides are guilty and both are wrong. You can’t seem to wrap your head around that. If your only argument, which is the only one you have provided thus far, is that America is evil, so whatever the others do is merely an expected “reaction”, then don’t bother. As I said, I have gone on record over and over pointing out where the US was wrong. It is you who seem unable to apply your principles bi-laterally.

      Yet, you claim it is a reason to attack an entire nation and its people.

      No, I claim that the people and the country are unfortunate victims because of what their government has done. The government of Afghanistan supported terrorism. We took them out of power. Were we right to do so? Completely debatable. However, you seem to lack the ability to see fault in supporting terrorism in the first place. Law of US mutuality…. you support those that attack us, we attack you. It works BOTH ways on the spectrum.

      This does mean my ‘version’ still stands.

      No. It means I see the futility in debating with someone unwilling to acknowledge that both sides are equally wrong and immoral.

      I resist, however, your blatant hypocrisy and polylogism, for you use these fallacies to excuse and justify continued US and ally actions.

      You seem to have missed 80% of my article above when I decried the US for its actions. Amazing, your selective reading skills.

      Terrorism is after all, a tactic. -Jason Burk. Al Qaeda, ch.2, p.22)

      Terrorism is the weapon of the weak – Canadian war historian Gwynne Dyer

      He does a great job discussing terrorism as a weapon and a tactic.

      Quote:

      GWYNNE DYER: Well, because it isn’t. I mean, terrorism is in fact the weapon of the weak. And although they can make a splash, they remain weak. I mean, states are infinitely more powerful actors than terrorists. If you think about, you know, let’s take Al Qaeda if it still really exists. It’s more an idea and a network than an organisation. What does it really have at its disposal? It’s probably got somewhere between 5,000 and 20,000 activists. That’s compared to 1.4 million people in the US armed forces and 52,000 people in the Australian armed forces, and a Government with, you know, a billion dollars a day, $10 billion a day of income to play with. They’re minor actors. They can make a splash. Make a headline. But the only real strategy that any terrorist group’s got is prod the opponent in exactly the right place where he’s very vulnerable and will overreact, and trick him into striking back massively in ways that played into your hands. All terrorism is a kind of political jujitsu. They don’t have the ability to harm us, though they can trick us into doing things that will harm us.

      I can provide you a million quotes from disciples of Keynes who will tell the Austrian economists are fools. That wouldn’t make it true, now, would it.

      The fact remains that terrorism is the tactic of the weak and immoral. That you refuse to call immoral the killing of innocent women and children by one side while simultaneously blathering on and on about how immoral the other side is for doing so is both hypocritical and, to use your own word…. polylogism.

      You appear to have a limited understanding of 4th Generation warfare or the tactics of terror. There are a few books I can point you to so you can get up to speed – it would save me typing out a book here to explain it to you.

      Oh, I understand it well. But you again dodge the question. Explain again how women and children in a market are causing terrorists to be weak and oppressed? Yet that is who they kill. Killing innocents is wrong, whether it is the tactic of the strong, or the tactic of the weak. Double back on your route…. you dropped your principles back there somewhere.

      They blow up market places because the US was and still are in their country. You, typically, have the cart backwards.

      They blow up markets because they are immoral pieces of trash. You, typically, apply morality only to the side you wish to denounce.

      So you are arguing that the insurgents and the USA military are equals in armaments, manpower, and firepower?

      But have you not argued that the US is the most powerful military force in the world?

      Which flip-flop are you tying your argument to today, USwep?

      No, not arguing that they are equal in power. I am saying, quite bluntly, that you are using this emotional appeal as a way to avoid admitting that you are wrong to place all the blame on one side. You want to call the US evil. That is fine. I will call the US evil in its foreign policy as well. However, I will also call the terrorists evil. Something you apparently don’t want to do. So in order to not argue on the grounds of immorality, which you cannot do in this case, you instead prop up this weak argument about weak versus strong and surrendering versus whatever. You are attempting to use an emotional appeal to change the direction of the discussion. A brilliant tactic against someone other than me. I will simply ignore it.

