The Neutralist

Why The Neutralist? The term Isolationist implies a narrow Fortress America outlook and is used as an epithet. The term Neutralist does not indicate someone hiding out from the world. No one calls the Swiss isolationists. The Wilsonian world view is old, tired and wrong. Our interventions have been less and less successful and now the failure can no longer be covered up.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

War on Terror: Drones Target 41 but Kill 1,147 Mostly Innocent men, Women, and Children-Neutralist asks, Does this make you safer?

Mish Shedlock posted from a Guardian article of the headline above.  How effective are our drones;

The drones came for Ayman Zawahiri on 13 January 2006, hovering over a village in Pakistan called Damadola. Ten months later, they came again for the man who would become al-Qaida’s leader, this time in Bajaur. 
Eight years later, Zawahiri is still alive. Seventy-six children and 29 adults, according to reports after the two strikes, are not. 
Now, one guesses if questioned how inhuman all this is, our government spokesters would say we meant well or would channel Madeline Albright and say it is worth it.

Again, the Neutralist asks the question, does anyone feel safer in this country because of all the effort to control the Middle East or anywhere for that matter?

Please, someone tell me, how are we safer?

Link to Mish here, Guardian here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another reason for a neutralist foreign policy

So Hagel is out.  The indispensable Col. Lang at Sic Semper Tyrannis has a post up about it.  It does give a break down of how things are going.

The Neutralist, however, took the part that serves our purpose.  To quote the Colonel,

The armed forces are being asked to assume larger and larger missions in the Middle East, Afghanistan and West Africa.  At the same time the money needed to maintain DoD operations and perform such functions as Strategic Triad modernization has largely disappeared in the welter of sequestration and general reductions in budget. Understandably the generals and admirals are pushing back and the constitutional way for them to do that is through the civilian head of the Department of Defense.The back pressure was probably displayed last week in a loosening of ROE in Afghanistan.

In our broke republic, there are always going to be budget fights, but sooner or later we have to face reality.  Our overseas adventures never really return anything good to the citizenry.  They may make a buck for the profiteer, but that is it in every empire that ever was.
Bring everyone home.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

They almost had me with the Yazidi scare

The drumbeat of save the Yazidis tore at our hearts.  We Americans are suckers for that humanitarian save 'em impulse.  As a neutralist, I want out of everywhere.  I am usually immune to  the heartstrings thingy, but in Iraq, my government screwed everything up.  If we had left Saddam in power he would still be suppressing everything, including the genocide of minorities.  So I am not immune to the we owe them thing.

This most recent kerfluffle has been a sham.  Mosey on over to read Jason Ditz at Antiwar blog.  His story, Yazidis Weren’t Stranded, Pentagon Looks for Other Missions
State Dept Tries to Credit US With Solving Phony Problem, has stiffened my neutralist resolve.

Friday, August 01, 2014

The official Neutralist position on Gaza remains the same as it ever was.

The Neutralist in his personal life has been observing the situation and has his own opinion.

As the Neutralist, we have only one opinion and it was originally stated in a post on January 8, 2009.

We repost it in its entirety here.

Gaza and the Neutralist

For anyone following the Neutralist, it is obvious our policy is Washington's no entangling alliances. We do not believe American freedom has been enhanced by any of our adventures whether in Iraq or Afghanistan and a Darfur expedition would come a cropper, just to give a few instances.

So it goes without saying, we believe it is not the business of the American State to be involved in this conflict. We should not be on either side, neither should we be trying to make peace. We have been pretty much a failure in this regard and it does not look like we will better our record in the future.

We have nothing to fear from the Palestinians militarily. They are not going to acquire a carrier fleet and amphibious landing craft and sail to invade Manhattan anytime soon. Granted, they have no love for us, not that I blame them. Certainly, considering that, we should be reticent with letting them immigrate here.

One supposes the Israelis could send their air force all the way, refueling in flight to bomb Wall Street. Of course, what would be the point. Our financial geniuses have more or less done that already.

No we have no business being there. The Neutralist Policy is not to be there.

That does not mean there won't be consequences. Economically, if every Palestinian left the Middle East, there probably would be little impact on the world.

If Israel were destroyed, it would be a disaster of vast import. In spite of lousy government, the Israelis have a brilliant record of invention and improvement. The loss to the world if, say Technion were gutted would be horrible.

There is a high school robotics competition every year in the US and Israel sends a number of teams. The Arab world sends none that I know of. Those young minds will grow to be engineers and their loss would be tragic.

So what does the Neutralist, as a Neutralist suggest Israel do without the support of its sponsor. Years ago, on a now defunct webzine, I wrote the following,

As to strategy that I would pursue if I were the Israeli PM: build that fence. There is an historical incentive for Ariel that he should not miss out on. If it is built well enough it will be spoken of as Sharon's Fence in the same way as is Hadrian's Wall. As Russell Crowe said, "What we do in this life, echoes in eternity." Yeah, there are problems with fencing, as there are with all strategies, but from my vantage point it appears to be the best of whatever there is, short of the Israeli government sending Jews and Arabs into a timeout.

