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.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pat Buchanan has a Neutralist Column-Is he channeling?

Honorable Exit From Empire, a July 25, 2008 column from Pat Buchanan is pitch perfect as a neutralist manifesto. It is as if it were the culmination of a public life that started in cold warriorhood and through constant reflection due to his circuitous time in different political wildernesses, came to a clear world view.

The world owes Nixon a debt of gratitude. If Pat had actually been able to salvage that presidency, he might have gone on to all the honors that life as a courtier brings. Instead, he has attained Neutralism.

Why do we think he might have come to enlightenment through channeling us?

Pat finishes with,

Because, if all U.S. troops were brought home from Europe and Korea, 10,000 rice bowls would be broken. They are the rice bowls of politicians, diplomats, generals, journalists and think tanks who would all have to find another line of work.

And that is why the Empire will endure until disaster befalls it, as it did all the others.

Well' isn't that just a more stylistic and succint way of putting what appeared in the neutralist on February 7, 2007,

My guess is that our "best and brightest" are smart enough to devise a strategy of an acceptable level of mayhem such that the bleeding won't be noticeable until the last drop has drained away. Our army will change, our nation will change until Odovacer drags Romulus Augustulus out of the Oval Office.

The Neutralist is glad to accept Pat into our ranks, whether he wants it or not. We award him The Order of Neutralismo, First Class.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sheldon Richman asks the question not enough of us ask

.....And that is What is Victory.

Regarding whether McCain is a big meanie for saying Obama wants to lose while The Strait Jacket Talker wants to win,

you’ll see barely any examination of the words “win” and “lose.” But that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Should we win or lose in Iraq? Depends on what we mean.

There is something more important "we" need to think about here, and Sheldon focuses laserlike on "us,"

There’s another word that needs scrutiny: we.

When a country goes to war (more precisely, invades and occupies another country), it sounds as though only one entity is acting. But there are really at least two groups involved: the government and the population it dominates. (Of course, the government and population can each be made up of many people with different and conflicting interests.)

So “we” don’t go to war. A small group of policymakers takes the rest of us to war.

You've seen the blogposts like this one,

We are not "losing" a "war" in Iraq

The guy who wrote this is a biglaw wannabe who won't get near the military to save his life. Still, the tone makes it sound like he just got off patrol and it's all good.

Ah Well.

I've been reading Sheldon occasionally, though he is worth much more than that. So many great columns, so little time. I recommend him highly. His blog is here. We are also linking to The Future of Freedom Foundation, his other home.

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Link and an Award

A website that comments on a local talk show guy rightly took him to task for the stupidity of calling the founding fathers isolationists. Over to the right in the Manifesto you can see we eschew the "I" word.

The abovementioned website links to AZ Place which had a fine post on the subject last January.

Below are a few extrapolations,

According to the neoconservative Republican frontrunners, if you’re not in favor of preemptive military strikes of nations that pose no threat to the United States, you’re an isolationist!

You might disagree with the principle of noninterventionism. But please don’t erroneously call it “isolationism”, else you are engaging in name calling and resorting to twisted pretzel logic tactics.

But that may be the neoconservative bias — they rally for wars they themselves (or their children) do not wish to fight. They weep not at the annihilation of the innocent, and accept the tag of “collateral damage” with a shrug. They care not over constitutional erosion and cheer for unitary executive doctrine that essential crowns the president as king. They excite over banning the IRS and willingly burdening future generations for the war machine machinations indebtedness.

And of course he quotes TJ,

…it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its Administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations. Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none…

So today we invest Naum of AZ Place with the Neutralist Article of the Week Award* whether he wants it or not. Good on ye, lad. I assume it's lad. You can refer to your operation as the Award Winning AZ Place.

*even though it appeared months ago.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Everybody Off the Plane, Now!

Over at Defense and the National Interest they note that the no fly list is at a million no flyers. It appears Bill Lind and his crew are not amused. To quote those skeptics,

Your first reaction might be that if the number of terrorists is into seven figures we are truly doomed — it only took 19 plus a support organization of perhaps a few dozen to carry out 9/11.

We say why fight the progression. It is foolish to do things piecemeal. Let's go for it and put everyone in the country on the no fly list. Look at the problems we take care of.

1. The oil crisis is solved.

2. We can finally stop shaking in our boots. A nation on lockdown is a safe nation.

3. It'll probably happen anyway. Better we do it at one fell swoop then taking years.

4. There will be no more problems with the frisky friskers at airports having their passionate desire to do a good job being mistaken for passionate desire.

This list of benefits is surely not exhaustive, but we at The Neutralist have only so much time to spend saving the nation.

Still, if the Department of Fatherland Security, wishes to call on us, we are here for them.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Who needs the Russkies? We can do it to ourselves.

My prior post about not bugging the Russians has caused me to ask a question. Towards the end of the cold war it is said that we increased our defense budget and instituted Star Wars in order to bankrupt the Soviet Union.

So now (referring again to previously cited Fabius Maximus post) we are bugging Les Russes. I hope it is not with the intention of causing them to file the international equivalent of Chapter 11.

