America First

Don’t get the idea from the title of this post that I’ve changed my politics, because you’d be very wrong.  Since Veteran’s Day is this week, I decided this is an appropriate opportunity to suggest that the country truly honor veterans in a way that goes beyond the tokenism of parades, speeches, etc.

And that would be for the public, especially the pathetic politicians, to recognize that the government shouldn’t be sending soldiers into harm’s way in the willy nilly way it has been doing for over 50 years .  Common sense suggests before asking soldiers to sacrifice life, limb and/or sanity, there is no shadow of a doubt that it is absolutely necessary.

But politics is not about common sense.  And war is the extension of politics by other means.  And politics is all about posturing.

Since the posturing politicians making the decisions are unlikely to have any of their own children in the military, is it any wonder the decision is often for war?  What do you think the decision would be if there was a law that every military age son and daughter of every Congressional representative supporting war would be sent to the front lines? Exactly….

Since 1945, when politicians of both parties anointed this country as the world’s policeman, there has been little consideration for the military.  The Chicken Little politicians have regularly sent the military into situations where there was no real threat to country’s survival.

Let’s begin with the most recent “Big Three.”  Viet Nam fell and the “best and brightest” were proved to be morons when the rest of the Southeast Asian dominoes did not fall.  Iraq was invaded and no  WMDs were found, so remember that the next time a President presents a “slam dunk” case for another military intervention.  As for Afghanistan, even noted conservative George Will says it’s time to get the heck out.

I don’t know how many billions have gone done the sinkholes of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Nor do I want to know.  I’ll leave it to others to think about how those billions could have been used in this country.  (Or, not used… producing a lower national debt, which just might help the economy.)

Then, there’s way too many minor interventions to detail.  But Bosnia is a good example of needless meddling.  That was nothing more than a “feel good” folly.  I don’t care who ethnically cleanses whom; it is no threat to this country.  (Interestingly, when it was ethnic cleansing in Rwanda, this country’s attitude was that it was a problem to be solved by Africa.  So why was not Bosnia a problem to be solved by Europe?)

When I say “America First” it is a reference to the isolationist America First Committee which opposed U. S. involvement in World War II.  Both Gerald Ford and John F. Kennedy supported the America First Committee.

I am a staunch isolationist.  When the President goes on TV to explain why this country’s soldiers need to be sent to BFE  “in the national interest”, we need to say:  “You lie!”  But, the public keeps falling for the deceit, so President after President keeps doing it and the cowardly Congress keeps kow towing.  Then, when the truth sheds light on the situation, the scurrying Congressional cockroaches pull a Kerry:  “I was against it before I was for it.” Too little, too late.

An attitude adjustment is long overdue.  America First! Bring all the troops home now and keep all the foreign aid bribes in America too.

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16 responses to “America First

  1. “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling that thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight – nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety – is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions and blood of better men than himself.”–John Stuart Mill

    “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case; you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”–Sir Winston Churchill

    There is no longer the possibility of isolationism. The theory of it has passed. It is antiquated and toothless, hardly worth debate at all. War will take new forms in this century just as it did in the last but the object will still be similar……..for the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. There will always be good and evil, in America and in the rest of the world. But as bad as our system is, haven’t seen a better one yet.

  2. Well PT, you are in the minority if you believe that Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan were / are about our national survival.

    Think about what this country might have been if there had been no Viet Nam. One less anarchist, I can assure you of that.

    And where you been these last few weeks?

  3. Oh hell Viet Nam was a tragedy. Even McNamara admitted it. Actually Eisenhowers Administration got us into a treaty obligation with France which Kennedy upheld and then Johnson and Nixon took the heat. We should have left in the mid sixties when it was clear nothing but death could come from it.

    I am not at all sure you are correct about Iraq.

    But Afghanistan was definitely in our National interest and when I listen to the Military in the field they make a good case for continuing it. I know I am not in the minority to remember where 911 came from and how devastating it was to our National Security and Economy.

    Your central points of no government and isolationism just are not realistic arguments and must always conclude in unsubstantiated philosophical generalities. I respond, just to let you remember that there is a considered response to wishful thinking and no place for it in real government. It is fun around the fireside but not in the Whitehouse.

    Oh BTW here’s another bit of trivia for you and I wager you can’t find the entire answer on the internet. When and how did the Whitehouse get its name and what was significant about it. It’s actually germane to my argument.

