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.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Vox Media’s Anti-Russia fanatic Max Fisher reductios to his personal absurdum

The most consistent aspect of Max Fisher’s coverage is that it is unhinged.  He is a serial Russia hater in article after article.  His Vox August 27th screed, Let’s be clear about this: Russia is invading Ukraine right now conjured up visions of the Wehrmacht breaking down the border gate with panzers rolling.
Of course, that did not happen but the lad is not deterred.  He must be running out of bile, as there is nothing but buffoonery in his recent This quote about Putin’s machismo from Angela Merkel is just devastating.  Max had to go all the way back to 2007 to dredge up something so little.  According to Max;
“The incident of Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, and the dog is a famous one. It was 2007 and Merkel, Germany's Chancellor, was visiting Putin at his presidential residence in Sochi to discuss energy trade. Putin, surely aware of Merkel's well-known fear of dogs, waited until the press gathered in the room, then called for his black Labrador to be sent in. The Russian president watched in unconcealed glee as the dog sniffed at Merkel, who sat frozen in fear.”

Yeah, tough ol’ Angela is afraid of a labrador.  It must be a hell of a phobia.  Labs have got to be about the friendliest pups around.  We’ve owned a few and as to protection from robbers, they’d help the thieves to the silverware just to be neighborly.

Okay, I don’t know what drives fear of mutts, but according to the Fish, what Angie said next was the ne plus ultra of digs;

"I understand why he has to do this — to prove he's a man," Merkel said. "He's afraid of his own weakness. Russia has nothing, no successful politics or economy. All they have is this."

Max thinks it “one of the most pithily succinct insights into Putin and the psychology of his 14-year reign that I have read.”

For all I know he’s right, but devastate means “to lay waste; render desolate.”  Moi, I think your man is reaching a tad.  Maybe Angie was upset because Vlad is more macho than La Chancellor.

I suppose Putin did enjoy his little bit of fun.  We don’t know what may have been going on between the two and it may have been some smallness on his part.  The operative word here is small and Merkel’s words were nothing grand.

Why the drumbeat.  Max and Vox are not the only ones.  There is a lot of media out there that are screaming that Putin is the antichrist.  Well, at least another Hitler, but then again isn’t just about everyone eventually.  The hysteria sounds a lot like the propaganda leading up to the Iraq invasion.

That was stupid, and so is the Putin as devil narrative. The difference is Russia has nukes, the Iraqis didn’t.  Destroying Iraq led to many bad events, but there was none of Condi Rice’s mushroom cloud smoking gun.  No one doubts what the Russkies could do if pushed too far.

I have no answer as to why Fisher, with the probable blessing of his editors, keeps this up.

Vox Media appears to be a start up with angel investor funding.  It does not seem to make a profit yet and won’t soon if the level of advertising is any indication.  So far, it is little more than a present to its staff and writers.

The Putin/Russia as mad dog aggressor trope is pervasive across the mainstream media.  It is a lie, but why?  It can’t be just to provide a sinecure to Joe Biden’s drug addled kid.

Well, maybe it sort of is.  Hunter B.’s job isn’t crucial, but The Ukraine has, as the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports, Europe’s third-largest shale gas reserves at 42 trillion cubic feet.  According to Consortium News, this is “an inviting target especially since other European nations, such as Britain, Poland, France and Bulgaria, have resisted fracking technology because of environmental concerns. An economically supine Ukraine would presumably be less able to say no.”

That may be why we are bugging the former Soviets, but does not explain why so many so-called news outlets fall into line.  The pervasive toadying on the issue from the major outlets down to the fashionable lefty vanity sites like Vox is amazing to watch.

In the case of Fisher it could be he has some unfathomable hatred or he knows which side his bread is buttered on.  Either way, it is not a sterling testament to his character.

By the way, Vox seems to have no comment section.  Well this saves them the trouble of trolls, i.e. those who are so unsophisticated that they notice when someone is full of it and tell the little emperors how unwell dressed they are.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Bacevich on five myths and Tom on waste - so what else is new?

It is and has been the Neutralist’s contention that none of our overseas adventures does us any good.  It would be bad enough if all that happened were merely the drain of resources as we left troops overseas to keep up the national holding action.

