Sunday, March 04, 2012

Comment on a comment

I was going to post this as a rebuttal in the comments section on the last post, but the Blogger gods say it's too long. Nevertheless, I think it's important that I clarify some of my condensed thoughts that bubbled up during the writing of the previous post. I sent this as an e-mail, but let's keep the discourse public here. Everything that follows is verbatim. My replies are in boldface.

And my point-by-point response is:

Also I'm more than a little surprised to hear those liberal talking points [my emphasis] coming out of your keyboard...

-Did we learn nothing from our own adventure in Vietnam? (It was an adventure?)

That's an archaic term, taken from "national adventurism" as used by the British. And yes, it was quite an adventure for the kids that were there.

-Why the hell are we still in Afghanistan after ten years? ...we kicked the Taliban out of the country. (Wrong. Who do you think we're fighting over there? Mother Theresa?)

We're fighting people who are, in the words of Winston Churchill, the most treacherous, cowardly, and militarily inept people on the face of the earth. The myth of Islamic hospitality is just that; they will give you a meal and a place to sleep, and cut your throat when your eyes are closed. The only trust you can place in a Muslim is the certainty of betrayal and treachery.

-a national moral stance that reeks of the American imperialism (Do you really believe that? A "national" moral stance?)

In the sense that we, as a nation, are carrying out policies approved by the majority of the people, through Congress, yes, there is a "national" moral stance. The president is the poster child for that expression of national will, but that went to hell in the '90s with Willie & Monica, and is now no longer even a consideration. As with the rest of my comparisons to War II, our moral stance from 1941-45 was a righteous one. After that, it became warped. Instead of a stand-off, the Cold War became World War III, with "our" dictators versus "their" dictators. Had we just stood back and waited, communism would've collapsed under the weight of its faulty premises 30 years sooner than when the Berlin Wall finally fell.

-Do the hacks who run our government truly believe that other people, from societies that are totally alien to our own, want to be just like us? (It's true that some people don't want to be just like us, especially those who want sharia. But plenty do want to be just like us, and they keep trying to get here.)

Sure, this is the land of opportunity, where a big-city cabdriver can make more in a year than a cabinet minister in some benighted Third World country. I say more power to those who want to come here legally, assimilate at least the rudiments of our established culture--like learning English--and toss the dice in the capitalist system. Until recently, hard work has always been rewarded. One of those rewards is the freedom to hold on to the culture and traditions of wherever you came from. However, that doesn't encompass tribalism or demands for preferential treatment.

-We sold “Americanism” door-to-door in Vietnam, like encyclopedias or Bibles. We knocked on the door of the hooch, explained that we were there to help them, and if the hapless peasants didn’t buy it, we either shot them or relocated them to re-education camps, and moved on to the next village. (C'mon now.)

"We had to destroy the village in order to save it." Save them from what? The peasants I tripped over didn't know Ho Chi Minh from Richard Nixon, and didn't care which one was sitting on the throne in Hanoi or Saigon.

-Maybe, like the Russians, all they really wanted in life was a washer-dryer combo, a microwave oven (Do you think that's what the Cold War was all about? Washers and dryers?)

Yeah, pretty much. The key to that "winning hearts and minds" business boiled down to which goverment, driven by their specific ideology, was going to provide the best quality of life for the largest number of people. That's best measured in materialistic terms. The Soviets had that jazz about "from each according to his abilty, to each according his need", and we had the general attitude of "jump in there, do something and be somebody." We won.

-Somewhere along the road, we became intoxicated with our own moral certainty, and decided that if we were prospering as a people, then the rest of the world would be well-advised to follow suit. By the start of the 20th century, we were knocking on other nations’ doors, giving them our sales pitch, and if they didn’t buy it, we shot them in the head and moved on to their neighbors. (Yep, shot the whole nation in the head.)

Figure of speech. Ask the Libyans what they think about Teddy Roosevelt and his war on the Barbary pirates. We overthrew a whole sovereign country with one company of Marines and a couple of battleships sitting offshore. Actually, you don't have to go that far. Ask any Native American what they think about the doctrines of Ulysees Grant and Billy Sherman. Them heathen Injuns were sovereign nations when we got here.

-Today, the “War on Terror” is not a declared war, by the tenets of our Constitution. Terror is not a city-state, or a country. It’s a state of mind... There is no specific geographical region or society to declare war on. It’s like playing whack-a-mole (So does that mean we shouldn't fight terror any more? Thomas Jefferson was fighting the Muslims, aka the Barbary Pirates, as far back as 1802. The Poles were fighting the Muslims and saving Europe as far back as 1683. This is a very old war.)