      What exactly was the flip-flop? Having trouble following your rambling today. As I stated, I have argued:
      1. US foreign policy is wrong
      2. US is wrong for their tactics as well.
      3. Terrorists are wrong
      4. Terrorists are wrong for their tactics as well.

      It seems that one of us is consistent in their application of judgement of moral behavior. And the other is not. But a flip-flop I do not see.

      • USWeapon

        Are you saying the USA went into Afghanistan for another reason??

        I think I made it quite clear that 9/11 was merely a catalyst. They were supporting terrorism. They were supporting Bin Laden. We knew it. You know it. We launched a war against any nation that harbors terrorists. Afghanistan was first on the list.

        As many have said, the definition of “terrorism” is fluid depending on who is pointing the finger.

        As easily, by the same criteria the USA is supporting terrorism.

        (That is what I mean by Polylogism – you define it for them, but change the definition if the letters “USA” replace theirs)

        There is no question Bin Laden attacked US government and military targets in his area of occupation. It is completely absurd to suggest he had anything to do with 9/11.

        He operated within his region. He never attacked US civilian targets. 9/11 was an attack on the USA and out of his region, with an attack on US civilian targets.

        I suggest the invasion of Afghanistan – long planned before 9/11 was merely another convenient mercantilism operation.

        If your only argument, which is the only one you have provided thus far, is that America is evil, so whatever the others do is merely an expected “reaction”, then don’t bother.

        The point, ol’d foe and friend, is action/reaction.

        You neglect to understand the trigger or tipping point.

        You want to offer a suggestion that a weaker power will attack a greater power without reason

        I cannot see how you can rationally suggest this. In fact, I do not even think you suggest this.

        THEREFORE, it must be the Greater Power – by direct or indirect action, goading or provocation, that has caused the ‘reaction’.

        If you argue against this, you must hold that it is a weaker power attacking a greater – which is completely bizarre.

        Therefore, you must equally believe that the actors that are the weaker powers are completely insane. YET, there is nothing historically to demonstrate this insanity.

        You are in a pickle.

        Either you hold the weak actors are all insane OR they are reacting to the provocations of the Greater power – with you unable to demonstrate the former and are very emotional in denying the latter.

        No, I claim that the people and the country are unfortunate victims because of what their government has done. The government of Afghanistan supported terrorism. We took them out of power. Were we right to do so? Completely debatable. However, you seem to lack the ability to see fault in supporting terrorism in the first place. Law of US mutuality…. you support those that attack us, we attack you. It works BOTH ways on the spectrum.

        See above – weak power vs. great power. You are in a pickle.

        This does mean my ‘version’ still stands.

        No. It means I see the futility in debating with someone unwilling to acknowledge that both sides are equally wrong and immoral.

        I resist, however, your blatant hypocrisy and polylogism, for you use these fallacies to excuse and justify continued US and ally actions.

        I can provide you a million quotes from disciples of Keynes who will tell the Austrian economists are fools. That wouldn’t make it true, now, would it.

        You deny me.

        You deny my sources.

        You deny reams of documentation.

        You provide zippo – from any credible source.

        (shrug)

        The fact remains that terrorism is the tactic of the weak and immoral. That you refuse to call immoral the killing of innocent women and children by one side while simultaneously blathering on and on about how immoral the other side is for doing so is both hypocritical and, to use your own word…. polylogism.

        No, I always decry the abuse of violence. I have not wavered.

        I do NOT excuse the use of violence on innocent people as a response or excuse. I do not pick sides.

        I DO expose the hypocrisy of calling one side ‘terrorists’ and the USA ‘not terrorists’ when both sides do the same thing.

        Explain again how women and children in a market are causing terrorists to be weak and oppressed?

        Didn’t say the are ‘causing terrorists to be weak’ – they are blowing up the markets because they are weak.

        You see the difference, right?

        Yet that is who they kill. Killing innocents is wrong, whether it is the tactic of the strong, or the tactic of the weak. Double back on your route…. you dropped your principles back there somewhere.

        No.

        I merely explain the human action.

        From the eyes of the locals, US are invaders = bad guys. Everything else follows from that. All the beating of your chest will not change this.

        They blow up market places because the US was and still are in their country. You, typically, have the cart backwards.