Unfortunately, in introducing an article by Andrew Bacevich, Tom of TomDispatch has highlighted the war profiteering that is essentially America’s Sixth Column.  If a fifth column is subversives among an enemy fighting against their own country, A sixth column would be profiteers who make vast sums on a losing venture. 

Halliburton et al have made vast sums and will continue to and yet if success is measured in elimination of our enemies, anti-success has been achieved.  No matter how many we kill, they multiply faster than the loaves and fishes.  We have not got all that much for the four trillion +.

The article by Bacevich begins as a conversation with a young friend who avers that Iraq has ceased to exist.  Maps are probably still being printed of a united country, but who* disagrees with the young man’s at this point?

The discussion is really an intro to Professor Bacevich’s article, Malarkey on the Potomac.  He sets out five claims taken as articles of faith inside the Beltway and demolishes them.  We have not problem with that.

* The presence of U.S. forces in the Islamic world contributes to regional stability and enhances American influence.
We agree with the author, but would challenge anyone to point out where there is stability due to US presence?
* The Persian Gulf constitutes a vital U.S. national security interest.
The author mentions our new status as an oil power.  We agree but also believe that oil, a fungible commodity, is such that even without our involvement, we can get it at the correct price.
* Egypt and Saudi Arabia are valued and valuable American allies.
Egypt helps us how.  KSA without oil would be a joke.  The tribes that are the ruling class would never have been capable of anything on their own.
* The interests of the United States and Israel align.
Some do, but many don’t.  We have addressed it here.
* Terrorism poses an existential threat that the United States must defeat.
It could, but only because we import it.  All the terrorists in the world are incapable of forming a navy,  A necessity if they have to get here without our help.
These are the Neutralist’s thoughts on top of Bacevich’s writing.  I agree with his thoughts.
Go here to read both Tom’s worthy introduction and the article.
They are all believed and

*Some in government may pretend that we can turn that around, but such sentiment is pro-forma.  All the king’s horses etc.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

War on Terror: Drones Target 41 but Kill 1,147 Mostly Innocent men, Women, and Children-Neutralist asks, Does this make you safer?

Mish Shedlock posted from a Guardian article of the headline above.  How effective are our drones;

The drones came for Ayman Zawahiri on 13 January 2006, hovering over a village in Pakistan called Damadola. Ten months later, they came again for the man who would become al-Qaida’s leader, this time in Bajaur. 
Eight years later, Zawahiri is still alive. Seventy-six children and 29 adults, according to reports after the two strikes, are not. 
Now, one guesses if questioned how inhuman all this is, our government spokesters would say we meant well or would channel Madeline Albright and say it is worth it.

Again, the Neutralist asks the question, does anyone feel safer in this country because of all the effort to control the Middle East or anywhere for that matter?

Please, someone tell me, how are we safer?

Link to Mish here, Guardian here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another reason for a neutralist foreign policy

So Hagel is out.  The indispensable Col. Lang at Sic Semper Tyrannis has a post up about it.  It does give a break down of how things are going.

The Neutralist, however, took the part that serves our purpose.  To quote the Colonel,

The armed forces are being asked to assume larger and larger missions in the Middle East, Afghanistan and West Africa.  At the same time the money needed to maintain DoD operations and perform such functions as Strategic Triad modernization has largely disappeared in the welter of sequestration and general reductions in budget. Understandably the generals and admirals are pushing back and the constitutional way for them to do that is through the civilian head of the Department of Defense.The back pressure was probably displayed last week in a loosening of ROE in Afghanistan.

In our broke republic, there are always going to be budget fights, but sooner or later we have to face reality.  Our overseas adventures never really return anything good to the citizenry.  They may make a buck for the profiteer, but that is it in every empire that ever was.
Bring everyone home.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

They almost had me with the Yazidi scare

The drumbeat of save the Yazidis tore at our hearts.  We Americans are suckers for that humanitarian save 'em impulse.  As a neutralist, I want out of everywhere.  I am usually immune to  the heartstrings thingy, but in Iraq, my government screwed everything up.  If we had left Saddam in power he would still be suppressing everything, including the genocide of minorities.  So I am not immune to the we owe them thing.