  4. Spencer:

    I don’t expect to either influence or change your opinions, but would you kindly consider some of the flaws in your diatribe:

    1)You ask: What do you think the decision would be if there was a law that every military age son and daughter of every Congressional representative supporting war would be sent to the front lines? Actually it would be much much worse than the current circumstance: It’s a straw man argument: e.g. what do you think a President would decide if his wife and children were taken hostage by terrorists and he was blackmailed into strategic surrender. In fact, the EXACT OPPOSITE makes a lot more sense. A politicians’ children should NOT be permitted to serve in the front lines EXACTLYbecause it may influence his/her decisions that affect the wellbeing of the entire nation. Not just our soldiers.

    2) You refer to the recent “Big Three.” Actually, you are curiously overlooking the Iraq invasion of Kuwait…i.e. Gulf War I. (One could argue that it was a strategic mistake to have left Saddam in power back then!…instead of demanding an unconditional surrender.)

    3) You choose to ignore the fact that the best way to avoid war is to have a powerful military that is both a deterrent and able to project power.

    4) I suggest that you read up a bit more on the America First movement. Although you were correct that some high profile politicians were members, its ideology was virulently anti-semitic, racists, and tolerant of nazi ideology. Fakename and Fakesister would be appalled.

  5. PT and Rocky…I don’t see ANYWHERE that I said I oppose all war all times. Even the supporters of American First joined the war effort *after* we were attacked.

    It is clear from my post that I oppose most wars most times. Certainly every war since WW2, including Kuwait, which I do not believe was about our national survival either. (And I have no doubt this country would have survived if North Korea took over South Korea so I’d not have helped them either.)

    You guys do not seem to understand what I am saying. I suspect you haven’t seen a war we’ve been in since WW2 you didn’t support, except possibly Viet Nam and maybe that’s not what your position was in ’68 but 20-20 hindsight.

    Because how the heck did we get into it to begin with if everyone who now says it was a mistake said that in ’68? I’m proud to have been in the anti-war movement then. I’m still in it. Only the countries involved are different.

    And when both Iraq and Afghanistan collapse after the U.S. leaves, maybe 25 years from now history will say we screwed those two up too.
    That like Nam, we had the best intentions but went straight to hell with all the other misguided do gooders.

    So I won’t address your “points”, all of which are just opinion. As is mine. There’s no need to “discuss” opinions, because no one’s mind will be swayed.

    Only history will establish whether any one is correct, and even then I’m not sure. My poker analogy is: it is mathematically “correct” to go “all in” with a pair of Aces. That I can “prove.”

    But you still can lose and I have. So whether one “wins” or “loses” does not mean it was or wasn’t correct.

    However, I will say that outcome trumps everything. Whether you were “right” is irrelevant if you lose. Ask the Native Americans.

    And Rocky, all politics is personal. It is naivite, in my opinion, to believe politicians are looking out for the “common good.” Politics is about power, that is all.

    The belief that the government is looking out for us is exactly why we receive BOHICA on a regular basis. Government cannot be reformed.

    I’m living well; that’s all I care about. Anyone who wants to care about the world, democracy, justice or whatever, can be my guest. There’ll be no argument from me. That’s what freedom is about. Including the freedom not to care, which is my choice.

    Don’t suggest that government allows me that freedom; that view is the statists’ position.(Anyone who is not an anarchist is a statist, so don”t take that the wrong way.)

    Government is an artifice; it gives nothing. It only takes away freedom and leaves us with some. Very Orwellian to then say that government “gives” us the freedom it did not take.

    How it can viewed any other way is beyond me.
    So many folks are in Plato’s cave. Seeing the shadows on the wall and thinking that is the reality. The one who manages to get out of the cave and return with tales of “reality” is then scorned as being insane.

    I have left the cave. But I’m not coming back either. I’ve got more important business.

    Feel free to make any points, but I will no longer reply. The others may be interested and I am happy to provide a forum. I just wish there was a more “engaged” anarchist willing to advocate the cause. But of course our mindset is not favorable to organization….

    Right now, finishing up getting organized 😉 for going on vacation the week before Thanksgiving is much more important than the welfare of the world.

    And PT..I have no clue about the White House. But then, I’m not sure what your “argument” is either. Not that it will any any effect on my thinking….

  6. “I’m living well; that’s all I care about. ” Source: Spencercourt.

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Source: Edmund Burke.

    “Enjoy your holiday!” Source: Rocky Humbert (whose birthday falls on Armistice Day.)

