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.

Friday, December 21, 2018

William S, Lind has posted a neutralist foreign policy at Traditional Right. We at The Neutralist award him.

William S. Lind at traditionalRight is always interesting and not someone we could consider a wild-eyed interventionist like say, the neocons.  We have never noticed, and it just may be our fault, an explicitly neutralist foreign policy being expressed at TR.  

This is close enough:

"There is an alternative strategy I think might work, or at least work better than recruiting more enemies.  It has two components.  The first is tight border security, far tighter than anything President Trump is planning, tight enough to keep all varieties of 4GW fighters from entering (we will still face the home-grown variety, who in the long run will be more dangerous).  The second component is invisibility.  Since what we are doing now feeds hydra, stop it.  Stop all overt actions around the world.  Bring the troops, planes, drones, and ships home.  Disappear, and thus take away our enemies’ main recruiting tool.  No longer will Somalis or Yemenis or Libyans or Syrians live with the constant hum of American drones overhead, waiting for the Hellfire missile in the night. There may still be drones, but they will not be American drones.  They will have to fight someone else."

Mr. Lind may not live down the embarrassment, but we hereby name him a Senior Fellow of The Neutralist Institute.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Our Low-Life Foreign Policy

“If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see farther into the future.”
— Madeleine Albright, secretary of state (1997–2001), Clinton administration
The words of Mad Madeline seem dated and arrogant, and to say the least, foolishly wrong.  We didn't even see three years ahead when an enemy we did not take seriously flew civilian aircraft into the center of commerce.
Allbright is still feted and is too unaware to be embarrassed.  Time, however, has proved our farsightedness to be somewhat short-term.

Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq led to little good.  The destruction of Libya was buffoonery to say the least.

These are mistakes and bad ones and argue against an interventionist foreign policy.

There is now something else to consider in the light of the Khashoggi affair. 
There is no need to re-hash the events and the lies that have been floated by the regime.  That the man was murdered and dismembered is now beyond doubt.  

The complete disgrace of the pundit class in all this is bad, but what is worse is the stupidity.  Jamal Khashoggi was a cool guy who hung out with his journalistic buds.  When it was apparent the man was not going to pull himself together, his mates saw what an awful thing had happened and were outraged.  From CounterPunch:
 In his second reference to Yemen, Friedman writes: the apparent murder, if true, “would be an unfathomable violation of norms of human decency, worse not in numbers but in principle than even the Yemen war.” Worse in principle that Yemen? Really? Why—because you know Khashoggi? The murder indeed appears grizzly, but is it more brutal as a “violation of norms of human decency” than bombing busloads of schoolchildren in Yemen in order to collectively terrorize the population?
The Neutralist is trying to grasp what that principle is that the murder of one pundit is more egregious than a genocide of a nation.  We believe we have found it.

There is a Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson that explains the mind set.

"Quit complaining and eat it...Number one, chicken soup is good for the flu---and number two, it's nobody we know."

All those pictures of the pitiful starving kids, the buses full of students struck by Saudi jets, "it's nobody we know."  Our dear friend, Jamal, counts for so much more.

In all probability, Mr. Friedman is not the worst, but typical.  What is a tad new here is the Khashoggi murder has caused him to notice Yemen.  Probably not for long, but Yemen has emerged from the memory hole and we get an admission.  Not a, "well, you know the Saudis are fighting Shia and thus Iran which is necessary and thus absolves whatever," but that we have the admission of a crime even if it pales in comparison to the demise of friend Jamal.

Work for the Times, or Post or AP, then you're just doing stenography. the networks or cable, blah blah blah.  The columnists and pundits are just low-lifes.

No wonder Madeline is still part of the Nomenklatura.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Justin Raimondo is now a Senior Fellow of the Neutralist Institute

The announcement was made on a twitter thread.  Mr. Raimondo is in a battle with a severe illness and is fighting with the same tenacity that he has brought to the fight against foreign intervention.

It is that antiwar sentiment that has led us to this drastic step.

Buck up, Justin. we've just given you another cross to bear.

Monday, September 03, 2018

John Bolton heads US Dept. of precrime - What is he smoking?

So the Syrian war is almost over, just Idlib to be taken and that's the game.  Some are desperate to see that not end with Assad in power.  What can be done?

With no evidence, John Bolton is saying that the regime is planning to use completely unnecessary chemical weapons on the remaining rebels.  Supposedly, the sainted White Helmets will be in place to swear that kids are dying in droves.

Un question, s'il vous plait, what has been the body count among the white helmets themselves?  If those lads are always in the thick of it, shouldn't there numbers be horribly diminished by the awful actions of the evil Assad?

During a search, there were numerous results for articles and posts citing their goodness.  How come it is difficult to find articles that come to the opposite conclusion, such as this one?

Let's hope for some sanity and that calmer heads prevail in the administration and at least one neocon is ignored.