What I mean when I use the terms "ruthlessness and efficiency" in regards to contemporary foreign policy and opposing terrorism is very simple: kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out. Any act of terrorist aggression should be met with an overwhelming surgical response, i.e. total annihilation of the perpetrators. We should get a clue from the Israelis; we don't need to march into a country with a "coalition" army of the unwilling ready to perform the unspeakable, after obtaining permission from the UN to wage an undeclared war of opportunity. As one of my mentors said: "If somebody slaps you, you don't turn the other cheek. You cut his hand off. If he then cuts your ear off, you cut his f---ing head off." If we stand on our strength and that principle, and fear no evil because we're the meanest motorscooters in the valley, then we don't need to be dictating half-assed terms to the rest of the world. The Soviets had a decided military advantage during the Cold War, but they never jumped off because of the MAD doctrine of mutually assured destruction. To their bitter end, the Soviets kept their bets on an ideological triumph, not some precipitous action that would've left them a smoking ruin. They knew their ideology had a chance if they survived as a society. If we strike hard and fast at terrorism and aggression, kicking ass and taking names, and then settle back in our collective national lawn chair to await responses, we might soon find that there are none.

-we started fiddling in earnest with the destinies of other countries and cultures, starting in Korea. One undeclared war of opportunity led to another, and has not ceased. Like a heroin addict seeking to recapture that first orgasmic high, we are fighting the “war on terror” like War II, replete with nation-building and “my-way-or-the-highway” proclamations. (So I guess it would have been better if we left Korea to the communists? The South Koreans would be better off today if they were part of the North? Maybe it would have been better if we just left the whole world to become Nazis or Japs or commies? And now you want to let them all submit to sharia?)

I think that if we had left communism to run its inevitable course to ruin, without providing them a common, general enemy to oppose by perpetuation of their ideology, we would've won the Cold War a lot sooner. Instead of Radio Free Europe and the endless bush wars, we should have stood off with the attitude of "Okay, if you've got such a great idea, make it work." The ruthless part of that is no foreign aid, no charity, no "humanitarian outreach". When slavery and parasitism turns to famine, anarchy, and genocide, the basics of human nature--what the Founding Fathers called "our God-given rights"--will kick in, and the people trapped in a no-win situation will rebel and set things a-right. The uprisings in Iran that Jughead failed to back were proof of this. It will be a terrible thing to watch from afar, but if we're not involved, we can be here as a guiding light of the better course to take when the dust settles.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying America never made a mistake, but you're starting to sound a bit cynical Possum.

America made plenty of mistakes, but they never deterred my devotion to the basic concept of the United States, as the Founding Fathers envisioned it. What I'm lamenting these days is my 30 years of service to sinister causes that I deluded myself into believing were the best for everybody. As I said in my earlier comment: a cynic sees the glass as half-empty, not half full. I see the glass as shattered, and the water already absorbed on the desert floor. We passed the tipping point when the national debt surpassed the GDP. It's now "deja vu all over again" as we re-live the fall of the Roman Empire.

A number of big-brain genome specialists say there's a "death gene" that triggers in our bodies about the age of 45 or so, leading to physical decline and ultimate discorporation. I'm glad mine is already active, so I won't have to see the worst of what's to come. We're going to lose the election this fall, and when fully unleashed, our foreign-born Muslim socialist president will place us at the mercy of the world. The Koran makes no allowances for mercy for infidels, so this ain't gonna be pretty. The rat race is over; the rats won.

For some reason, I'm hearing Freddie Mercury singing the last lines of "Bohemian Rhapsody": "Nothing really matters...nothing really matters any more."


Blogger camojack said...

"Any act of terrorist aggression should be met with an overwhelming surgical response, i.e. total annihilation of the perpetrators."

While I heartily concur with the sentiment, overwhelming and surgical are conflicting oxymoron, if you will.

March 04, 2012 3:44 AM  
Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Well Possum,
I guess I'll have to post my response to your response as a comment:

I'm sorry to see that you have become so damn cynical that "Nothing really matters...nothing really matters any more." And I am inclined to disagree with your statement that "if we had left communism to run run its inevitable course to ruin" that it actually would have. Communism still lives and breathes today, and it ain't pretty. Forget Cuba and North Korea. Sure, those are client states that probably would collapse without outside help. But China is the one that should be worrying us. China has simply relinquished the communist economic model in favor of the capitalist model, but they have kept and are dearly hanging on to the communist political model. I wouldn't want to live there for all the tea in... China, I guess.

