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.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I do tend to have a suspicion of such innovations. My history nerd reading life has led me to the conclusion that even if some are better than others, there is no Philosophers Stone of Government. Even the best will become sclerotic and die.
Still, I went over and voted if only for this proposal,
Bring our troops home- from everywhere!
Why do we still have troops in Germany? Korea? Asia? Egypt?
"The total of America's military bases in other people's countries in 2005, according to official sources, was 737.
Using data from fiscal year 2005, the Pentagon bureaucrats calculated that its overseas bases were worth at least $127 billion -- surely far too low a figure but still larger than the gross domestic products of most countries -- and an estimated $658.1 billion for all of them, foreign and domestic (a base's "worth" is based on a Department of Defense estimate of what it would cost to replace it). During fiscal 2005, the military high command deployed to our overseas bases some 196,975 uniformed personnel as well as an equal number of dependents and Department of Defense civilian officials, and employed an additional 81,425 locally hired foreigners.
The worldwide total of U.S. military personnel in 2005, including those based domestically, was 1,840,062 supported by an additional 473,306 Defense Department civil service employees and 203,328 local hires. Its overseas bases, according to the Pentagon, contained 32,327 barracks, hangars, hospitals, and other buildings, which it owns, and 16,527 more that it leased. The size of these holdings was recorded in the inventory as covering 687,347 acres overseas and 29,819,492 acres worldwide, making the Pentagon easily one of the world's largest landlords" (figures from Dept. of Defense Base Structure Report 2005) Chalmers
We spend a fortune on military bases in many countries all over the world. Think of all of the money this would save, and what all of that money could accomplish here at home.
While there may have been some rationale for having far-flung bases in the 1940s, when travel and communication were slower and we may have needed a deterrent "on the ground" in many locations, this is oudated thinking.
Close all of our military bases all over the world, and bring those troops home. It would help us in many ways: the good will generated by getting our troops out of other countries; a smaller military force that would be used strictly for DEFENSE of America, as required by our Constitution; a good deterrent to our being tempted to interfere in the affairs of other countries, where we have a 60 year history of secret manipulations, assassinations, regime changes, and bad policies that have resulted in terrible "blowback" to Americans.
Just one recent example of blowback: A graduate student in Germany was so disturbed by the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1996, and it's killing more than 100 innocents in Cana that he determined to pay them (and the US, who supplied the weapons) back for their actions. He was Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers.
Our support for bad policies has long term unintended consequences. Why not follow a policy consistent with American values- friendship with all, trade with all, talk with all, but no "passionate attachments" to any but our own country.
So go to the portal, look around and if you want sign in and then go to Bring the Troops Home and vote.
Maybe it is a futile gesture, but what the heck.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Here are some links to Jack The Southern Avenger" Hunter.
At Taki Mag, here.
At his blog, here.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
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.
I supposed 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.