The nuclear bomb is - ironically - one of the best peacekeeping devices ever created.
If Israel starts a war with Iran unprovoked, I'm of the opinion that the US should end ALL aid to Israel.
If Iran is the agressor, I think there will be an understanding between the US and Russia to bilaterally decimate the whole Ayatollah and setup a Russian "controlled" Iran.
The other IRONY here is that the person who was keeping the whole region in check was Saddam. Now without Saddam PROMISING to kill anyone and everyone who stepped out of line, the whole region is going a bit bonkers.
Hello rozemist, I agree with your perspective and the various points that you raised. I have looked at American foreign policy with a cynical eye ever since the Vietnam War. I was in high school during that time period and we were taught about the "domino theory" and how if we didn't take a stand in Vietnam, many other countries would fall to Communist regimes. Yet, 40 years later, over 50,000 (if I am remembering correctly) dead American soldiers, Vietnam is a Communist country, and many clothing labels of apparel sold in the U.S.A. read "made in Vietnam". So our country obviously has some type of cozy trade agreement for goods with Vietnam. It is not that I want to hold a grudge, I have nothing against Germany, Italy, or Japan. But in World War II, the Allies won and this outcome led to real changes in governments, leadership, and world conditions which were brought about by the sacrifices of the Allied soldiers and countries. Even the United States Civil War, with its enormous casualties, achieved the important accomplishment of ending slavery, eventually made our nation stronger, and defined us as being more than just a loosely held collection of autonomous states. The staggering loss of life in the Vietnam War, on the other hand, seems all for naught, to me. That made me skittish of any foreign entanglements, especially wars, that appear to present no opportunity for real change, but only an endless quagmire that sinks us deeper and deeper and drains resources needed for problems in our own country. I am not for isolation, since we ARE part of the world community. I support humanitarian efforts for natural disasters, wherever they occur. I respect Israel as an ally, but don't want to see our country dragged into yet another war among people that have been fighting each other since Biblical times. There are those who profit from war and are therefore eager for the next one. I look at it as if we are all still stuck in cave men mentality when it comes to strife - "I win if I can hit you with the bigger rock". It seems like only the sophistication of the weaponry has changed, not the actual mind-set behind wars. That is depressing.
On a more positive note, I do believe that under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (and the Obama administration), America has tried to stress diplomatic relations and solutions rather than saber rattling. Sincerely, Karen
Great blog, and a complex subject to speak about.
As I always like to do; the founders saw this nation leading by example of actions here, and not abroad. To some this is seen as isolationist, but that is an extreme that is bantered about to to keep the status quo. The founders were all in favor of international commerce and a diplomatic policy of working towards keeping open trade, but were highly against being involved in other country's politics.
It is the shadow economy of our defense spending that drives our continued involvement in other country's politics. It is profitable and basically unregulated way of spending American tax dollars. War is profitable, and it keeps money moving.
If the Middle East is in flux, it is by the people and not the governments. This is a threat to our system of control because with a government, good, bad or otherwise, you know who you are dealing with and what to expect. When you have a situation like we face now in the Arab countries, we do not know who the players are and what to expect from them, lessening our ability to dictate the outcome. That is why we should never get involved in another country's civil war, you just don't know which is the "good guys" and who the "bad guys" are because those titles should be dictated by the citizens of that land and not by the West for the convenience of our diplomats. A person fighting in a civil war is fighting for a cause, and they will fight to the end, where we fight in that war until our citizens tire of the cause, like with Vietnam.
It is well documented that the first President Bush and Margret Thatcher were against the fall of East Germany due to the unknown that was about to take place. They knew what to expect from East Germany's government, and knew how to deal with it. It was unknown if the reunification of Germany would be a positive thing, or negative, possibly leading back to the type of power structure that was in place leading up to WWII.
I agree with Karen when she stated our involvement should be when to "support humanitarian efforts for natural disasters, wherever they occur" and nothing more.
Fear mongering and the "unknown possibility" are the reasons for the weak and fearful who don't have the, or believe in, the American principle to not be involved in other countries business.