This most recent kerfluffle has been a sham.  Mosey on over to read Jason Ditz at Antiwar blog.  His story, Yazidis Weren’t Stranded, Pentagon Looks for Other Missions
State Dept Tries to Credit US With Solving Phony Problem, has stiffened my neutralist resolve.

Friday, August 01, 2014

The official Neutralist position on Gaza remains the same as it ever was.

The Neutralist in his personal life has been observing the situation and has his own opinion.

As the Neutralist, we have only one opinion and it was originally stated in a post on January 8, 2009.

We repost it in its entirety here.

Gaza and the Neutralist

For anyone following the Neutralist, it is obvious our policy is Washington's no entangling alliances. We do not believe American freedom has been enhanced by any of our adventures whether in Iraq or Afghanistan and a Darfur expedition would come a cropper, just to give a few instances.

So it goes without saying, we believe it is not the business of the American State to be involved in this conflict. We should not be on either side, neither should we be trying to make peace. We have been pretty much a failure in this regard and it does not look like we will better our record in the future.

We have nothing to fear from the Palestinians militarily. They are not going to acquire a carrier fleet and amphibious landing craft and sail to invade Manhattan anytime soon. Granted, they have no love for us, not that I blame them. Certainly, considering that, we should be reticent with letting them immigrate here.

One supposes the Israelis could send their air force all the way, refueling in flight to bomb Wall Street. Of course, what would be the point. Our financial geniuses have more or less done that already.

No we have no business being there. The Neutralist Policy is not to be there.

That does not mean there won't be consequences. Economically, if every Palestinian left the Middle East, there probably would be little impact on the world.

If Israel were destroyed, it would be a disaster of vast import. In spite of lousy government, the Israelis have a brilliant record of invention and improvement. The loss to the world if, say Technion were gutted would be horrible.

There is a high school robotics competition every year in the US and Israel sends a number of teams. The Arab world sends none that I know of. Those young minds will grow to be engineers and their loss would be tragic.

So what does the Neutralist, as a Neutralist suggest Israel do without the support of its sponsor. Years ago, on a now defunct webzine, I wrote the following,

As to strategy that I would pursue if I were the Israeli PM: build that fence. There is an historical incentive for Ariel that he should not miss out on. If it is built well enough it will be spoken of as Sharon's Fence in the same way as is Hadrian's Wall. As Russell Crowe said, "What we do in this life, echoes in eternity." Yeah, there are problems with fencing, as there are with all strategies, but from my vantage point it appears to be the best of whatever there is, short of the Israeli government sending Jews and Arabs into a timeout.

If we were a neutralist country, we would not ally with Israel, but we would cooperate with any nation that was, as William Lind put it, a center of order.

There are other aspects of this. If the Palestinians want to be a state, who cares? A state that existed and had all the apparatus of such an entity would have every incentive to not bug the Israelis. As things are going now, the Hamas apparatus will suffer numerous deaths and then reconstitute itself as a more virulent organism once the current operation runs its course. The Neutralist is just guessing in most predictions. The only thing we are sure of is that our involvement is a sure loser.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ukraine, the story behind the story

So there is a lot of Putin is the devil and the angels are in the Ukrainian government repeated in the American Press.  The drumbeat of propaganda against Russian and the separatists is too obviously orchestrated that there has to be a reason other than the inherent evil of the the Eastern Slavs.

According to one website it is due to the South Stream Pipeline.  According to Sylvia Todorova at WhoWhatWhy, The US has become the largest producer of Natural Gas and would like to sell it across the pond in liquefied form.

The Neutralist cannot say this is the real story.  We do, however, agree that the idea we really care for justice may not be the complete truth.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

If the American governments reaction to Flight MH 17 doesn't make the case for Neutralism, you are never going to get it

There is so much news.  We have NPR, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.  They all say essentially the same thing, We have no proof, the investigation will take a while, Russia is to blame.

It is hard not to escape the thought that all main stream media is propaganda.  From hyper-left MSNBC to Neocon Fox the drumbeat is little different.

The desire to blame Russia, or the Eastern Ukrainians and therefore Russia has nothing to do with real guilt or innocence.  The Neutralist does not claim to have the story behind the story as to why we absolutely have to run the table in Eastern Europe.  It might be so the dopey VP's kid can keep his sinecure.  If he's anything like the old man, he ain't cut out for real work.  Maybe it is something to do with keeping the dollar the world currency.  Of course, if we hadn't kept devaluing it over decades that might not be a problem.

