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  •  Is it bang on? (16+ / 0-)

    More Americans have died in gun crime through other Americans since the 1970s than both World Wars and Vietnam combined.

    How is the cost of other lives lost abroad, or indeed the expense (which recouped itself many times over by American influence and market dominance) really the issue on a day like today?

    Isolationism won't free America from its demons. Meanwhile, you lose the better angels of your nature, who have truly been a source of hope to the wider world for 60 years.

    The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

    by Brit on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 06:53:23 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Blowing Arabs into small bits for the sake of (42+ / 0-)

      feeling "we did something" is no reflection of the better angels of our nature.

      For a long time, we've fallen away from what we were and become the very thing we once rebelled against - a vile Empire bereft of decency, compassion, or belief in the right of others to rule themselves.

      As Britain grudgingly took off her butchers apron after WWII, we foolishly picked it up. Since then, we've killed or paid others to kill millions while we stumbled around the globe pretending to be endowed with some higher authority or superior morality.

      Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end of what has been a dark chapter in our history as a country.

      "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

      by JesseCW on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 07:00:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That whole information dominance thing (10+ / 0-)

        Is working out quite nicely.  But shouldn't they, you know, catch some bad guys at some point?  

        It puts the lotion on its skin

        by Nada Lemming on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 07:06:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, think of all those Arab Muslims we killed... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brit, rapala

        in Bosnia.

        A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

        by Tempus Figits on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 07:06:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Blowing Arabs into small bits... (19+ / 0-)

        ...and pounding sand. Notice anyone defending this?

        If anyone wants to defend that Neocon policy of exemplary war, which collapsed with Shock and Awe, bring it on.

        I'm clearly not talking about that. And for the record I did not support the proposed punitive raid on Syria. Pointless.

        But I do support preventative actions. I wish they'd happened in Rwanda. They came too late in Bosnia. They came just in time in Kosovo.

        I'm not sure which interventions Kos is describing, and the generality worries me. I saw Michael Moore talk in London ten years ago. And he said "tell me a time when American boots hit the ground and it wasn't wrong."  I put my hand up and said; "D-Day."

        The one rule fits all style of thinking, the 'we know it all' kind of thinking, can go wrong in multiple ways.

        Unless you're a pacifist, as I learned through bitter personal experience in Bosnia, there are times when a lesser violence is needed to stop a greater violence.

        That window actually existed during the Homs battle in Syria two years ago. Now it's too late, and diplomacy, brokering cease fires with exhausted belligerents, is probably the only way out.

        But harm reduction is harm reduction. Reduce harm. The dynamics of that are constantly shifting. And anyone who believes they have no moral imperative to reduce harm among others, no matter how apparently remote, lacks imagination as well as compassion

        The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

        by Brit on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 07:09:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You wish we'd bombed the shit out of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q, shaharazade

          some folks in Rwanda?

          Hard to argue it would have saved any lives.  

          When we did start dumping in arms and cash at the end, what we managed to do was massively contribute to the first and second Congo Wars, in which up to five million people were killed.

          WWII was the direct result of the US being dragged foolishly into WWI.  No US involvement, no insanely brutal conditions imposed on Germany.  No Hitler.  No WWII.

          No harm reduction yet.

          "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

          by JesseCW on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 07:16:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is odd (16+ / 0-)

            You support gun proliferation in the US but decry it in the Congo?

            I'm against both, period.

            BTW you didn't need to bomb anyone in Rwanda. You needed a UN mandate to allow armoured trucks to stop the Interahamwe armed with machetes.

            As for your reading of WW2. That's the most bizarre theory I've ever heard. Hitler's main sponsor was Woodrow Wilson?

            Well, let's follow your logic through. No US intervention in WW2. A Europe wide Axis Nazi state. Third Reich dominance for fifty years.

            Is there no limit to where libertarian isolationism will take you?

            So to repeat:

            Anyone who believes they have no moral imperative to reduce harm among others, no matter how apparently remote, lacks imagination as well as compassion

            The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

            by Brit on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 07:27:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Name a war since WWII (6+ / 0-)

              that the US had any right sticking it's nose into.

              If you can do that, then I will commend you as a Captain of the Eternal Campaign for Humanitarian Intervention.

              CHEAPSKATES, for short.

