Obama Administration To Troops In Combat Zone: ‘We Don’t Trust YOU Any More Than We Trust Our Afghan Allies, So You Are Ordered To Disarm’

You need to understand that this is unprecedented: an administration actually disarmed its very own troops prior to a visit to a combat zone:

It’s been reported that a car bomb exploded when Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta landed in Afghanistan earlier today, but no one was injured except the man who was driving the car when it burst into flames. In other news, an even bigger bomb was dropped on our Marines when they were ordered to disarm before entering a building in Afghanistan to hear Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta give a speech.
 
That’s right: our Marines, who are in a combat zone, were ordered to stack their M-4 rifles over here and their 9mm handguns over there before listening to Panetta ramble on about this and that (I don’t remember Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordering our Marines to be disarmed in his presence, even once).
 
Although the Obama administration has tried to spin this and make it look like an admittedly unusual yet valid request, the man who carried out the order to disarm the Marines, Maj. Gen. Mark Gurganus, gave some insight into the reason behind this order which even MSNBC commentators labeled “unprecedented.” We didn’t want unarmed Afghans who attended the speech to feel out of place.

And:

However, US troops often remain armed even when their Afghan colleagues have been asked to lay down their weapons and the incident is believed to be the first time they were stripped of guns during an address by their own secretary of defence.

You know when you see stacks of rifles like this? At surrenders as the surrendering enemy troops turn in their weapons. Only in this case we’re the side that is supposed to be winning.

This should be no surprise given how this administration has handled the soldiers under its misrule:

Example:

Troops: Strict war rules slow Marjah offensive
By Alfred de Montesquiou and Deb Riechmann – The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Feb 15, 2010 15:08:51 EST

MARJAH, Afghanistan — Some American and Afghan troops say they’re fighting the latest offensive in Afghanistan with a handicap — strict rules that routinely force them to hold their fire.

Example:

Family calls U.S. military goals ‘fuzzy’
Parents of soldier killed last week criticize firepower restrictions

By DENNIS YUSKO, Staff writer
First published in print: Thursday, June 24, 2010

QUEENSBURY — The parents of a Lake George soldier killed in Afghanistan attacked the Obama administration Wednesday for “flower children leadership,” and said they would work to change U.S. rules of military engagement in the nine-year conflict.

Hours before holding a wake for their 27-year-old son in Glens Falls, Bill and Beverly Osborn heavily criticized a military policy implemented last year that places some restrictions on when American troops can use firepower in Afghanistan. The new rules were set when Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal assumed command of the Afghanistan effort, and have reportedly made it harder for troops to call in for or initiate air power, artillery and mortars against the Taliban.

The counterinsurgency policy is intended to reduce civilian casualties and win the allegiance of Afghans, McChrystal had said. But echoing criticisms from the Vietnam era, Bill Osborn said Wednesday that it’s tied the hands of service members on the ground.

“We send our young men and women to spill their blood and we won’t let them do their job,” he said from his Queensbury home. “Winning hearts and minds is wonderful, but first we have to defeat the enemy.”

Example:

Fighting a War without Bullets?
by Chris Carter
05/25/2010

Commanders have ordered a U.S. military unit in Afghanistan to patrol with unloaded weapons, according to a source in Afghanistan.

American soldiers in at least one unit have been ordered to conduct patrols without a round chambered in their weapons, an anonymous source stationed at a forward operating base in Afghanistan said in an interview. The source was unsure where the order originated or how many other units were affected.

Example:

Hold fire, earn a medal
By William H. McMichael – Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday May 12, 2010 15:51:31 EDT

U.S. troops in Afghanistan could soon be awarded a medal for not doing something, a precedent-setting award that would be given for “courageous restraint” for holding fire to save civilian lives.

And you wonder why things are going so godawful over there.

If you read over my articles on Obama’s massive social engineering on the military – such as imposing homosexuality on our troops – you ought to see that this is frankly no surprise.  These days, if a gay soldier in your unit fancies you, you’d better just bend over and let him sodomize you; because if you don’t he’ll file a sexual harassment suit against you – and under this administration you will be found guilty and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

It’s also no surprise that our first “emperor” president would begin to implement the first “Praetorian guard” approach to our soldiers.

I find it despicable; but of course everything this president has done has pretty much been despicable.

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22 Responses to “Obama Administration To Troops In Combat Zone: ‘We Don’t Trust YOU Any More Than We Trust Our Afghan Allies, So You Are Ordered To Disarm’”

  1. V. E. Brown Says:

    Another example of our present Administration kissing Muslim booty. We shouldn’t be putting our lips on their tails; we should be putting out feet in ‘em!

