Historically, U.S. political and military interventionism reliably produces three negative results: (a) motion without movement that fools Americans into thinking they are more secure; (b) dead and maimed Americans; and (c) a larger national debt. Let us, for a moment, look at the immediate results of the U.S. military interventionism that has occurred during the past two week:
It was almost as if a retired U.S. general wanted to sharpen and buttress the point made in this space on 11 April 2017, the one that argued that President Trump ought to purge scores of serving U.S. generals if he intends to put America First and thereby abandon endless, unnecessary war. Today, 12 April 2017, retired U.S. Army General Jack Keane appeared twice on FOX News and did exactly that.
Last time we discussed your refusal to abide by the Constitution’s hard-and-fast war-making provision, a decision that merits — as it did for most of your post-1945 predecessors — impeachment proceedings. Waging war in the manner you did in Syria is the work of an absolute monarch or a dictator, not that of a popularly elected president of this republic.
If you have time, Mr. President, Senator Paul can help you learn the Constitution means what it says
A central concern of the Founding generation, when writing the Constitution, was to ensure that no one man, or one man and his clique, could take the republic to war. To that end, the Constitution delegates the citizenry’s power to declare war solely to its servants in Congress, and, in doing so, uses language that makes it clear that the Congress cannot delegate this power to the executive branch of the government. The ability of a president to order military action was — and is — tightly limited to instances in which the United States is attacked or, perhaps, if a clear threat must be preempted.
With respect, Sir, you are letting the pro-status-quo swampers overtake you and position themselves to paralyze your plan to make the concept of America First the operative guideline for the national government. Except on the vital job-creation and morale-building fronts — on which you have done splendidly — the goal of America First seems to be fading from your administration in favor of business as usual both at home and abroad. Please consider the following:
It seems that Speaker Ryan and most of his fellow Republicans in the House have yet to understand what happened in the 2016 presidential election.
They seem not to have understood that Americans do not want to be told by the national government that they must buy government-approved insurance; that they must buy coverage for care that they do not need or want; that they are not stupid enough to believe that any policy with a $5,000-to-$8,000 deductible can possibly be regraded as insurance; that their premiums will only go up because insurance cannot be bought in states where it is cheapest (surely a violation of the interstate commerce clause); or that their national government has the right to confiscate their earnings and use the money to assure that illegal immigrants, unvetted refugees, and slackers receive healthcare better than their own and that provided for veterans.
Mr. President, you were right during the campaign, your instincts about America’s Islam war are far better than those of your generals. Indeed, you would be better off speaking — with no generals present — to some serving and recently retired or separated field officers and gunnery sergeants. These men and women have actually risked their lives in combat against the Islamists, and they would give you the true skinny about what the republic is facing and why it is in danger of getting stuck like Putin. This is a benefit you will never derive from listening to your generals.
Sentiment is human weakness that always is an obstacle to clear thinking, or at least it always is in my case. I have always given George H.W. Bush and and George W. Bush the benefit of the doubt because I thought both were patriots and decent men. The former flew more than 50 combat missions during World War II, and the latter seemed sadly trapped in, and manipulated by, a nest of Neoconservative and Israel-First cretins. Since early in 2016, however, I have come to see how stupid and blinding it is to let sentiment hide the clearly visible truth that the Bushes are not America’s friends.
For the past several years I have been considering an article to address the issue which the media is constantly whining and wondering about; namely, the killing of journalists overseas in war zones and elsewhere. I have hesitated until today because I write with some directness, and did not want to seem to be endorsing such activity. But I really think that the question should be asked not as “Why are journalists being killed overseas?” but rather as “Why is it that more journalists are not being killed overseas and domestically?”
In recent days, there have been a number of straws in the wind claiming that the Trump administration is pondering whether to reinforce America’s utter defeat in Afghanistan by sending more U.S. troops there. The media report, for example, that the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, has asked for more ground troops, almost certainly for use in the now out-of-control southern Afghan provinces of Kandahar and Helmand. This kind of media report is generally the prelude to an official announcement that more troops will be sent. If sent, the reason for more troops will be something akin to “the general in charge on the ground in Afghanistan knows best, and we must support him to finish the job after all the war has cost America in blood and treasure.”
In an interview with FOX’s Bill O’Reilly on 5 February 2017, President Trump botched an exemplary opportunity to strike a major blow in favor of a durable America First foreign policy. But more such chances are sure to appear, and the President ought to be ready next time out.
In their conversation, O’Reilly referred to Russian President Putin as a thug and a killer. President Trump hit a home run with a pitch-perfect response, telling O’Reilly, “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” (1) With this question, the president hit the factual core, but then lost track of his non-interventionist music and wandered into needlessly worrying about the number of foreign civilians that have been killed by U.S. forces in the conduct of the unnecessary, interventionist wars their commanders-in-chief start. Lots of civilians get killed in wars, and, though that is tough to stomach, it is tremendously more important to fight and win wars with the greatest possible speed, no matter what the toll on the civilians who are either supporting or, regrettably, living near the enemy requiring annihilation. Indeed, there are times when targeting civilian populations or facilities — like Mosul University, where IS built chemical weapons — could add speed to a war-winning campaign.
The past two weeks have been full of examples that demonstrate how difficult it is to defend the United States from its enemies — as the saying goes — foreign and domestic. The Trump administration’s first step toward improved U.S. national security — the travel ban — was opposed by multicultural and therefore brain-dead political, religious, media, and academic elites in North America and Europe. As long as these paragons of idiocy are addicted to the genuinely stupid idea that you can make a political entity stronger by adding ingredients that erode its unity and pits its citizens against each other, domestic security will remain far over the horizon.