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, September 28, 2007

Message from Greg Cochran: Just Hop on the Bus Gus

At least that's the impression one gets from the September 24th, 2007 American Conservative Magazine's front cover. Mr. Cochran's article can be summed up in one word, Go!

The article is worth reading because of the way your man elaborates on the go statement. He writes well,

Politicians, for the most part, have accepted statements about withdrawal requiring anywhere from one to two years. They want to be “responsible”—that’ll be the day. Some may have calculated that slow withdrawal might better disguise defeat and thus be more politically palatable, but I don’t think many are that Machiavellian. I think instead that, with a few honorable exceptions, they’re profoundly ignorant of war and thus have to blindly accept anything the professional military says. That ignorance is, of course, one of the reasons we got into this mess in the first place. That goes double for columnists: in pundit-land, a military expert is someone who thinks that the phalanx is cutting-edge technology.

It seems to be raining Greg Cochran lately. The Neutralist is okay with that. If our budget were larger, ah, if there were a budget, we would commission him to write for us.

Watch for the glossy print version of The Neutralist, coming within a millennium.

We have been remiss in not including The American Conservative in our links and that shall be remedied immediately.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

If Greg Cochran Is Not A Neutralist, We Will Pretend He Is Anyway

It all started over at the 2blowhards website. One Friedrich von Blowhard posted a piece wherein he quoted the frontrunning candidates' foreign policy views that had the effect of letting them make themselves look foolish. Whether or not that was his intention it worked so well he titled it:

Where's Snow White? We've got the Dwarves...

One Greg Cochran left a comment:

There is no threat out there that can be usefully addressed by a larger ground army. In fact, there's not much of a short-term threat out there at all. Except the threat from within: crazy people. That one is serious, as always.

You have to have physical power to be a substantial short-term threat, and jihadists don't have any: not one tank, not one jet, no money, no industrial base, no scientists. Oh, and I forgot, no _country_, no state. No nukes and no prospect of getting any. Shit, if they had the entire Arab world under their imaginary caliphate, they'd still be weak as a kitten: the contemporary version of the Ottoman Empire.

In the longer run, someone without physical power can sometimes make a difference (i.e. cause trouble) with ideas: but of course the Moslem world doesn't have any. "No major invention or discovery has emerged from the Moslem world for well over seven centuries now." They haven't even managed to come with up with fast-selling bullshit like Marxism or psychoanalysis. _I'm_ likely to cause more of that kind of trouble than all the Moslems on Earth without even trying.

This is essentially the Neutralist analysis and therefore we appropriate it, giving proper credit to its author.

As if that were not enough Mr. Cochran submitted to questioning from Michael Blowhard. Mr. Blowhard characterized Greg Cochran as:

It's eerie how right his predictions have been, and it's impressive that he arrived at them not from some uninformed political point of view but from a practical, fact-driven, and down-to-earth one. No one can accuse Gregory Cochran of being a sentimental, knee-jerk leftie, let alone a frisee-munching, Manhattan-dwellin' metrosexual, that's for sure. Cochran looked into the facts, he assessed the facts, and he reached conclusions that have so far proven to be 100% correct.

The interview, in two parts is worth reading. Our takeaway was provided by Steve Sailer quoting the Blowhard interview in his blog:

2B: As far as Mideast policy goes, how could we do better than we do?

Cochran: I think we have little chance of running a practical Middle East policy. The political class is ignorant and / or crazy (and also lazy) and seems to enjoy being manipulated by groups whose interests are not closely aligned with those of the United States. For example, Bush Senior had Prince Bandar try to prepare Junior for the world stage. Why the hell would anyone pick a fat Saudi thief as a political science instructor? Why not someone on our side? And when Rudy has Norman Podhoretz as a foreign policy adviser -- Norman who wants to invade Arab countries that haven't even been discovered yet -- well, I tremble for my country.

2B: So what's the right general course of action for the US as the world's premier power?

Cochran: Do little. Stay strong -- although this can't possibly require the current high level of military expenditures. If I were picking an actor to represent the right policy, it'd be Jimmy Stewart -- a nice guy that you never, ever want to threaten. A mix of "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Winchester '73."

2B: What are some basic things that you wish more Americans understood about the mid-east, and about their own government?

Cochran: 1. Iraq is a Seinfeld war -- a war about nothing. 2. The Mideast isn't that important. 3. The people running the country have no idea what they're doing.

Steve Sailer wrote in his own blog comments

Well, at least Prince Bandar isn't dumb. And that Ahmad Chalabi guy, with his Ph.D. in Math from the U. of Chicago, is downright smart.

Figuring out a foreign policy that's in the best interest of America ... a job Americans just won't do anymore!