        They blow up markets because they are immoral pieces of trash. You, typically, apply morality only to the side you wish to denounce.

        No, this is the nature of violence that I talk about….it’s profitability.

        So you are arguing that the insurgents and the USA military are equals in armaments, manpower, and firepower?

        But have you not argued that the US is the most powerful military force in the world?

        Which flip-flop are you tying your argument to today, USwep?

        No, not arguing that they are equal in power. I am saying, quite bluntly, that you are using this emotional appeal as a way to avoid admitting that you are wrong to place all the blame on one side.

        No, I simply recognize the chain of mutuality along the “might is right” doctrine.

        you instead prop up this weak argument about weak versus strong and surrendering versus whatever.

        It is a reasoned position in the realm of exercise of power.

        You can certainly deny it – but to do so would be to ignore power dynamics. If you wish to ignore power dynamics then you will have difficulty in future discussions regarding politics.

        You are attempting to use an emotional appeal to change the direction of the discussion. A brilliant tactic against someone other than me. I will simply ignore it.

        What exactly was the flip-flop? Having trouble following your rambling today. As I stated, I have argued:
        1. US foreign policy is wrong
        2. US is wrong for their tactics as well.
        3. Terrorists are wrong
        4. Terrorists are wrong for their tactics as well.

        It seems that one of us is consistent in their application of judgement of moral behavior. And the other is not. But a flip-flop I do not see.

        I see the flip-flop (correctly or not) causing a consequence that will prevent rational solution (if rational solution is the goal).

        Because the failure to see cause/effect will block such rational solutions.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          BF,

          Are you essentially arguing that terrorism is moral because they are only defending themselves?

          If that is the case, I have to disagree. You constantly point out that one of the extremely immoral things that we do is kill women and children and other “innocents”. However, it is EASY to demonstrate that terrorists also kill women, children, and other “innocents”.

          Do you argue that BECAUSE THE TERRORIST IS WEAK he has no MORAL OPTIONS TO DEFEND HIMSELF? This would seem to indicate that only the strong can afford to be moral, which to me is a bunch of crap.

          I would be interested to see if you could come up with ways in which the weak could defend against agression without resorting to tactics which are demonstrably immoral. I am pretty sure you can come up with some.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis

            BF,

            Are you essentially arguing that terrorism is moral because they are only defending themselves?

            No, I am not applying any moral tag to it at all on my own.

            I am, however, MIRRORING the moral tags used by others.

            I am applying a praxeological argument to it, based on the Law of Mutuality.

            “Kill my kids, then I’ll kill your kids”

            When USWep and others argue “Stop killing my kids, then I stop killing your kids” – they are seriously misunderstanding the use of the Mutuality equation. Their application of it will only ensure the continuation of the killing until no one is left alive.

            To stop such continuation of LoM (law of Mutuality) requires use of one of two, exclusive, triggers:

            (1) The weaker side surrenders.
            (2) The stronger side unilaterally ceases.

            If we look at the situation, and see in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq the battle continues for a time approaching a decade, or in consideration of the Palestinian conflict, approaching 65 years, we can safely suggest that the ‘weaker side’ will never surrender.

            Therefore – if peace is the goal (and this can be debated) – the only other option is (2).

            In a discussion regarding war tactics – terrorism is merely a tactic used by the weak. If the insurgents had access to B-52 carpet bombing and predators, USwep, D13, you and I all know they would use them.

            But they do not. They have rocks and body-bombs. They cannot confront the military of USA and ally head-on. They are not stupid as it appears the West wishes think them to be.

            As Gwyn says, the purpose is to goad the USA into making mistakes. This is the essence of the 4th Generation warrior. They attack the legitimacy of US action – not the US military directly. And, it is working.

            With every bomb, the insurgents prove that the USA is feeble. The US cannot stop the bombings. The US cannot protect the people. The US Army isn’t even safe on the streets they walk, how can they make it safe for all the streets in any city? Government legitimacy rests on the argument of protecting the people. Thus, demonstrating the lack of this protection de-legitimizes US interests.

            The only way to end the insurgency is to apply G. A. Rowe solutions – extermination of the local population.