If that is the thought, or even if it is not the thought, considering their natural resource situation and our inept treasury and fed, we might ask who is going to bankrupt whom.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Another Take on Why They All Want Nukes

The Skeptical CPA believes the Saudis want Nukes because they live in fear of Iran. In a comment on this blog he said if we don't take the Persians out "We'll see a nuclear armed: Saudi Arabia (SA), Egypt, Jordan and Libya."

The Fabius Maximus post cited previously had an alternative reason why states might think they needed the big one,

In a post-Westphallian world where the prohibitions against preemptive attacks have faded, where Israel and the US both declare preemptive attacks as a routine part of their military strategy, nukes have become the only guarantee of sovereignty.

Years ago I read Thomas Szasz's thoughts on delusion. To you and I, someone claiming to be Napoleon is a nut. To the delusional, the delusion is a solution. A crummy life is overcome by the imperial pretension. A better solution than the delusion of Obama as messiah.

We should see the confrontation from the Mullah's point of view. They are hated by possibly a vast majority. A few bombs on stuff that would take years to turn into a serviceable nuke without the help of someone we are also bugging (e.g. Russia) et voilĂ , they have unified the nation and solidified their rule and when production is back up $40 gas. Oh, they have also shown the Israelis an unstable rogue state. Not a bad bargain from the keep power at all cost standpoint.

Maybe, Saudi Arabia (SA), Egypt, Jordan and Libya (not to mention San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican among others) want 'em because they don't trust us.

What do we get from bugging the Russkies?

Trouble, that's about it.

Fabius Maximus points up the situation,

A classic formula for escalating tensions is to provoke rival states, then declare their response to be aggressive.

It was fun playing with Russia during the Yeltsin clown era. Now that Putin has closed the looting and stealing playground, we have discovered they can push back and that of course makes them the bogeyman.

Sorry, they said enough and we are not smart enough to deal with them on the basis of speaking

to the Russian governing elite in the only language to which it has ever responded positively: principled cooperation backed by strength.

Of course, with a neutralist foreign policy, there would be a lot less need to talk in the first place.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Change You Can Believe In

I believe. Yes, I believe that when Barack Obama says he is for change you can believe in, because when he was told to jump your man said how high,


changed his mind on foreign policy.

How can anyone not believe that change.

Anyway, as regarding his followers, anyone who would chant "Yes we can" would just as readily chant "Sieg heil."

Monday, July 07, 2008

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold

So Yeats says in his poem the second coming. The Neutralist has not the power of a critic to analyze the poetry, the line we quote in the title may have some validity in the event of an Iranian crisis. It is a useful turn of a phrase.

Today on the news, I heard that the Persians have stated they will not change their nuclear program. Now here we are shouting and shouting to them to stop or , or well we're gonna do something.

And we do have the capacity to do something. We can do a lot. Yet they still do not alter their path.

Israel screams it may do something. They too can do something and the Iranian government does the equivalent of a yawn.

Maybe the people who are cheerleading should give it thought.

The above is a digression from the purpose of referencing the poem. If we or the Israelis engage Iran and it does not go well, the ramifications will be vast. The news reports we are all altering our behavior due to high oil prices. It is tight, but most of us can do some workarounds whether it''s carpooling or trading in a Hummer for a Yaris.

Well, what would be the result if the Mullahs get attacked and have a plan and it impedes if not actually interdicts the Straits of Hormuz? At least temporarily the price per barrel will hit astronomical levels. That may be enough to make the words of Yeats' poem real.

In a Parapundit post Randall Parker quotes a Marketwatch article about a happy little prediction

IN 2004, ARJUN N. MURTI, A TOP ENERGY ANALYST AT GOLDMAN SACHS , published a report predicting "a potentially large upward spike in crude oil, natural gas and refining margins at some point this decade." It was a controversial call, with crude around $40 a barrel at the time. But it was right on the money. Four years later, crude is trading around 139. Murti sees energy in the later stages of a "super spike," in which prices rise to a point where demand drops off. In a note last month, he wrote that "the possibility of $150-to-$200-per-barrel oil seems increasingly likely over the next six to 24 months."

Now, few would doubt the possibility. I would not argue the probability as I am not equipped. In a country that has an inflation problem and yet sends out checks to every working taxpayer, I admit to shock if it did not happen sooner or later.

In my previous post, Maybe He Needs To Be A Tad More Skeptical I react to the Skeptical CPA's idea that Israel should take on Shia Iran as defender of Sunnis. He sees good, The Neutralist sees disaster.

If the mullahs have a plan it would probably have something to do with oil. They have no force that can take us on conventionally and if we do not send in land forces that is there only possible option other than mayhem in Iraq. They don't even have to actually set mines, they just have to say they did to devastate futures markets and getting insurance could become interesting.

I waited in line in 1973 for gas. We had money for it, the supply was the problem. If nobody is at the gas station because $10 is too much per gallon, I would be worried about the center holding.

We can probably get by this to another era of seeming abundance. A gradual runup of oil so that we transfer to electric cars over time would have some pain, but is endurable. If Mr. Murti's prediction is exceeded over the weekend due to a tanker blowing up near the straits, even by accident, all bets are off.

An adventure against Iran will not end well.