              -9.50/-7.59 - "Why are the missiles called peace-keepers when they're aimed to kill?" -Tracy Chapman

              by Situational Lefty on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:05:56 PM PDT

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            •  Well Brit, you sure like US bombing missions. And (0+ / 0-)

              if Wilson had actually stayed the hell out of WW1 the Brits, Germans, and French would have had to have worked their own shit out.

              •  I believe it would have turned out roughly (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brit

                the same, at least if one assumes that Britain and France would have managed to win without the U.S. All Wilson gave a shit about in the after-negotiations, as far as I know, was starting the League of Nations. He didn't give a damn what conditions were imposed on Germany--again, as far as I know.

                If my education's deficient on this point, educate me.

                The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 06:58:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think it was mostly about Wilson's need to (0+ / 0-)

                  get himself involved in the process.  Also, the US economy was making a helluva lot of money off the war.

                  At the beginning of the war, we sold everything to everybody.  After the Royal Navy blockaded the continent the German side was cut off.

                  •  Well, yes. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Brit

                    But I still don't see how our involvement in the Great War was the galvanizing factor that produced Hitler and WWII.

                    The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 11:08:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If the US had not got into it, and they had to (0+ / 0-)

                      settle it among themselves as a draw then perhaps no Hitler.  But no one can have any real idea what would have happened and what the hell is the point in worrying about it.  I'm not big on the alternative history thing.

                      •  Yeah, and I'm not seeing that as really (0+ / 0-)

                        compelling alternative history. I mean, it's not something particularly plausible like "What if Lee had decided to be Lincoln's general instead of fighting for the Confederacy" or something.

                        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.

                        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 03:25:13 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  The fact that so many don't understand... (0+ / 0-)

                ...even the basic facts of Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 makes me deeply sceptical of their claims about 1914-1918

                The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

                by Brit on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 11:47:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Just a note about your ... (5+ / 0-)
            "... insanely brutal conditions imposed on Germany...."
            I've seen that argument made as some kind of apparent justification for the rise of Facism, and it makes no sense to me, JesseCW. For almost the entire history of the human race up until that point, a conquered nation became a slave state. Besides that, there were the putsches, coups and revolutions inside Germany and the ill-considered way they decided to handle their currency. Then, there was the Great Depression, something shared by many countries throughout the world that did not end up with Fascist dictatorships.

            Sorry. Just a pet peeve of mine.

            Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

            by Tortmaster on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 10:36:07 PM PDT

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          •  I disagree on the brutal conditions (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brit, rbird

            having to do primarily with our presence. I think (no offense, Brit) that Britain and France were quite capable of imposing the Treaty of Versailles on Germany and thus creating Hitler all by themselves. Italy wasn't going to stop them.

            The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 06:56:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Jesse, I love you like a brother, but... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brit

            ...what you just said is nonsense.  The French and to a lesser extent the British (opposed by Keynes, who foresaw the devastation to be caused by punishing Germany) were the forces behind the punitive reparations laid on Germany.  It was a central goal of the French at the Paris Peace Conference to permanently cripple Germany militarily and economically.

            No need to charge through that giant book, Paris 1919.  If you do (almost 700 pages!), get the kindle.
            http://www.amazon.com/...

            Instead, wikipedia as a pretty good summary of the shenanigans going on there.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            Another point, the Allies were on their way to defeating Germany on their own.  It might gall American pride a little, but it's the truth.  We were in on the kill, but most of the work had been done already.  Without American participation, things would have turned out pretty much the way they did anyway.  The war might have gone on another year, there might have been a socialist revolution in Germany...but the reparations would still have been imposed.

            Your underlying thesis, that World War II is the direct result of American involvement in World War I is, this is the politest term I can come up with, bullshit.

            For one, the causes of the Pacific war and the war in Europe were largely unconnected, despite the alliance between Japan and Germany.

            Japan lusted after China.  Japan had a choice to make as to who they'd attack in their search for natural resources to continue their forever-war with China:  north to the Soviet Union, south to the riches of European colonies.  They had been mauled in an brief war with the Soviet Union (Zhukov played a big part in this mauling - if you read up on World War II, you'll see his name come up again), so that didn't look like a good idea.  They knew the USA, which was already pro-Chinese, would likely respond with its military if the Japan moved south, so they decided to take us out as a way to ensure their uninterrupted looting of southern Asia.

            Why Hitler declared war on the USA after the Japanese attack, no one's yet to completely figure out.  His alliance with the Japanese was defensive, he was under no obligation to declare war on us.  Here's my best guess.  He had never been to the USA.  Hitler, in reality, was something of a parochial country bumpkin when it came to knowledge of the wider world.  His prejudices made him think we were a bunch of push-overs, a people constitutionally weak in the knees.  What could it hurt to pick a fight with us?