Whatever the reason we're bugging Vlad, it is not worth mutually assured incineration if we go too far.

No one is asking the question, but why can't we just leave?  What if enough people said, "ya know, both incarnations of the Bush-Obama administration have gone from failure to failure, maybe we should really try something different.  Let's leave."

Of course, at that point, the neocons and other foreign policy hot shots would say, "But, but Putin could  takeover Ukraine and maybe finlandize a lot of other territory."

Yeah, so what.  If what we've seen of the Ukies these last several months, he can have them.  The only real question is what can he do to us?

In real terms, we are doing it to ourselves, but the question is fair.  There are some things he can do and probably is.  There are allusions in the press that is he talking with the Brics about setting up a rival system for settling payments.  Who can blame him?

As to hurting us, he can take measures on the periphery of taking the part of countries that we are bugging elsewhere.  Again, why wouldn't he?

If we were not there, much of the incentive for the first goes away and just about all of the second evaporates.

He can not come after us with a carrier fleet and an invasion flotilla because he does not have one, nor will he acquire one anytime soon.

What do we get out of saying au revoir?  We see an end to a sea of problems and expenses.

That's it folks.  We don't have to be there, in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa anywhere.  We don't have to be there.

Now there are some out there who will argue that we have to be over there to secure petroleum supplies.  I remember the argument some local talk show nut used to use locally, "What is our oil doing under there soil?"  Don't have a ready answer, but oil is fungible and usually available for purchase.  Maybe we consult the Swiss on how a neutral gets hydrocarbons.

The point is we really don't have to be there.  The moms and dads who have lost sons and daughters since 2001 have had them stolen, because, in real terms, they did not have to be there.

So if you, my one or two readers have a neutralist ethos, when someone you know spouts off about how we have to show Putin a thing or two, ask why and don't stop.  When he proves to you that he has listened and absorbed all that the talking heads have spouted, don't try to prove him wrong, just keep asking why we should care.

And when he says, "Yeah, but he could be in Moldova in a week!"  Ask him what part of the United States Moldova is in?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Steven Erlanger saves the French from slavery

But the emotional legacies are different for different countries. For France the war, however bloody, was a necessary response to invasion. Preventing the German Army from reaching Paris in the first battle of the Marne spelled the difference between freedom and slavery. 
The words above were written by an elite journalist in the paper of record.  Mr. Erlanger has punched all the tickets, Harvard, the Times, a shared Pulitzer.  For a writer to conjure up the Gauls as all enchained by Les Boches is absurd.  True, the Germans would not have been gentle, but like after the unpleasantness of the early 1870s, they  would have left.

Oh well, Mr. Erlanger appears to be reliably neocon so not much else can be expected.

After all, when Charlie Thin put up money to help save the Grey Lady, it wasn't to get a quality product.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ukraine, Time for America to exit World War I

Woodrow Wilson's crusade to make the world safe for democracy has gone beyond absurd.  The echo chamber has been reverberating about what we have to do in the Ukraine.  No one in the media is saying the answer is to just leave.  The implication is that if we do, The Russkies are at the Atlantic in a week.  So what?  Europe becomes their problem instead of ours.

If the Old World wants to be sans Rus, their taxpayers can pay for defense.

Anyway, in the words of Will Smith in Men in Black, "Don't start nothin', won't be nothin'."  The trouble has our fingerprints all over it.  (see here, but I suspect my few readers already have).

Justin Raimondo has an account at antiwar.com of our new  millennium stupidity.  I am linking if anyone needs a history lesson.  We've been over the territory here before.

It's time to bring back all the boys from "Over There."  Cohan could write a catchy tune, but it was dumb then, it's dumber now.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

We suspend our fundraiser in favor of the most worthy antiwar.com in spite of Justin's refusal to use the word Neutralist

The Neutralist announces the suspension of our ongoing fundraiser.  To become a Platinum Level Neutralist Sustainer requires a minimum donation of $15,000,000.  As our non-success has been impressive, we have decided to slack off in favor of an organization that is the grand torch bearer in the anti-intervention camp.

