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.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
The Neutralist is stymied by this. Such restraint across the board from the MSM to the Neocons to Chomskyite crazies is amazing, but can it last?
The Neutralist has decided to take the bull by the horns. We therefore announce a contest. The first media person to equate Ron to Dolph will have a prescription of whatever psychotropic substance has been legally prescribed him or her paid for by the Neutralist.
Can we be more fair?
Friday, December 28, 2007
Dear Mr. Remnick,
I am writing to inform you of a problem your magazine may have. One Virginia Heffernan has recently had a hit piece about presidential candidate, Ron Paul, published by the New York Times. It appears that this woman's idea of what is a "fact" may be a problematic.
I believe the lass was once employed by your magazine as a "fact" checker. You may be wanting to do two things. First, check through all her work to see that she actually did the job she was assigned. Second, you might want to review your hiring procedures so that you are sure those whom you take on board for the position in question actually know what a "fact" is.
I know you will want to do this as the reputation of your publication is at stake.
All the best.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
John Derbyshire wrote the words above for the article, The U.S. Will Not Go to War Against Iraq. The title and the date, May 20, 2002 insure that no future religious book will ever refer to him as the Prophet Derb. The article is not without interest, the man can write. Sometimes, the conclusions are stupid as above, but he has style.
Unless my memory fails me, I believe Mr. Derbyshire done a few mea culpas about the war, though I can't swear to it.
Between 2002 and his current attainment of enlightenment, he has made statements that the Neutralist would put, if forced, the label, mindlessly barbaric on. On the other blog, the voice of humility we commented on Derb in a post titled Hard as Nails
I agree with Gene Healy's agreement with Julian Sanchez's take on John Derbyshire. "his views are, often as not, absolutely vile. But he's exceptionally sharp and learned, and expresses his thuggish views without cant or sugar coating, which I suppose is a virtue. It's almost as if a team of genetic scientists took a mouth-breathing, beer-swilling, Pak-bashing specimen of pure Cockney trash and raised his IQ by 100 points. How can he fail to be interesting?"
Mr. D is in trouble with some people for giving up religion. An ability to argue Episcopal theology is absent here so others can have a go at him for that. I did read his un conversion story and it seemed reasonable enough. I get the feeling he stayed as long as he did out of filial piety or he was no longer in his comfort zone. Anyway, now that he has left his up scale (in American eyes) denomination, it may be easier to think of him as that lager lout.
No, I found something else to to discuss. Actually, he makes a pretty good case for his having that genteel thuggish side in his review of Mark Steyn's America Alone,
"I am, in fact, willing to confess myself a collateral-damage armchair warrior, who would be happy to see us trade in our inventory of smart laser-guided precision munitions for lots and lots and lots of old-style iron bombs, and fleets of great big iron planes to deliver them. Remember those photographs of mid-1945 Berlin, fragments of broken wall sticking up out of vast drifts and dunes of pulverized masonry? Now that’s rubble.
Oh, and we won that war."
That is certainly refreshing. He just loved the Hun suffering. Ooh, forgot to mention that arm sticking up through that rubble.
Of course, that his point is ridiculous goes without saying. No expert has ever suggested that conventional bombing won the war in Europe. I hate to jog anyone's memory as I know of my own early onset, but it was the Big One that ended the Pacific War.
So, okay, you might think from a neutralist point of view he's a no hoper. Now, I would not say he is actually a neutralist, it is the distance he has traveled. He has come out for Ron Paul. I called him a chickenhawk in my post above. I take that back as he came out for Ronnie at NRO online, a hotbed of neocons who can't be to happy about JD's conversion which is the biggest turn of a coat since Paul traveled the Jerusalem-Damascus Interstate.
Anyway, His article, Liberty! Liberty! is worth reading. Best line, "If those people are crazy, though, I want to be crazy with them. I’m for liberty, too. That’s why I’m for Ron Paul. And why do we have 75,000 soldiers in Germany?"
The Neutralist confers the award as stated in the title of this post and pronounces John Derbyshire sane.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Glen Greenwald may be a lefty, but so far there is little in the foreign policy area where the Neutralist disagrees.
I doubt that we shall be really helping Mr. Bruce Schneier by linking to him, but as he linked to the Downsize DC website, well he will have to suffer the ignominy of a link from the Neutralist. He was linking to a particularly interesting article.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The big question is why are we pushing this now as we don't have all that many cards. Here is George Friedman's take on it,
The re-engineering of the Balkans always has assumed that there is no broader geopolitical price involved. Granting Kosovo independence would put Russia in a position in which interests that it regards as fundamental are challenged. Even if the West doesn't see why this should be the case, the Russians have made clear that it is so -- and have made statements essentially locking themselves into a response or forcing themselves to accept humiliation. Re-engineering a region where there is no risk is one thing; re-engineering a region where there is substantial risk is another.
The Germans have neither the resources nor the appetite for such a crisis. The Americans, bogged down in the Islamic world, are hardly in a position to deal with a crisis over Kosovo. The Russian view is that the West has not reviewed its policies in the Balkans since 1999 and has not grasped that the geopolitics of the situation have changed. Nor, in our view, has Washington or Berlin grasped that a confrontation is exactly what the Russians are looking for.