            Lastly, nothing is certain in history.  Hitler was unique in his ambitions.  It seems even his fellow fascist dictators did not share his desire for war in Europe.  Franco stayed neutral to the end, hell, he was the ruler of Spain until 1975.  Mussolini was only a reluctant participant initially.  If Germany had another leader, and this might have happened - ever wonder why Hitler had Röhm assassinated? - history would have been completely different.  A single man's ambitions drove World War II in Europe.

            So, like I said, your thinking on this matter, as much as I love you, is bullshit.

            Tell me what to write. tellmewhattowrite.com 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

            by rbird on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 11:46:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Now that is what I call a rebuttal (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rbird, Charles Hall

              You're on the money in every instance, including the judgement of Keynes, and the French desire for retribution. Hitler knew this. He made the French sign their capitulation in 1940 in the same railway carriages the Versailles treaty was signed.

              I see it as a bizarre inversion of American exceptionalism that the US is uniquely evil in its foreign policy decisions in the last century

              The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

              by Brit on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 11:52:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Normally I have great affection for Jesse... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brit

                ...but this time he went way, way, way over the top.

                Tell me what to write. tellmewhattowrite.com 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

                by rbird on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 12:00:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  You sure like to divert the conversation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          democracy inaction, Laconic Lib

          with long-winded responses that convey no knowledge to anyone who gives a shit about the situation.

          -9.50/-7.59 - "Why are the missiles called peace-keepers when they're aimed to kill?" -Tracy Chapman

          by Situational Lefty on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:46:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I am tired of blowing the shit out of everyone. (13+ / 0-)

          Nobody died and left me in charge, and I'm sick of paying for Haliburtons wars and moral interventions alleged and real.   Charity starts at home.   If anybody wants to spend money on Syria, Kosovo or Rwanda - they are free to donate and enlist.

          If the UN wants to assume the role and levy a tax to support the inventions, I'll gladly pay that; but I tired of being the gang leader and footing the entire freaking bill.   If Switzerland and Costa Rica can say "I'm out of here", so can the US; and it is way past time.    If our defense budget went into our economy and society, maybe we wouldn't have 45 mil people on food stamps and a youth unemployment rate of 16.5%.  

          I have three politically incorrect, straight, white male, grandchildren; and I don't care if you think they're important or not.

          by dkmich on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 04:00:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laconic Lib, Johnny Q, wonmug
          The one rule fits all style of thinking, the 'we know it all' kind of thinking, can go wrong in multiple ways.
          Talk about self-unaware, that is precisely what you are here defending.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 04:26:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If all you need is some lesser violence (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q

          Then some lesser sized militaries can help out.  I few do but most don't.

        •  This may be the only place I can comment safely (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brit, rbird

          The one dimensional thinking exemplified by this diary is both harmful and polarizing. By taking a sound bite out of context Markos has turned David Ignatius into a war monger. I find the man to be a bit more nuanced than that.

          If the readers here read the WaPo article, they will find mention of Philip Bobbitt's new book about Machiavelli called “The Garments of Court and Palace.”  

          The bottom line in the article is what Bobbitt considers the proper translation of Machiavelli:

          Obama’s penchant for avoiding big, risky bets in uncertain situations may also be neo-Machiavellian, in Bobbitt’s terms. The phrase “the end justifies the means” is often attributed incorrectly to Machiavelli. Properly translated, argues Bobbitt, the advice to the prince is: “One must consider the outcome.”
          From that perspective we would not see such extreme positions and the resulting polarization.

          For a better example of Ignatius' views I suggest this article from 2009:
          http://www.foreignpolicy.com/...

          The politics of survival have made the Assad regime a tough adversary, but the hardness of the regime also makes it a potentially serious partner. A government that could level one of its major cities to stop the Muslim Brotherhood knows that, in the end, it must find allies against al Qaeda. That's the raw self-interest driving the Syrian regime toward negotiations.
          The entire Middle East is caught in very old traps.

          Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

          by Just Bob on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 08:56:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's American Exceptionalism! (6+ / 0-)

        Genocide is cool if we do it!

        … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

        by mosesfreeman on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 10:10:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, and I will support Syrian intervention when (0+ / 0-)

          we decide to sign the treaty that bans the use of land mines and when we give up the use of phosphorous and depleted uranium in ammunition.  We can't know if people who died a slow agonizing death from a gunshot wound to the belly suffered more than those who died from being gassed with Sarin.  We do know that those who were burned alive in the WWII Dresden fire bombings are just as dead as those incinerated in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The idea that we can impose more gentlemanly ways of killing in war harks back to the age of chivalry, and we ought to give it up in favor of humanitarian relief projects that might actually prevent war.

           

          Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

          by hawkseye on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:09:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Rec'd for using one of my favorite terms: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brit, rbird

        "...the better angels of our nature."

        Mr. Lincoln's conscience is still relevant, even today.

        The most violent element in society is ignorance.

        by Mr MadAsHell on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 08:34:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, it is clear (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, greenbell, Johnny Q

      which side of the argument you are on.

      "Caution" does not equal "isolationism."

      When you have to make those kinds of ridiculous leaps of logic to defend your point of view, you've already lost.

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 04:17:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm on the side of caution (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rbird

        That's why I did not support the Kerry plan for a useless  punitive strike, and am glad Cameron's motion to authorise it was voted down by the House of Commons.

        Meanwhile, the true extremism is well on display in the comments above - that ALL American interventions in foreign affairs in the last half century have been destructive and counterproductive

        The support for that unhistorical, extreme and simplistict theme have been well demonstrated in this thread. That so many revert to a ridiculously monochrome view of the past, undermines their judgement on the present

        The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

        by Brit on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 11:43:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  So now the choice is either "isolationism" or (7+ / 0-)

      getting involved in an insanely complicated, volatile situation, ridden with multiple state and often crazy non-state actors, by soaring in there with our planes. Or just with our missiles and drones. I'm sure those few (extremely small, according to our SoS) missile strikes will accomplish a lot. And it's interesting to know that isolationism and missile strikes are the only two possible choices.

      "Recouped many times over by American influence and market dominance?" Really? Is that what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have done? Maybe for Haliburton and a few of our energy and defense companies. You'll excuse the rest of us if we don't consider Dick Cheney's expanding portfolio as a good return for our dead and injured. Nor for what our men were made to do.

      And, by the way, I believe we lost the "better angels of our nature" somewhere near Abu Ghraib. We're trying to find them again, but our government doesn't seem really committed to helping us do that.

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 06:54:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with all of the above (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rbird

        But your analysis of American foreign policy seems to only take into account 2001-2013.

        I was taking a slightly broader view

        The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

        by Brit on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 11:45:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Everything before 2001 is essentially lost (0+ / 0-)

          to us, at this point. Not lost to memory, but we can't access it politically or sociologically. To put it more plainly: as President Carter said, we don't currently have a functioning democracy (nor a functioning republic, for that matter). We are not living under the Constitution. Our government is not going to take us back to where we were before we went so horribly amiss; neither party is willing to lead us in that direction.  Horribly ironically, the only politicians who are willing to take any actions in that regard are the Tea Party politicians, who appear, in their insanity, to have figured out that they can't keep their guns if they have no 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th amendment rights, because private property rights depend on the rule of law (it would have been fucking nice if they'd figured that out 15 or 20 years ago, while they were happily following the insane neocons over the cliff).

          We don't have a political or electoral path (not one that goes through Washington, anyway) that takes us back to the country we were. It's useless to cite anything before 2001 except for the purposes of nourishing the spirit and trying to come up with alternatives to the current political system--workarounds, if you will.

          To connect this back to foreign policy: our government is so horrendously corrupt that you can't expect FDR-style responses from them, even if Syria were a Munich moment, which it's not. All you can expect is more of the same post-2001 grimy financial- and energy-sector-driven sordid crap, with a little bowing and scraping to Israeli and Saudi interests thrown in. The only question is how fast are we going to do it and how deep are we going to get in. Obama deserves some kudos because he has been (I think) dragging his feet over the past few years.  The Likud party would have liked him to be bombing the shit out of not only Damascus, but Tehran, long since, and probably Prince Bandar bin Sultan would have liked that too.

          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 02:32:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  "Isolationism won't free America from its demons." (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AuntieRa, Johnny Q, wonmug

      When understood properly as walking away from empire, it just might.

      "Toutes les guerres sont civiles, car c'est toujours l'homme contre l'homme... (All wars are civil wars, because it's always brother against brother...)" - Francois Fenelon (1651-1715)

      by Superskepticalman on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 07:33:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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