Antiwar.comhttp://antiwar.com/has been carrying on the fight since what feels like forever.  I discovered it during the buffoonery of the Clinton interventions.  It was a wonderful and welcome find.  There were people out there who thought mostly the same.  If I was crazy, I was not alone.

Maybe all of us who believe our countries foreign adventures have not been a good idea are mad.  I like to think that no matter how strident Justin Raimondo et al are, they are not hysterics.  It is the other side that is.  Fortunately, there is some proof of that.

Justin's Wednesday column is about the fundraiser.  He mentions how David Frum called people who opposed war treasonous.  He has some vindication below.

“Writing at the height of the neocons’ triumph, Frum said conservatives must "turn our backs" on the "traitors" in their midst, including not only Pat Buchanan but also Bob Novak, Tom Fleming, and Joe Sobran, as well as myself. Frum’s evidence of my "treason"? Let him speak for himself:
"The week after the fall of Kabul, Raimondo acknowledged that though the Afghan war seemed to have succeeded, disaster lurked around the corner: ‘The real quagmire awaits us. . . . When the history books are written, Operation Enduring Freedom will be hailed as a great success – provided it doesn’t endure much more than a few weeks longer.’"

In retrospect, my prediction is spot on: however, in the springtime of the neocons – Spring of 2003 – this was not so readily apparent. Not that I’m claiming to be Nostradamus or anything: at the time, it was clear to anyone with even a half-baked knowledge of Afghanistan’s history that the Americans’ attempt to remake the country would ultimately fail.”

Yup, Justin was right twice.  First in the prediction and second, he did not have to be Nostradamus.  Yet David Frum is still taken seriously.  He gets to talk on government radio and is published in say, The Daily Beast.  Okay, those are not really serious outlets, but you get what I mean.

Justin was and is mostly right, but he has to solicit supporters.  That is right and just as opposed to Frum types who are really just given presents.

So feel free to donate to antiwar.com, and when you send in your donation, tell Justin and Eric, they should call themselves Neutralists and not Isolationists.

I do have a problem with his praise of Sontag's anti-war activities.  Anyone who calls the group that brought the world indoor plumbing a cancer can't be all good.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Another Neutralist Manifesto!

I've seen John V. Walsh's writings on occasion, but never got overly excited.  It's ho hum time not because he writes terribly, just the opposite.  It is that the Neutralist is almost always in agreement.  In his latest article, he has sent cold shivers of pleasure up our spine for two reasons, for two reasons.

First, he has written a Neutralist Manifesto to rival the one on this site.

If the United States insists on its status as the dominant and unchallengeable military power, then we are on the road to conflict, certainly a new Cold War the beginning of which the “pivot” represents, and quite possibly we are on the road to WWIII. We in the United States are the ones who can control this and perhaps save the world from the very worst suffering and deadly conflict. The answer is to abandon Empire, dismantle our overseas bases, end our occupation of foreign nations, including South Korea, Japan and Germany, adopt a defensive strategy to protect our land and come home. Trade and talk, yes. Military intervention, no. We have a potential partner for peace in China. Let us give it a try. Establish trust and verify it. In short, Come Home America. A paradise awaits us here. Let us leave others in peace to construct their own.

Lovely stuff that.

Our second reason is he is a founding member of an organization called Come Home America that embodies what we believe.  Now our investigation of the website has not been exhaustive so maybe we should be a little bit reticent to extend fulsome praise.  It would not do to find out that they are for coming home because the Grand Goggflek of the Planet Nogemal has communicated with them.  If that turns out to be true, we withdraw approval, at least until Goggflek signals us directly.

We are not overly worried and suggest a visit to http://comehomeamerica.wordpress.com/

It is a site that has attained neutralismo even if they don't know it.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Thank you for your service, while your here.

Retired Admiral Mike Mullen has noted that the servimen killed in action are quickly forgotten by his countrymen and women.  I cannot say I disagree with him, but we generally tend to forget all our dead.  I will be going to a memorial service for a relative gone several years now.  He was close and is in my memory often.  Others, it's harder, that's why we have memorial services, not to mention Memorial day.  Like most American holidays, Memorial Day is now just another have fun day.

I applaud the Admiral, to a point.  Granted, fellow feeling for those who follow your trade is natural, but the lads and some lasses who lose their lives in war are a bit different from cousin Sid who died of an infected paper cut suffered in his cubicle as he was struggling to get out the monthly cafeteria usage report.