I have been reading Mr. Cochran's astute comments for years now. I've always been impressed by his agreement with my viewpoint:) He expresses it with a better analysis than I could. He knows the science, and even some of the insiders.

I explained how I knew in a prior posting

I'm sorry, I was against this war from the beginning. I knew it was a fraud from well before day one. How you may ask could a nobody from a backwater know such a thing. I was born and raised in a state unexcelled for its culture of corruption. Politicians from Louisiana could learn a few tricks. A lot of it is done without any bribery. No, it is done much more smoothly. first, someone starts mentioning un met needs. Then, the newspapers have articles that morph the un met need into a crisis. State reps and senators start using phrases like " we need to do it for the children" and "the kids are our future." Soon enough there is a new state agency and cronies are being hired all over the place.

It was a little bit different with the war drumbeat. First, we have Iraq mentioned as part of the Axis of Evil. Then, do we remember the Anthrax scare? I do. I remember pundits hot for action, for others of course. As I live up on a hill, I can get Boston stations on the car radio. One talk show host, Jay Severin was shilling for the war big time. One afternoon he breathlessly intoned that it was reported that the anthrax involved in the letters had the footprint of an Iraqi lab and that if it did have that footprint, then, "We are at war with Iraq." Cut to a break.

The anthrax scare faded away but the drumbeat continued. I remember some peacenik type acquaintances talking about going down to New York for a march and hearing them hopeful about stopping the juggernaut. I remember telling them that the people who want the war, can have the war and that is that. Of course that was discounted, but that is life. If common sense had ever prevailed in this country, the slogan would have been, Forget the Maine. Contriving a war has a history here.

Some of the propaganda was so obviously stupid that it embarrasses me as an American to think it was said and quoted. Condoleeza Rice's remark about the smoking gun turning out to be a mushroom cloud was, maybe, the worst. A few unfortunates might have believed that Iraq was somewhat near the bomb, but no one suggested they had any inkling of a delivery system. So, Condi, how were they to get it to a target? "Quick Achmed, get it on to the donkey cart, we will get it on a cargo ship as part of a shipment of dates and when it gets to New York Harbor, it gets set off. I volunteer you, Achmed, for this important mission."

Anyway, it does not matter how you attain your "Neutralismo," only that you get there.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Guilt by Association

So the apples are being harvested here in Swamp Yankee Land and I'm headed over to a local orchard to buy some. Actually, I more interested in their unbelievably delicious cider donuts, but will eat apples as well to salve my conscience. Pressing the seek button on the radio, I came across a station with a women holding forth about the recent Bin Laden video. The hostess, one Monica Crowley, was making fun of the Democrats for having OBL's foreign policy as a campaign strategy, even though, as your man pointed out they have not kept the promises.

Okay, Monica, let's go over this slowly, OBL's minions, as far as we know, attacked us and baited us into a war that turned out to be a loser. Then we thought up a war against Iraq and that is going just as swimmingly. The people of the United States allowed control of the Congress to pass to a party that implied it would do something intelligent about the war. That party is doing its best now to make itself look as bad as their sworn enemy George W. Bush. I am not the greatest admirer of our electorate, and I have no truck with the Democrats as I regard them as no more than a cargo cult masquerading as a political party. No matter, voting Dem was less stupid than voting Republican this time.

Now work with me Monica. That OBL slickly endorsed the donkey's campaign policy and chides them for not making it work, does not mean he is wrong.

This is like the trick that was pulled on Walt and Mearshimer. Call David Duke and ask if he agrees and then tab W & M as Grand Kleagles.

Okay, Monica, I assume you believe that 1 + 1 = 2. You know what, David Duke does too. Maybe you want to call him and order a sheet. I bet the Dalai Lama counts the same as DD, though his holiness does not believe it is real. I suspect Alan Dershowitz counts that way as well. Alan, Dave you have so much in common with Monica.

OBL was being glich francach caca laca (Irish saying translated as cute as a shithouse rat). He would portray himself as Thomas Jefferson if he thought he could confuse us. That does not make Thomas Jefferson wrong. Wake up Monica. I'd love to catch him and see him tried and hung, but El Jefe Maximo Jorge W blew that. I don't see not finding him in another five years while losing American lives in the Afghanistan or Iraq as all that productive.

Monica, like Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh et al, pretends to be a conservative. I don't claim to be conservative, but I do follow a conservative line in foreign policy. Major General Smedley Butler said it all this in a speech in 1933,

There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

Monica, this is conservatism. Spreading democracy, which we are not doing, is not.

If you decide to set aside your statist baggage, and embrace this, you too can be a conservative in foreign policy. If David Duke wants to set aside his racial baggage, he is welcome also. Heck, if Al Sharpton wants to set aside his racist baggage, come on in. if Al the Dersh wants to drop neoconnery, he's our man. It's not a big tent yet, but it could be.