            This was done in the Philippines by the US Army and it was successful.

            The only question is whether today the US public and the world opinion would accept such a solution – and they would not. The fall-out of such action would end the USA as a nation.

            Therefore, there is only two paths.

            Continuation of purposeful ignorance and the current strategy while pretending that “they” are the problem OR, change tactics and recognize the LoM situation and chose (2).

            There are no other choices I can see.

            I would be interested to see if you could come up with ways in which the weak could defend against agression without resorting to tactics which are demonstrably immoral. I am pretty sure you can come up with some.

            Certainly that is very easy, and that has been done.

            For example, Bin Laden did not attack civilian targets. Let’s list his attacks (in no particular order):

            USS Cole – warship

            Embassies in Tanzania – US government building

            Embassy in Kenya – US government building

            Marine barracks, Beirut – US Army base

            Legitimate targets in a war against the US government, correct?

            Now, the response to these attacks by the USA was to blow up a medical factory – civilian target, and bomb a sheep herder – a civilian, then obliterate a nation.

            Thus, the US expanded the LoM. Bin Laden’s tactic worked – he provoked the USA to use an axe instead of a scalpel, and all its destruction to de-legitimize the USA.

  20. Off topic…sorry. Can any of you tell me if what this man is saying is true??????

    http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/10.09/warnning.html

    • Yes, Lord Moncton is stating a fact.

      The treaty supersedes US law.

      The treaty will force Americans to collapse their standard of living.

      • You have got to be kidding me???? And our President is going to sign this??? And there is no way for us to rescend this???? Somebody shake the US we are living a bad dream!!!! Ok now I am scared.
        My my our government is run by total IDIOTS.

      • v. Holland says:

        Okay, perhaps I have misunderstood-does it not take 67 votes in Congress to okay this thing and if they try to put it through in some underhanded way can it then not be throw out.

        • v. Holland says:

          be throw out-be thrown out

        • I don’t know the answer but I will find out if the President has to get the OK before he signs a treaty

        • Well V…..Wikipedia says “In the United States, the term “treaty” has a different, more restricted legal sense than exists in international law. U.S. law distinguishes what it calls treaties from treaty executive agreements, congressional-executive agreements, and sole executive agreements. All four classes are equally treaties under international law; they are distinct only from the perspective of internal American law. The distinctions are primarily concerning their method of ratification. Whereas treaties require advice and consent by two-thirds of the Senate, sole executive agreements may be executed by the President acting alone. Some treaties grant the President the authority to fill in the gaps with executive agreements, rather than additional treaties or protocols. And finally, congressional-executive agreements require majority approval by both the House and the Senate, either before or after the treaty is signed by the President.

          Currently, international agreements are executed by executive agreement rather than treaties at a rate of 10:1. Despite the relative ease of executive agreements, the President still often chooses to pursue the formal treaty process over an executive agreement in order to gain congressional support on matters that require the Congress to pass implementing legislation or appropriate funds, and those agreements that impose long-term, complex legal obligations on the U.S.”
          It seems V that it depends on if the President wants Congress’s approval or not.

          • I agree.

            And he will want Congress to ratify it.

            • v. Holland says:

              I understand that he would want them too but I don’t see a large majority doing so-Why would he even try.

          • v. Holland says:

            Now I’m scared!

            • v. Holland says:

              Wouldn’t you know it-not in Constitution just a claimed power by the President-another example of why the Constitution isn’t and shouldn’t be a living document.

              “Although executive agreements are not mentioned in the Constitution, Presidents claim the power to enter into such agreements based on their executive power, their duty to receive ambassadors from other nations, their power as commander in chief, and their duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

              http://www.answers.com/topic/executive-agreement

              • Well V the way or Reps sign things without reading them….they would just rubber stamp this to. I actually get sicker by the day.

  21. The Terminators hidden message.

  22. Youssef Shaaban says:

    I think all of you have different opinions but all of you share the same point the U.S.A shouldn’t have interfered with other countries and now that its too late you feel that we have to maintain military bases there to keep the Country from falling apart. but in reality we don’t have to. let them work their own problems. you can the poor man rice but once its finished he will starve, teach him how to farm rice and he will never have that problem

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