Our forces overseas are either the first line of defense in a vital world historic conflict, or their lives are being wantonly put at risk.  A short perusal of the Neutralist should leave no one to wonder long where we stand.

According to the Admiral,

"When you get to these wars, I worry that America has paid us very well, the compensation's good, [so the culture says] 'please go off and fight our dirty little wars and let us get on with our lives,'" he said. "We need to figure a way to get America to buy into those, into them."
Interesting words.  Yeah, the people like to be vaguely reminded someone is out there, so you have fine organizations like Fisher House and, after some recent media exposure, lesser outfits like Wounded Warrior.  So, does he have any ideas?  If he wants to drag the citizenry through the hospitals, maybe clean a bedpan or two, support for the war will last for nanoseconds.  It is only the detachment from reality keeps it from being unpalatable.
Another paragraph and quote struck us as a bit weird,
He proposed some sort of universal national service program (although not a draft), perhaps two years of service for all people between the age of 18 and 24, to bridge the gap between the military and the civilian communities.
"The military becoming more and more isolated from the American people is a disaster for America," Mullen said.
Now how is putting the kids in some non-draft situation going to bridge the gap?  
Actually, The Neutralist may be the only one in the country who finds such proposals bizarre.  It seems mandatory community service requirements in high schools and colleges can only make the students cynical.  Even the slow student gets that forcing someone to do good does not make them good.
He singles out The Northeast for special treatment.
The problem is worse in the Northeast than other regions. "The people in the Northeast don't know us anymore, for example," Mullen said, given that the Base Realignment and Closure process has led to the closure of so many military installations in the region.
Now as someone who has lived here all my life, except for an inglorious period as a soldier, to a degree I believe him correct.  The political class is not enamored of  the military and does not enlist.  The base closures have been many and without people with jobs at the bases, there is less paycheck loyalty.
For all that there is a pervasive support the troops sentiment.  Hardly a professional sports event happens without remembering the troops.  Of course, there has been some substitution of Marathon Bombing memorialization  the closer one gets to Boston.  ROTC may not be big at Harvard or Yale, but many of the private and state colleges offer it.
The national service idea is not without supporters regionally.  In the upper reaches of academia and commerce, they see their kids teaching the benighted and closing some gap, while the lower orders have the grunt jobs.  Another reason to oppose it.
We have addressed this in other posts, but what kind of military does the Neutralist envision?  Ideally, we would wish everyone would rush to the colors and serve long term in the reserves.  I expect to be signed as a pitcher by the Red Sox before that happens.
Next idea?  The Neutralist wants a miltary that can defend the country, but not be tempted to foreign adventures.  Obviously, that is not a large standing army.
We are not optimists, but there is a system that is an effective fighting force and does not go abroad to save the world or markets.  That would be Switzerland.
Now this can work only if everyone goes.  As soon as war comes, the senator and rep, not to mention their staff head as well as the college president and ceo move out to their units.
The training of the new soldiers would mean everyone at age of induction goes to learn together the joys of low crawling.  The professors kid mixes with the lower orders.  He may find a few Billy Bobs from south of the Mason-Dixon who can outsmart him*.  Also, he can get to meet the inner city youth he has shed tears of blood over while personally avoiding.  Sexual orientation, who cares?  In basic, it should be all training all the time such that if someone still has energy to get into another bunk, they've probably earned it.
The grand establishment that is the military will no longer exist.  We won't need Pxs, Golf courses, enlisted clubs and all the paraphernalia that bribes people into long service.
It won't be fun, and like the Swiss, as everyone goes, the people will not tolerate frivoulous deployments to save the world or bring democracy or something.
I know this has no chance of happening.

*Be assured, there is no one of this class who thinks anyone outside it his or her equal.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tomgram, salvation is destruction

The headline to the Tomgram article says it all,  We Have to Destroy Our Constitution to Save It.  It's one of those great lies such as Bush the younger's abandoning free market principles to save it.  It has no basis in truth, but is accepted by a segment of the population.

No one to the Neutralist's knowledge actually said that about the constitution other than Tom, but it is the general tone of partisans of the security state. 