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    V.E. Brown,

    That’s a pretty good way to put it.

    What is going on here is that Karzai knows damn well that Obama is going to cut and run on him and therefore he’s acting every bit as political and “I’m in this just for me” as our own worthless president. That’s the fruit of Obama giving us his idiotic and frankly evil “timetable for withdrawal”; our friends know we’re not going to stick around and help them (which makes it impossible to keep friends) and our enemies know that they’re going to win as a matter of certainty.

    I think back to Rome during the period when they were still becoming a true empire. In ONE battle, the Romans lost 50,000 soldiers killed at Cannae to Hannibal. And Hannibal expected the Romans to surrender. But guess what? Obama wasn’t the emperor back then; and the Romans not only said “up yours” to Hannibal, but they actually auctioned the land that Hannibal’s army was occupying at FULL PRICE.

    Consider that: 50,000 dead in one battle – nearly as many dead as America suffered during the entire Vietnam War.

    If we had the mindset of the Romans, NOBODY would be messing with us. But as long as there is the chance that a Democrat will be our president, our enemies can know that America is always only one election away from defeat even if the current president is a Ronald Reagan-type (which in our sad present he definitely aint).

    We will never even come close to being great again because there will always be cowardly demagogues (we usually call them “Democrats” here) whose mission in life is to turn Americans against standing up and fighting. And if Republicans had acted during WWII the way Democrats act today, we’d all be speaking either German or Japanese (because they would have surely agreed to divide us up somehow) and saluting our conquering Führer.

    Our Ass-Kisser-in-Chief is just part of life in God damn America.

  3. V. E. Brown Says:

    I think you just summed up everything.

  4. Michael Eden Says:

    V. E. Brown,

    Of course that’s what you’re supposed to say when people start invoking Hannibal and Rome… :)

  5. Anonymous Says:

    yep, allowing solders to serve openly = they can rape anyone they want. makes sense.

  6. Michael Eden Says:

    I don’t know what would happen if a homosexual raped another homosexual, mind you,

    but given our climate of political correctness, it is most assuredly perfectly okay if a homosexual rapes a heterosexual white male.

    And if said heterosexaul white male doesn’t like being raped by a homosexual, it only proves said heterosexual is clearly “intolerant” and “bigoted.” And, rather obviously, nobody ought to take a bigoted and intolerant white male heterosexual’s side.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    this is so beyond anything, it is totally futile to start any argument. so, consult a doctor, get laid or anything, but seriously, do something about it. i dont even need my brain to find the crazy in this, my spinal cord can do that

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Perfectly ok for a homosexual to rape a…

    You’re a loony.

  9. David Brider Says:

    “These days, if a gay soldier in your unit fancies you, you’d better just bend over and let him sodomize you…”

    No, if a gay soldier in your unit fancies you, just politely say, “no thanks, I’m not interested.”

    Simple, really.

  10. Michael Eden Says:

    Anonymous,

    I openly mock you worthless turds who can’t even come up with so much as a single point that actually contradicts what I am saying and writes a comment that is utterly devoid of any factual content whatsoever.

    I will never understand why losers like you even bother with this “drive by” approach.

    Get an actual argument or just get lost.

  11. Michael Eden Says:

    Anonymous,

    To address David Brider’s “no thanks, I’m not interested” line, heterosexual soldiers no longer have that choice.

    Here’s a widespread massively practiced example of what I’m talking about:

    Its one thing to shower with a gay guy and not know hes gay, its another to ahower with a gay guy and know hes gay; the “it makes me feel uncomfortable claim,” right, falls under sexaul harrasement. Since you are forcing peolpe that are attracted to one sex to shower together, thats why females/males dont shower with one another in the military. So why is it any different for gay/straight. Some people claim, gays are subject to same rules as straight, yes, but males/females still dont shower together currently because if one was caught taking a innocent shower with the girls minding his own business, it would be sexual harrasement (which by definition CAN be making someone feel uncomfortable in a sexual nature).

    Heterosexual servicemen are currently forced to shower with openly homosexual men who are by definition aroused by other naked men whether they say “thanks, but I’m not interested” or not. And I wonder how a heterosexual soldier would be treated if he demanded that he be allowed to shower in a facility in which homosexual soldiers were not allowed? I have a strong feeling that they would look on that soldier as “bigoted” and deal with that rather than doing a damn thing about the heterosexual soldier’s concerns about homosexual soldiers leering at his junk.