    • Rocky, you’ve always had good “original” thoughts. I know you could have done better than Burke but were likely pressed for time. Is there anyone our age who isn’t familiar with that quote? (I’m sure there is…but not us erudite bloggers!)

      But for the record, I did my time fighting evil in the 70’s. I’ve since retired from that.

  7. Great post Anarchist. Dead on I would say. I agree that some war may be necessary but both Iraq and Afghanistan will go down as a tragic waste of lives and resources.

    We need to leave both those countries immediately. Is there any wonder that our soldiers are flipping out and killing people? Most of them have been deployed 3-4 times. Watching your buddies get blown up by bombs hidden in anything the enemy can fin find, has to be hell on our troops.

    @ Rocky, the best way to avoid a war is to not start one. All of the military might and the projection of power didn’t do a thing to scare al Qaeda.

  8. Granted, it’s uncharacteristic, but Fakename thinks the better part of valor here is silence.
    Happy vacation planning! Fakename is considering a trip to St. George Island for Christmas….

    • Wasn’t it the Tremoloes (sp?) who sang: Silence is Golden? I’m trying hard to be the Golden Boy when it comes to controversial topics like politics, religion, etc but sometimes I fail….

      I hope your silence was not out of concern I’d be offended. I have a very thick skin. Or, maybe I just don’t care what folks think of me. Or, both.

      Always feel free to speak your mind. I don’ take these things personally.

      The weather is not looking good for vacation… maybe it”ll change by next week.

      And why has there been a drop in interest in “lychee” and “guatemalan porn”? I was getting lots of visits from those searches, but lately nothing. So stirring the pot with this post had been a bit helpful for my count….but not enough to offset the loss of about 15-20 daily visits for “lychee.”

      • I don’t know if it was the Tremolos or not–but I can sing the first line (all four words), and hum the next line…does that count?
        My not speaking certainly does not imply I think you would be offended. You are one of the most tolerant people I know. It’s more like, my debate skills are not up to yours and I would surely lose 🙂

  9. You make so much sense. I think so many of us tend to be lemmings with an “If you say so” attitude. But can anyone argue your point that if a situation poses no threat to THIS country, we have no business sending our citizens there to die? I wouldn’t think so.

  10. Territerri:

    That was exactly what the America First people said about Adolph Hitler when he started re-arming Germany in the early 1930’s. That’s exactly what the America First people said when he re-occupied the demilitarized zone in the Rhineland. That’s exactly what the America First people said when he invaded Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hollad, France….

    America First was disbanded when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor….

    Now we’ve got Iran developing a nuclear weapon (with declared hostility towards our allies and ourselves) and the North Koreans developing nuclear-tipped long range ballistic missiles….having completely violated every Clinton-era nuclear agreement —

    With these threats developing, you and your children be LUCKY if the only citizens who die will be our soldiers on foreign soil….

    • Rocky,

      I suggest that America’s entry into WW2 did little to defeat Hitler. The Soviets did it and we just supplied the arms.

      Also, I do not accept that history repeats. Hitler is the past. What happened then cannot be projected onto Iran, etc.

      It is exactly these kind of false comparisons that lead to foolishness. Evaluate the situation on it’s own merits and make your arguments on that, but to say that situation Y is just like situation X is oversimplification.

      History is made by individuals acting on their own motives. No two individuals are alike. Therefore, no two situations are alike.

      I could easily say that Iran and Afghanistan are “just like Viet Nam” and so doomed to failure. And in fact there are similarities. But the three are not alike.

      I deleted the first paragraph of your comment because I felt it was ad hominem, and irrelevant to your points.

      I also deleted the follow up comment because I did not like its tone.

      I have no problem if you want to get into “details” with me or PT or anyone else who has shown interest in the “details” of the issue. But she did not and I do not appreciate you lecturing her when all she did was express an short opinion. Next time you do this, I will change your status to “moderate comments before publishing.”

      Whether or not you convince anyone of your views will not save America from whatever threats you imagine.

      To borrow from Ronald Reagan, this is my mike and you are free to speak only what I allow.

  11. Rocky. Sigh. This is clearly a topic you feel passionately about, as well you should. But I must agree with spencercourt that you stepped over the line here. I disagree with him about isolationism. But it is a great and illogical leap, as you did somewhere, to say that isolationism is a step toward Holocaust denial.
    But worse…you took an innocent comment from Terri, tracked down her website, and compared her motto to an Islamic Jihad website. This is the very definition of ad hominem. I think, if you think about it, and put yourself in their positions, that you would regret having said what you did. At least I hope so.

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