Bush did make his remark.  Unlike a lot of people who were born with a hatred for him, his family and party, The Neutralist doesn't think he was stupid.  Neither do we believe him a genius.  He possessed the cunning of the political class.  There is a very limited free market in this country.  In real terms, Bush did nothing to save it, nor did he have any intention of doing so.  He was bailing out the banker class.  His remark of saving it was him being cute as was, oh like say, Bill Clinton when he announced the end of the big government era.

The security state partisans do claim to be preserving our freedoms, but they talk more on the order of keeping us safe.  They say we have not heard about the events they prevented.  We sure know about the guys they set up for a fall.  If they're so effective, then there should have been no Boston Marathon bombing.  After all, they were tipped off by the Russkies.

So if the record of catching the bad guys is, as they say in Scotland, not proven, what is the rationale for scooping up all our phone records?

In truth, we do not have an answer, only guesses.  The people who are doing this are bureaucrats even if they wear general's stars.  We would not want to say they are born rotters and that is what they do.  They may have signed on believing in the goodness of the mision.  No matter the state of their souls, they believe in the mission.  If they don't, at least they serve it.  Governments and bureaucracies do not always trust the citzenry.  It is not far from that to a for your own good attitude.

It is even shorter to a we are trashing the Bill of Rights to save it.  Are they mad.  Sure, but the real crazies don't go to asylums.  If you can write a plausible paper, appear cogent on C span, you should have no worries about keeping a post no matter how many files you want Leviathan to scoop up.

The Tomgram applauds the activity of the people who exposed COINTELPRO and the paper that exposed the operation.  What has changed?  More to the point, who has changed?  There is a tiny burst of surprise that the Clintons have an enemies list.  Not a big topic in the media.  When Nixon had them it was proof of complete evil, as was just about anything he did.  Equally hated and reviled was J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI. 

To go after them was truth to power.  Was it really?  After all, the media applauded the actions of the operatives.  We don't know, but no matter, the security state at that time was a fraction of what it is now, but it was not good.

Now, the great and good are not rising up in opposition as they did even under Bush.  Not too many have much to say against this administration.  Why?  Is it a cult of personality for someone who really does not have much of a personality?

Tom and Glenn have to be commended.  It has to be a bit lonely, but that is heroism.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Anyone up for another Asian war?

Of course The Neutralist should stay on top of current events so that we can comment intelligently on events relevant to our mission.  Sadly our budget is non-existent so we have to rely on other sources.  Fortunately, they abound on the Internet.  One is always being warned that we cannot trust everything on the web.  Of course they never mean NYT or WAPO.  Moi, I'll take the new media over the old when it makes its points well.

It seems there is trouble brewing in Pacific.  None of it close to us, but thanks to our great victory in WWII, the country we leveled is our ally.  Now, if they have a war, it is our war.
In one of the newer media outlets, Antiwar.com's blog John Glaser notes that China is kind of tired of a large ocean being an American lake.

In Mr. Glaser's post, Abandon Hegemony in Asia-Pacific, Or Risk Catastrophic War, the title says it all.  Is maintaining the Pacific lake worth a war?  The few people who have been following The Neutralist cannot be in the dark on our position.  We have always been for the end of our country's policy of running the world.  In the end, it is unsustainable.  We are rattling swords with a big creditor in support of another big creditor.  Are we the indispensable power or a grand pawn?

Is China wishing to establish an Asian Monroe Doctrine or does she wish to have a lake.  The Neutralist can't say for sure, but believes, in the end, short of war there is no point to staying.  There are enough regional players such that if we leave, The Middle Kingdom will have enough problems sorting that out that they're not about to obtain a trans-Pacific landing force anytime soon.
Thanks to treaty obligations, bugging out will be complicated.  Even so, we should begin the process of negotiating our departure with all the powers now.
Actually, we should have begun the process in 1898 by saying to Spain, sorry about that boat, but send us a few pesetas comp and you keep the Philippines.  No, go back further, we should have told the sugar planters further south that we were not helping to depose Queenie.
Mr. Glaser sums it all up best here, “maintaining global hegemony does ordinary Americans little good. Such an exclusive hold on power in the sphere of international relations is greatly beneficial to political elites and the wealthy entities to which they are closely tied, but not much for the general population. Given this, the question of whether we prefer maintaining hegemony to “all-out conflict” in the Asia-Pacific is pertinent.”

