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.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
There isn't the slightest possibility that the course laid out by Barack Obama in his Dec. 1 speech will halt or even slow the downward spiral toward defeat in Afghanistan. None.
These words were penned by BY THOMAS H. JOHNSON, M. CHRIS MASON on DECEMBER 10, 2009. Who are the authors? Thomas H. Johnson is research professor of the Department in National Security Affairs and director of the Program for Culture and Conflict Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
M. Chris Mason, a retired Foreign Service officer who served in 2005 as political officer for the provincial reconstruction team in Paktika, is senior fellow at the Program for Culture and Conflict Studies and at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies in Washington.
Thus the men are true members of the team. I suspect they have both believed this for a while before the speech. It is not as if there were the slightest chance the Pres was going to come up with sufficient men and materiel to turn Afghanistan into any kind of stable entity capable of standing on its own.
Your humble neutralist thought the war doomed before it started. I take no joy in my country's defeat. I only note, in truth, we are defeating ourselves.
Of course, politically, Obama could not say what he knows is true even if he was so inclined. The question becomes why, really did it take so long to come up with a policy that he probably knew was ridiculous. Granted this surge may have been the least goofy alternative that was politically acceptable. His inability to tell the truth and end it, means the war is now well and truly his. In truth, did anyone not think this was going to happen?
I first read of the FP article at Randall Parker's Parapundit blog. In passing I note the comment of one of his readers.
I remember watching 3 segments on consecutive nights on Britain's Newsnight program earlier this year regarding the involvement of British forces and being shocked at the comments of various senior commanders.
i) in one segment a senior commander was interviewed who had been in command in Kabul for several months admitted on camera that he had only just recently become aware of the British Afghan campaigns in the 19th century and was reading up on them.
When I was an enlisted man during the Viet Nam war, only one of my officers knew as much about history as I did. One thought the Brits would know more. I would guess Johnson and Mason have a grasp of the history of Afghanistan. I doubt Obama and his coterie do. The previous team didn't either.
It would be nice if someone could just say let's go home and spare the lives of us and them.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
He starts, The new Pew survey (via RCP) that purports to show a record-high level of “isolationist sentiment” is fairly misleading. No doubt, there was a higher percentage that answered that the U.S. should “mind its own business and let other countries get along the best they can on their own,” but the alternative was to answer that the U.S. “is the most powerful nation in the world, we should go our own way in international matters, not worrying about whether other countries agree with us or not.” Given that choice between something that sounds reasonable and something that sounds idiotic, a great many non-”isolationists” would prefer the former response. Essentially, the survey offered two choices. On the one hand, the respondent can choose arrogant hegemonism and disregard the interests of all other nations, or he can choose something less obviously obnoxious. One depressing thing about the survey results is that hegemonism still gets 44%. The other depressing thing is that the 49% don’t really mean what they claim to believe.
Disheartening as the above paragraph is, the one that really shocks is,
Among the public, 63% approve of the use of U.S. military force against Iran if it were certain that Iran had produced a nuclear weapon; just 33% of CFR members agree.
The freaking CFR members are less warmongering than my lumpen fellow countrymen!
The title of the post is "The Bogey Of Isolationism" Mr. Larison nicely puts the whole Pew thing in perspective.
The commenters know something is wrong because if you are not for all war all the time overseas, you become an "isolationist." Not exactly a Nazi, but as goofy as a Moonie. They have come up with alternative terms such as Realist, Eunomic, George Washingtonism and others. I am saddened they have not realized the obvious. Neutralism is the term.
Of course, I have not been doing any heavy lifting of late to make Neutalist and Neutralism household words, but that does not take away from the fact that the term that they are searching for is within their grasp.