We don't have to win in Syria, we don't need to be in the Middle East at all.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Mish Shedlock of Global Economic Trend Analysis and Patrick Armstrong of Russia Observer Display Common Sense-Nobody Will Notice

First, let's go with Mish.  You've seen all the ads, signs, bumper stickers telling us to support our troops.  Sometimes it will be accompanied with something saying that they are keeping us safe.  No one explains how some GI in an Afghan outpost is keeping us safe, but there it is.

Well Mish noticed:

This last weekend I saw a biker wearing a "support our troops" shirt. OK, what's the best way?
I know the answer. Do you?
The best way to "support the troops" is to not send them into stupid battles in places we ought not to be in the first place.
The War in Afghanistan is going on over 15 years. Yes, 15 years. WTF? For what?
The Neutralist has been asking the same question since 2008 on blogger.  No one cares to answer so it is good to see Mish make the point.
Now on to Patrick Armstrong.  In comments on Colonel Lang's Sic Semper Tyrannis  Mr. Armstrong replied to a comment:
Seriously, what vital national interest of the USA qua USA is threatened if Russia has a big influence in Syria? Or if Iran is a big player in its corner of the world? Or if Venezuela has a somewhat socialist government? Or if China polices trade going in and out of China in the South China Sea? Etc etc.
Hypothetically, we bring all the troops home.  What happens?  Does anyone believe that Russia starts the tanks rolling west until they are in Portugal?  Does anyone think China will build an invasion fleet?  Iran does something horrible?  Will Venezuela start running an efficeint non-kleptocracy?

The Neutralist, waiting for an answer since 2008.  Actually, since the Carter administration. 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

U.S. Provides Assad's Forces the Equipment for a Whole Armored Brigade

Shocking news.  We have been told for a long time how the Syrian leader is the most evil man since Hitler.  Okay, we are told that about everyone, but he is less than a nice guy with that genocidal war in Yemen.  Oh, one forgets, that is being waged by our ally, the saintly Saudis.

Anyway, we did not plan on arming the Syrians, it just kind of happened...stupidly.

From a post at Sic Semper Tyrannis,

The FSA unicorms have surrendered enough equipment to the SAA in the last couple of weeks to equip an additional armored brigade once the Syrian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (SEME - my neologism) and their Rooshians work it over.  Hey! We Americans under Obama's policy paid for all that.  At last someone will know what to do with it.  

Well Done!  Arming the FSA (Free Syrian Army) was always a joke.

Like all our post 1945 interventions, Syria is not working out well.  for us, it is a zombie war.  We have no reason to be there, but we shall stay anyway.

Bring the boys and girls home.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Not even close, but certainly no Sigar-The latest lessons learned from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction is out

As mentioned in the title, The latest lessons learned from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR)  is out.  In the introduction there is a paragraph that says it all:

Our analysis reveals the U.S. government greatly overestimated its ability to build and reform government institutions in Afghanistan as part of its stabilization strategy. We found the stabilization strategy and the programs used to achieve it were not properly tailored to the Afghan context, and successes in stabilizing Afghan districts rarely lasted longer than the physical presence of coalition troops and civilians. As a result, by the time all prioritized districts had transitioned from coalition to Afghan control in 2014, the services and protection provided by Afghan forces and civil servants often could not compete with a resurgent Taliban as it filled the void in newly vacated territory.
Are there really any lessons learned?  I am guessing there are, but they can't be said or the the truth teller will be shown the door.  The truth is  there are three alternatives:

1. Continue leaving a garrison and pretend we are doing something.  That is what we are doing now.

2. Another surge with enough troops to destroy all our enemies.  That is probably impossible politically and economically.

3.  Time to say au revoir.  This is the only practical choice, but if we leave, why stay in the Middle East at all?  It's a debate we are avoiding.

Academic Thomas Nichols has written a book, The Death of Expertise.  In it he avers that the expert class, like Rodney, don't get no respect and that it should.  On Page 195 of the SIGAR report  there is a picture of what one would guess is the important people on the team and other government officers with the President Obama around a conference table.  They all look prosperous. These people and other staffers work hard to study what is going on and what must be done.  If they know the score, that nothing real can be done, and they are just saying only what is acceptable, it is an indictment of the Nichols' expertise class.  The Dangerfield Class of  experts only comes up with what has already been decided.

There are recommendations in the report, but no one expects that we will reach the broad sunlit uplands even if we follow them to the letter.

The Neutralist originally read about SIGAR at Colonel Lang's Sic Semper Tyrannis.  He does not mince words, "This SIGAR report makes it crystal clear that the US lost its "hat, ass and overcoat" in Afghanistan.   We should wise up and go home resolved never, never to listen to the siren song of the COIN fantasy."

The Colonel is right, but you don't get to see him on TV as his is not the desired flavor.