It was maybe the Dole's in Hawaii, who wanted the Philippines is a good question, but elites set up a colonial situation that probably made war inevitable.  Why are we still there?  There are ample web sources to argue that, but be assured, Joe and Jane average will get nothing out of it.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bill Kristol wants to transform the Dumb War into another Good War.

It is no small task Bill Kristol has set himself. After all, when someone who has made no great sacrifices in life wants to tell us that men who paid the ultimate price really died for some good reason, one might think there would be some logical justification for his pontification. Not really, his screed does little more than tell us to suck it up for the country, because that's good, or something.
He quotes the poem of Wilfrid Owen wherein the poet disagrees that Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori is as sweet as it sounds. Owen, unlike Kristol, actually saw service and near the end of the conflict was killed in action.

Kristol does not mention Siegfried Sassoon. Sassoon was also a war poet and as brave a soldier as Owen. He was decorated with the Military Cross. After being wounded, he refused to go back to the war. The futility was too much and he turned against the whole project.

Kristol notes that the beginning of “The Great War” is the bicentennial of the War of 1812. He quotes the Star Spangled Banner Then Conquer we must verse. So a war we incompetently drifted into justifies all the silly deaths of 1914-1918? 

One is tempted to ask if they taught logic at Harvard. That is irrelevant. Kristol surely understands a valid syllogism. What is going on is he is being cute. His conservatism is all pretense. A conservative foreign policy would emulate Switzerland's. We, as a people got nothing out of our intervention in the First World War. We are getting none out of our Middle-Eastern adventures.

Kristol and the Weekly Standard staff are going on a cruise to schmooze with the subscribers. Let us all applaud that sacrifice as our boys in Afghanistan hunker down in a meaningless conflict. I doubt Mr. Warrior will be too upset if there are casualty reports while he is at sea.

Kristol, would probably quote with approval the words of Herbert Croly when he was pushing for WWI, "The American nation needs the tonic of a serious moral adventure."  Croly was one of the founders of The National Review and an uber-progressive and like Kristol a chickenhawk.  I don't really believe Kristol is stupid enough to believe the stuff he spouts, but if he does, he's a lunatic.

Hat tip to Mediaite and Lew Rockwell blog.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Isolationism, always new always fresh!

America is taking a short break from remaking the world.  This may have something to do with the last few attempts not being too successful.  Actually, they were failures, but is that any reason to stop trying?  It never has been and never will be over at Planet New York Times.

Back in October, Andrew Bacevich, West Point Grad, Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University wrote a long piece on the Times' love of adventuring.  It was exhaustive in displaying how the “Paper of Record” supports intervention and condemn Isolationism whenever it rears its ugly head.

Professor Bacevich exhaustively chronicles how Timesguys and Timesbabes are always fighting the eternal recurrence of “The New Isolationism” (TNI). The opponents of TNI are so numerous that if they could be mustered together, they could constitute and invasion force and head off to the next country we need to save.

The lads and lasses who hate isolationism so much never get around to explaining why the whole internationalism stuff is so great.  It's just that America hunkered down here is horrible in their view.

And this is of course the problem.  There really are not many isloationists.  It's that the op-edsters in the times get to define the terms.  I wish the Professor had come to grips with this as he wrote a great Neutralist column.  Neutralism is not turning our back on the world, though it is turning our back on running the world.

My favorite part of the article, his quote of James Traub from the 1991 NYT,

An op-ed by up-and-coming journalist James Traub appearing in the Times in December 1991, just months after a half-million U.S. troops had liberated Kuwait, was typical.  Assessing the contemporary political scene, Traub detected “a new wave of isolationism gathering force.”  Traub was undoubtedly establishing his bona fides.  (Soon after, he landed a job working for the paper.)
This time, according to Traub, the problem was the Democrats.  No longer “the party of Wilson or of John F. Kennedy,” Democrats, he lamented, “aspire[d] to be the party of middle-class frustrations -- and if that entails turning your back on the world, so be it.”

Anyone who wants to be part of Wilsonianism is either not bright, not sane or a charlatan.
Good work, Professor.  You don't have far to go to come out into the sunlight of Neutralism
Professor Bacevich' article has been posted a few places.  I read it at the Unz Review .