If we were a neutralist country, we would not ally with Israel, but we would cooperate with any nation that was, as William Lind put it, a center of order.

There are other aspects of this. If the Palestinians want to be a state, who cares? A state that existed and had all the apparatus of such an entity would have every incentive to not bug the Israelis. As things are going now, the Hamas apparatus will suffer numerous deaths and then reconstitute itself as a more virulent organism once the current operation runs its course. The Neutralist is just guessing in most predictions. The only thing we are sure of is that our involvement is a sure loser.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ukraine, the story behind the story

So there is a lot of Putin is the devil and the angels are in the Ukrainian government repeated in the American Press.  The drumbeat of propaganda against Russian and the separatists is too obviously orchestrated that there has to be a reason other than the inherent evil of the the Eastern Slavs.

According to one website it is due to the South Stream Pipeline.  According to Sylvia Todorova at WhoWhatWhy, The US has become the largest producer of Natural Gas and would like to sell it across the pond in liquefied form.

The Neutralist cannot say this is the real story.  We do, however, agree that the idea we really care for justice may not be the complete truth.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

If the American governments reaction to Flight MH 17 doesn't make the case for Neutralism, you are never going to get it

There is so much news.  We have NPR, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.  They all say essentially the same thing, We have no proof, the investigation will take a while, Russia is to blame.

It is hard not to escape the thought that all main stream media is propaganda.  From hyper-left MSNBC to Neocon Fox the drumbeat is little different.

The desire to blame Russia, or the Eastern Ukrainians and therefore Russia has nothing to do with real guilt or innocence.  The Neutralist does not claim to have the story behind the story as to why we absolutely have to run the table in Eastern Europe.  It might be so the dopey VP's kid can keep his sinecure.  If he's anything like the old man, he ain't cut out for real work.  Maybe it is something to do with keeping the dollar the world currency.  Of course, if we hadn't kept devaluing it over decades that might not be a problem.

Whatever the reason we're bugging Vlad, it is not worth mutually assured incineration if we go too far.

No one is asking the question, but why can't we just leave?  What if enough people said, "ya know, both incarnations of the Bush-Obama administration have gone from failure to failure, maybe we should really try something different.  Let's leave."

Of course, at that point, the neocons and other foreign policy hot shots would say, "But, but Putin could  takeover Ukraine and maybe finlandize a lot of other territory."

Yeah, so what.  If what we've seen of the Ukies these last several months, he can have them.  The only real question is what can he do to us?

In real terms, we are doing it to ourselves, but the question is fair.  There are some things he can do and probably is.  There are allusions in the press that is he talking with the Brics about setting up a rival system for settling payments.  Who can blame him?

As to hurting us, he can take measures on the periphery of taking the part of countries that we are bugging elsewhere.  Again, why wouldn't he?

If we were not there, much of the incentive for the first goes away and just about all of the second evaporates.

He can not come after us with a carrier fleet and an invasion flotilla because he does not have one, nor will he acquire one anytime soon.

What do we get out of saying au revoir?  We see an end to a sea of problems and expenses.

That's it folks.  We don't have to be there, in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa anywhere.  We don't have to be there.

Now there are some out there who will argue that we have to be over there to secure petroleum supplies.  I remember the argument some local talk show nut used to use locally, "What is our oil doing under there soil?"  Don't have a ready answer, but oil is fungible and usually available for purchase.  Maybe we consult the Swiss on how a neutral gets hydrocarbons.

The point is we really don't have to be there.  The moms and dads who have lost sons and daughters since 2001 have had them stolen, because, in real terms, they did not have to be there.

So if you, my one or two readers have a neutralist ethos, when someone you know spouts off about how we have to show Putin a thing or two, ask why and don't stop.  When he proves to you that he has listened and absorbed all that the talking heads have spouted, don't try to prove him wrong, just keep asking why we should care.

And when he says, "Yeah, but he could be in Moldova in a week!"  Ask him what part of the United States Moldova is in?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Steven Erlanger saves the French from slavery

But the emotional legacies are different for different countries. For France the war, however bloody, was a necessary response to invasion. Preventing the German Army from reaching Paris in the first battle of the Marne spelled the difference between freedom and slavery. 
The words above were written by an elite journalist in the paper of record.  Mr. Erlanger has punched all the tickets, Harvard, the Times, a shared Pulitzer.  For a writer to conjure up the Gauls as all enchained by Les Boches is absurd.  True, the Germans would not have been gentle, but like after the unpleasantness of the early 1870s, they  would have left.

Oh well, Mr. Erlanger appears to be reliably neocon so not much else can be expected.

After all, when Charlie Thin put up money to help save the Grey Lady, it wasn't to get a quality product.