Hello TheSovereign, I did not say that I thought that we should ONLY support humanitarian efforts for natural disasters, wherever they occur, and nothing more. I also think, besides disaster relief, it is perfectly acceptable and commendable to be involved in Peace Corps-like activities in underdeveloped countries such as increasing crop output, vaccinating children against diseases, improving irrigation methods, building better shelters, etc. Our country should be involved in trade agreements and sitting at the world table to discuss ways to cooperatively combat climate change and reduce global warming impacts. There are probably many other ways the U.S.A. can be in partnership with other countries. I just don't want to see us involved in "regime changes" and foreign wars where we clearly lack a necessary understanding of the complexities and mind-set of the people affected or the nuances of a multi-layered situation. It is our servicemen and women who suffer from our military miscues and mistakes. Their lives are valuable and they should never be treated like collateral damage or acceptable casualties. I hope I have made my position clearer, I should have elaborated more in my original post. Sincerely, Karen
The problem we have when it comes to military spending, intervening, wars, etc, is we are the worlds superpower. There are others who will try to vie for that position but right now that's where we stand. When there is a "problem" in the world people look to us, we are the police. I think conservatives understand this better than liberals, but the rhetoric never really matches what's really going on which serves as the basis upon which they can hold so many contradicting ideas. They see foreign policy as a competition where we have to stay on top, anybody steps out of line generally will be in trouble. Idk, the average liberal kind seem to not understand our place in the world and why we have to maintain such a large military budget. It's like they forget that our military isn't just for protecting U.S. soil anymore.
I think it's both hypocrisy and caution. Of course the biggest imperial power is going to be hypocritical. For as it advertises itself as the greatest place on earth, it keeps this front because it exerts it's power across the globe. But it's also caution because we don't want anybody stepping out of line. Iran openly challenges U.S. dominance. The Empire always has to be cautious that it can control other States...
It seems liberals don't want the U.S. to be in that position anymore, so I'm going to beg the question: How do you plan on leaving that position in the world?
Hello Capitalists_Nightmare, Do you consider China to be a superpower also? What is your criteria for being a superpower - world in*fluence, military might, economic status? I think America IS a superpower, but we are not the ONLY one. Being a so-called superpower does not mean we are automatically locked into "policing the world", especially by sending our own troops into overseas wars between people of ongoing con*flict that can backfire and in*flame segments of the world against us. We can diplomatically mediate if the warring factions are open to it, or use sanctions or other non-military means to express our position. Speaking of in*flaming - this forum's censorship of certain letter configurations is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS *** (as well as frustrating, can you tell?) Sincerely, Karen
Karen, I was not limiting anything you said, just agreeing with your statement. The depth at which this country gets involved with others needs to be greatly curtailed. The founders spoke of leading the world by example of our action here only, and yet we build schools and institute health care systems elsewhere and fight their existence here.
The word super power is an arrogant word to mean we spend more on military might than anyone else. The term may have had a greater meaning after WWII when we as a country came out unscathed from the destructive nature of war, and had also developed a unpresidented manufacturing ability that allowed us to supply the world with much needed good and made us an extremely rich nation. The problems we face today come from the fact that those other countries began to catch up in manufacturing and purchased less and less of our goods which threatened our wealth. It's to our advantage to stifle and interrupt other countries ability to out produce us and/or to control that production. The only manufacturing that seems to have existed unscathed is that of the industrial military complex, which has unlimited resources and unlimited purchasers for their goods.
I have no issue with the thought of a "Peace Corp" but it is hypocritical coming from a warring country. It is trade agreements that can enslave the people of a region to produce products at low cost for the benefit of corporations or governments as we see in African nations who have rare Earth minerals.
The phrase "Super Power" needs to be better defined. You question if China is a Super Power and if that is to be determined by military strength then no not yet and maybe never. If it is based on manufacturing abilities then maybe yes, and that may make them stronger than us. Is it due to in*fluance in the region, then that would be an on going yes, but that is something that Over the centuries China has had on more than one occasion.