George is dead on, but let us take a warning from history as given by Nebojsa Malic,
When Otto von Bismarck called the Congress of Berlin in 1878, he hoped it would resolve the Balkans crisis. It ended up destroying his alliance with Russia, and setting the stage for the Great War in 1914. Austria started that war hoping to crush the pesky little Serbia and establish hegemony in the Balkans. Serbia survived, if just barely. Austria-Hungary did not.
Somehow, I don't think the lads at State or in the White house are doing an adequate risk/reward assessment
The Neutralist is posting this to bang the drum again, that an interventionist foreign policy inevitably causes more problems then it could ever solve and will eventually lead to the disaster of self defeat.
As a little note, the propaganda war against Vladimir Putin since Time anointed him has intensified with the ludicrous David Frum on Marketplace. This is the man that coined the Axis of Evil buffonery. He is after Vlad for getting rich in politics, Writing puff pieces for Presidents and American state radio is a living, but I can see where he might be jealous. He laments,
Russia, which once seemed to be evolving into something like a normal country, has retreated into enigma and authoritarianism.
Oh, gee, when was that evolution occurring? Was it that era when sharpies were looting commie property and driving all of Russia into poverty?
The man is an embarrassment.
As an aside, we oft hear of the Islamic practice of Taqqiyah which I guess might be loosely translated as lying for the cause. Such an idea is loathsome. When we ended the Bombing of Serbia, we agreed Kosovo would remain, at least de jure, part of Serbia. That was a deliberate lie. We have taqqiyah, in a subtle sort of way.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
As you drive through the Granite State you see the words "Live Free or Die" on License Plates issued by the DMV. You now see them defiantly proclaimed by lads risking life and limb to do it. Maybe not the Battle of Bennington (The New Hampshiremen were at least armed) but it's something.
There are also some lassies holding signs about gender problems. Nothing as important as worrying about heteronorming at Hahvud. The Persian girls only have little stuff to worry about like being partially buried and stoned.
The Neutralist always subscribes to the doctrine of John Quincy Adams that "America is the friend of liberty everywhere but the guarantor only of our own." We do not wish to send the fleet and army to end the current theocracy. If we did it would taint the effort that the people of Iran must do for themselves.
Still, we admire the cause and wish it well. As a former resident of New Hampshire, and by the authority not invested in me, I hereby constitute the Order of General Stark and induct the lads holding the sign as charter members.
"Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils."
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
"Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge to make a nuclear weapon," he said at the White House.
"What's to say they couldn't start another covert nuclear weapons program?"
Yup, time to reopen the search for Judge Crater as well.
Of course our Pres is not the only one to feel the the Persians may still need some discipline. Justin Raimondo over at Antiwar.com has a ball with the NRO corneristas and others. My fav little bit, "Podhoretz has "dark suspicions," he confides, that the intelligence community is "bending over backwards" to avoid the mistakes it made during the run-up to war with Iraq. Naturally, he avoids mentioning that he, Norman Podhoretz, was just as wrong as they were, if not more so – so why, given his own Bizarro World logic, should we believe anything he says?" Do ya think Justin just might be a tad hard here? You go boy.
What most warmed the cockles of my heart this cold morning was a bit from the Antiwar blog, Ron Paul Vindicated on Iran. I have debate fatique at this point and could live without seeing another one. Still, it would be nice to at some point have the questioner say to Ronnie, "We owe this to you, if you wish, you can take a minute to gloat."
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
The Neutralist is happy with the announcement that,
We judge with high confidence that in the fall of 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program
Isn't that lovely. Is it possible that the conclusions of our intelliegence are policy driven and policy has changed? Let us quote George Friedman Strafor article of December 3, 2007 entitled The NIE Report: Solving a Geopolitical Problem with Iran
In looking at the report, a number of obvious questions come up. First, how did the intelligence community reach the wrong conclusion in the spring of 2005, when it last released an NIE on Iran, and what changed by 2007? Also, why did the United States reach the wrong conclusions on Iran three years after its program was halted? There are two possible answers. One is intelligence failure and the other is political redefinition.
Also, from the article's previous paragraph,
The NIE release represents a transformation of U.S. policy toward Iran. The Bush administration made Iran's nuclear weapons program the main reason for its attempt to create an international coalition against Iran, on the premise that a nuclear-armed Iran was unacceptable. If there is no Iranian nuclear program, then what is the rationale for the coalition? Moreover, what is the logic of resisting Iran's efforts in Iraq, rather than cooperating?
So does someone high up say, "Today the alliance is between Eastasia and Oceania and we need an intel estimate reflecting that." Nothing so crass, I am sure.
Mr. Friedman's article goes through the problems of collecting and using intelligence. They are many and varied and reading his article will give more detail. Suffice it to say, in our overseas adventuring (not wishing to cause a hissy fit amongst those offended by calling our having troops, fleets and aircraft in all corners of the Earth imperialism)intelligence must serve policy and propaganda as well as actual knowledge of other countries intentions.
This is why we beat the drum constantly (if not frequently enough) for a neutralist national ethos. If we are less places the need for political uses of intelligence will go down, as well as, one hopes, costs and corrupting influences.