Saturday, March 19, 2011
Here's a few brief thoughts from someone who's on his third deployment:
What's there that is worth risking our people? Oil? If we developed our own resources, and partnered more with stable western nations (think Canada), that wouldn't be a factor.
Protecting civilians from a murderous regime? Then we're a bit behind the curve, and best get to work on China, North Korea, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, ad infinitum.
Fostering representative government (I'll address "democracy" in a moment) with free citizens? Outside of Turkey, which is doing a fine job of moving towards theocracy, and Iraq/Afghanistan, where the vote is (poorly) ensured by western guns, Islamic nations generally replace one dictator for another. Whether the stage mask is Arab Nationalism or Islam, the repressive policies and police state are largely interchangeable.
Fostering "good will" in the Arab Street/Islamic World? How dense must one be to not understand that the ASIW will always despise anything different from their way? I would deeply appreciate any examples of long-term gratitude resulting from efforts on the ASIW's behalf that isn't tied to continuing donations to the local economy or political entity.
As to fostering "democratic governments": democracy, in the concept of one person, one vote, is merely a step above mob rule, where demagoguery, ignorance and impulsiveness meet. E.g., the fine results the California referendum system has produced in which the handouts of goodies has no relation in reality to their cost. At least representative government takes time and compromise, if the citizenry hasn't become overwhelmingly addicted to benefits based on borrowing, promises, and cynical manipulation of statistics (which brings us to our current looming disaster economically, but that's for another post).
The one great flaw the current administration committed before taking action now, was in not clearly stating that it was an internal matter. Period. No planes, no troops, no warships. Stand or fall, and seek aid elsewhere. If we were to send them crates of AKs and Chinese-built SAMs with deniability, fine by me. I'm in favor of Q's residence mysteriously being vaporized while he's in it, as we owe him payback several times over. But not at the cost of more pilots, aircrew, Soldiers, or Marines. Not for several more billions in operating costs followed by endless humanitarian aid paid for by increasingly worthless currency and debt leaving our citizens worse off in buying their food and paying their bills, while those we assist accuse us of war crimes, racism, and imperialism.
My family. My community. My nation. My priorities.