    The heterosexual soldier is simply forced to surrender his right to NOT be sexaully harassed (defined if one feels intimated/threatend in a sexual manner) so that the homosexuals can have more “rights.”

    So it’s not like there is any question whatsoever whether heterosexual soldiers are being violated by homosexuals.

    The climate is that homosexauls are sacred cows. If they file a claim of harassment, the military culture is so hypersensitive to homosexuals that it will find a way to take that homosexual’s side.

    The same thing happened with our “friend” Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Everybody knew the guy was a ticking timb bomb – not to mention a LITERAL card-carrying terrorist – but the culture had become so imbued with political correctness that nobody dared to confront him.

    Further, we’re told that sex crimes against soldiers have SKYROCKETED in the last five years (with nearly four of those years being under the “leadership” of your messiah.

    Everything you demon-possessed people do utterly fails.

    And yes, I can readily understand why somebody as completely beyond reality as you would – out of your warped and depraved worldview – conclude I’m loony.

  12. Bob Says:

    Didn’t the Praetorian guard kill the emperor quite a few times?

  13. Michael Eden Says:

    Bob,

    I’m assuming that you’re referring to my above comment.

    I could say something crass like, “Hey, that wouldn’t be such a bad idea these days” or somesuch, but nope: killing our leaders isn’t what we ought to be doing; ELECTING GOOD LEADERS IS.

    Also, there’s always a point when any analogy breaks down, and that is similarly the case here. Nero and many other Roman emperors did some godawful things, and we certainly shouldn’t be doing those any of things either.

    But the Roman notion that we are a great people who can never be defeated and will never bow down to any enemy isn’t a bad part of Rome to emulate. When Rome was at its peak NOBODY messed with them without being made an example.

  14. David Brider Says:

    [quote]Heterosexual servicemen are currently forced to shower with openly homosexual men who are by definition aroused by other naked men whether they say “thanks, but I’m not interested” or not.[/quote]

    Okay, but why is that necessarily a problem? Why does it make a difference if you *know* that the person you’re sharing a shower with is homosexual as opposed to if you don’t? On the off-chance that a homosexual man finds you personally attractive, what do you imagine he’s going to do about it?

    [quote]And I wonder how a heterosexual soldier would be treated if he demanded that he be allowed to shower in a facility in which homosexual soldiers were not allowed?[/quote]

    I don’t know. Neither do you.

    [quote]I have a strong feeling that they would look on that soldier as “bigoted” and deal with that…[/quote]

    Possibly, possibly not. There is always the possibility of waiting until the shower is empty of others (or at least of others who might be homosexual) before using it..?

    [quote]…rather than doing a damn thing about the heterosexual soldier’s concerns about homosexual soldiers leering at his junk.[/quote]

    Why does this hypothetical soldier assume that homosexual soldiers will necessarily find him attractive?

    And how many homosexual soldiers are we talking about? Homosexuals comprise by most estimates 5% or less of the population. How many does that work out to in the average communal shower situation?

    [quote]The heterosexual soldier is simply forced to surrender his right to NOT be sexaully harassed (defined if one feels intimated/threatend in a sexual manner)…[/quote]

    Sharing a shower with someone who you think might find you attractive is *not* sexual harassment. And neither, contrary to your earlier assertion, would you be accused of harassing them if they were to, say, ask you out and you were to politely decline.

    [quote]Further, we’re told that sex crimes against soldiers have SKYROCKETED in the last five years…[/quote]

    Not sure what you think that’s got to do with it?

    [quote](with nearly four of those years being under the “leadership” of your messiah.)[/quote]

    ??? My Messiah’s been leader for the past couple of thousand years.

    [quote]Everything you demon-possessed people do utterly fails.[/quote]

    Oh. Well, I’m not, to the best of my knowledge, demon-possessed. Sorry to disappoint you.

    [quote]And yes, I can readily understand why somebody as completely beyond reality as you would – out of your warped and depraved worldview – conclude I’m loony.[/quote]

    Neither am I beyond reality, and I don’t have a warped or depraved worldview. Again, sorry to disappoint you. But then, I haven’t concluded that you’re a loony either. You’re just someone with whom I disagree (most right wing folks *are* people with whom I disagree to some degree or another) who’s made some rather inaccurate statements on a blog. But that doesn’t make you a loony.

  15. