And that's supposed to convince me that withdrawing from the world militarily and sitting behind our borders, legalizing pot and abolishing the world bank is a good idea? First, I take Lew Rockwell's correspondents with a grain of salt (and a small grain - I have high blood pressure) The Lew Rockwell gang are every bit as adept at twisting history to suit a narrative (isolationism) as McNamara and his ilk ever were. The libertarian/liberal alliance of today is beating the drum for the US to pull out of the world as a miracle cure for national aggression and they never tire of calling you a neocon for not supporting them.
Vietnam was a mistake, not because we were trying to save South Vietnam from North Vietnamese conquest, but because we weren't, no matter what MacNamara said. Vietnam was about ginning up paranoia in order to prolong what was essentially a massive weapons testing spree by the military/industrial complex. There was no thought of winning the war, just keeping it going so they could work out the kinks in all those expensive new weapons they wanted taxpayers to buy. And no article about how China was too poor to overrun Southeast Asia anyway is going to convince me they wouldn't have done it if we'd taken our troops home and not made it too costly for them to extend their "Sphere of Influence". Vietnam was badly handled. We could have ended that war in six weeks if we hadn't handcuffed ourselves before we went into it.
My foreign policy would be this instead.
- Rule 1: The United States never fights a holding war. If we go to war it's in, win and gone. We'll even help the people of the miscreant nation clean up and rebuild. We're nice people like that. Ask Japan and Germany.
- Rule 2: No nation may henceforth march into another nation and conquer it. Period!
George Bush was right in liberating Kuwait and returning its government to its original state. George W was right in going to Afghanistan to root out state-sponsored terrorism. He was right in taking down Saddam for violating the original Gulf War cease fire which saved his fuzzy butt to continue mass murdering his own people. No fly zones were a poor substitute for taking out that madman in the first place.
And we should have got nose to nose with Putin over the Crimea. If the populace wanted to go back to Mother Russia as Putin said, let the UN go in and conduct elections and make it a peaceful transfer. Other than by the will of the people no outside nation should be allowed to change the national borders of another (and yes, even borders in Africa). By acting on principle to stifle aggressor nations we can avoid a whole lot of the kind of bloodshed the libertarian/liberal alliance never seems to get upset over - mass murder by conquerors.
I think both parties have it wrong because both are cowardly. They fear losing power so much that they are afraid to wield it properly when the time comes. I also think the libertarian/liberal alliance is wrong-headed on many levels in its naive belief that the US can bring about peace simply by withdrawing from the world stage and that our trading vessels and commerce will be able to go unmolested about the world.
No matter what Country Joe and the Fish might have to say about it, you can't put down your guns and pick up your hookah and make everything magically okay in the world. There is good and evil. We may have failed in a big way in the past, but that's no excuse to wallow in our guilt and curl up in the fetal position behind our leaky borders with bong to comfort us.
Our guiding principle should be the Arthurian one - "Not Might is right, but Might FOR right." Who decides what is right? Well all we've got is electable and fallable human leaders. I'm not saying trust them without question. I'm saying that as a people we should be telling them what is right and expecting them to do that.
Unfortunately we have a press that's busy trying to convince us that we're on our way to a socialist utopia and a political class that only cares about maintaining its power. Without an unbiased, open and fearless press, we're pretty much screwed. You have ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN singing the liberal anthem. You've got Lew Rockwell and Alex Jones marching the unstable conservatives off the cliff and the country club Republicans trying to beat Democrats at their own political games. Center moderates and mainstream conservatives are left with little more sanity than Fox News and the exhausting struggle to sift through the crap to find the truth.
As Ronald Reagan showed, the American people recognize the truth when they hear it and will get behind it. Unfortunately, we only had 8 years of that kind of principled leadership, then the politicians took it back. They're bad enough. I see no advantage to giving it to the nuts.
And don't ask me about the revisionist history lesson I got last night about the evilness of Israel from a liberal university history professor. History is such a messy business, especially when libs (of both stripes) get hold of it.
© 2014 by Tom King