The United States has abused their super power status to the point that we don't inf*luance by example as the founders saw fit, we inf*lance the same way the mafia inf*luances with money and violence. We are told to not settle differences with our neighbors with violence but rather call the authorities to reason them out, yet when a country disagrees with us we threaten and then act violently towards them looking for diplomatic submission.
Liberals are as much to blame for these actions as are Conservatives. Both over the decades have used this form of diplomacy in the name of peace and stength. There are no leadership that is willing to stand down and return to focusing on the betterment of our nation and that is because of the way the Constitution is structured. There are less restrictions on forign affairs than there are for domestic affairs, so they take the path that gives them the most power and the quickest return on their investment.
I wouldn't be surprised if many of the people who are possibly baby boomers became cynical of American's foreign Policy's due to the Viet Nam War (and it's never even been declared a War which is unthinkable if you count the loss of lives).
We were originally told that Americans were there only to "advise" and the truth of it all slowly came out piece by piece,I'm not even sure if we still have the truth of it all.
16 years of loss of life on all sides,it hurt the US economy tremendously,and as you said clothing with the labels "viet nam" are sold here ,you can bet a deal was struck.
Viet Nam is what started my distrust with our foreign policy and has grown with the years as I've watch our Country become best known for "double standards" "do as we say,not as we do" and continuing to disregard the rights of other countries by meddling in their affairs,waging wars whenever we feel like it.
The younger generations have found their own cynicism by watching ,and learning just as we did.
The truth of it is like Sovereign say's War is profitable ,and that is why the United States will stay in such a profitable business,it serves their interest to.
That is a very cynical statement by me,but it is very much how I feel.
I also believe in humanitarian aid to other countries as in examples of catastrophes ,but realistically we are supplying financial support for countries that have nothing to do with humanitarian efforts.I fail to understand what guns, tanks and other military aid have to do with a humanitarian effort ?
Right now it is the Middle East that is receiving the largest aid from the US.
And they don't even want us there.And their right we shouldn't be there.
Of-course Israel does,because Israel wants our
military aid to go after Iran.And Israel is a also a recipient of US aid.
I was specifically looking for what it says about foreign aid in the Constitution,because it has become so "exaggerated and twisted" in the way that the US uses foreign aid.
Posting a small piece out the Constitution it says "any donation abroad of funds or things, military or any other kind, by the Federal government--in order to be authorized by the Constitution--must contribute substantially and directly to the "common Defence... of the United States," meaning the national defense: the actual, military, physical defense of the American homeland. Under the Constitution as amended, Congress and the President completely lack any power to act the benevolent role abroad with the American people's property--money or any other type. This is true as to all so-called "foreign aid"--whether military, economic or financial--however accomplished: by gift, or loan, or by any other device or method, and whether done openly, or by subterfuge. Individuals may, of course, give such aid out of their own property (money) as they please."
Looks like a lot of what the Constitution said has been disregarded by our Government ,but I don't think that's new.
George Washington gave excellent advice in his farewell address:
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our external relations to have with them as little political connection as possible....
Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns....
And John Jay warned in Federalist No.4
[The] safety of the people of America against dangers from foreign force, depends not only on their forbearing to give just causes of war to other nations, but also on their placing and continuing themselves in such a situation as not to invite hostility or insult; for it need not be observed, that there are pretended as well as just causes of war.
the first link I supplied regarding the constitution on foreign aid must be a broken link
will supply another
hope this works "better"
I'd also like to "clarify" that I wasn't posting "from the Constitution" ,but posting what I was reading about foreign aid from the "Limited Government In relation to the Constitution's Treaty Clause" from American Ideal, big difference, my bad...:(
The more I'm researching and reading today the more I'm making goofs,think I'll go watch a movie.
here is a correct link that will replace the first link regarding countries receiving aid from the united states
It appears I didn't put in the whole link
I've spent more time on correcting my links,etc then actually commenting on the subject today.Do you ever have one of those days when things start going wrong ,that was today.
Maybe I'm still in "shock" from my visit to the gas station .