And I dare say that if we hadn't been fighting the coms our world would be a much worse place today. And I'm PROUD of our country and of its role in the world. [We are the most giving, compassionate, and caring people in the world too. My daughter just returned home from a mission trip to El Salvador. She had to raise $5000 so she could help dig a water well there. Is that the Imperialistic stance to which you refer?]

I'm also sorry to see that you must be assuming that I and the other Scrapplers who feel the same way [ie, proud of our country] can only be dopes... or dupes?

Jim [Items in brackets added later]

March 04, 2012 11:44 AM  
Blogger Beerme said...

We basically did Europe's bidding (against Jefferson's own advice) in the Barbary "pirates" affair. We have been basically assisting Europe in its continuation of the crusades since that time. Add in the geopolitical complications of oil and you have a very big mess.

It boils down to this: We cannot occupy other countries, given the fact that we believe in an ethical approach to social justice. As long as we see it as barbaric and unthinkable to wipe out a people, the guerrilla nature of any occupation will make it impossible to win. The only solution is to leave them alone and trade with them as necessary.

The people of the middle east remember our meddling, both as Europe's puppet and in our own interests and they resist. We would, too. Religion and tribal warring and colonialist interests and factional political alliances contribute to make this area and its conflicts something that a self-sufficient and ethical republic should avoid.

But there are few people in power in this country-and few pundits who keep them there-who would ascribe to this "naive" and isolationist world view. They avoid this sensible (and historically accurate)view at all of our perils...

March 04, 2012 12:59 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Hawkeye: You know better than that! I don't disparage Scrapplers or anyone else who is proud of our country. If anything, I sometimes feel like the dope/dupe for having an unwavering commitment to America for three decades; i.e. a sense of betrayal as I free-fall in the polluted atmosphere the political class has created today.

No, what your daughter is doing in El Salvador is exactly the kind of voluntary compassion we should be offering the rest of the world in place of the strings-attached quasi-imperialistic meddling the goverment is prone to.

Two clarifications and a correction:

(1) When parasitism and slavery erupt into open rebellion to reassert human rights, it's going to get ugly when we stand aside and wait, but if civil war degenerates into massive genocide such as the Holocaust or the Rape of Nanking, we have to step in and do something. Not grope for a diplomatic solution, or waste time with some BS United Nations foolishness; we have to stop what's happening as quickly and brutally as necessary, and leave the survivors to sort it out. Think of it as breaking up a fight between two drunks in a parking lot, when the winner is kicking in the head of his downed opponent.

(2) Diplomacy is always a consideration, even if we achieve the level of non-involvement I suggest. It never hurts to send in the cookie-pushers to try and reason with misguided governments, just as it never hurts to have a psychiatrist chat with a serial long as the killer is properly sedated.

(3) I misspoke with my hasty "ask the Libyans what they think [about TR]" statement. I believe it was actually Morocco that Roosevelt overthrew with a company of Marines and a couple of battleships. Mea culpa.

March 06, 2012 12:16 AM  
Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Hi Possum,
Sorry if I sounded angry in my last post. I'm really not, but I am SERIOUSLY confused. When you say all the same kinds of things that Liberals have been spouting off at me for years, it's hard to understand where you're coming from.

Liberals have been telling me that our foreign policy has been screwed up since Korea. Libs have been telling me that Vietnam was an "adventure". Libs were saying that Afghanistan was "the good war" before they started asking why we have been there for 10 years. In other words, they were for it before they were against it.

Libs are the ones who call the US an "imperialist" country. Libs are the ones who belittled GWB for believing that all people, even those in the Middle East, want to be free and live in a democracy. Are you kidding? Egyptians love democracy so much, they voted in the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists. If that's what they really wanted, and Mubarak was preventing them from getting it, then GWB is proven 100% accurate.

Libs are the ones who said we went around Vietnam "shooting people in the head" and burning down villages and torturing people. Libs said we "raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan."

Libs say we sell "Americanism". Libs make fun of America because of our "washer and dryer" materialism. Libs say we are intoxicated with our own moral certainty. Libs are the ones who say we should apologize to the Muslims instead of standing up to them. Libs were the ones who said Joe McCarthy was a wingnut and that we should stop trying to root out the Commies in our country.

Of Communism, Ronald Reagan said that they are "an evil empire". When asked about his strategy for dealing with the Soviet Union, he said: "We win, they lose". It was the Liberals who wanted "Detente" and appeasement. To the horror of the Liberals, Reagan said: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

Am I wrong? Are you now against standing up to the Communists and the Muslim jihadis? This is when we need you the most Possum. Don't wimp out on me.

(:D) Best regards...

March 10, 2012 7:45 PM  
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June 06, 2012 10:08 PM  

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