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, December 20, 2007

Will World War I Ever End?

Both Nebojsa Malic at antiwar.com and George Friedman at Stratfor have timely articles on our foreign policy foolishness in the Balkans. Basically, we are promoting Albanian independence.

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.

more importantly,

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.

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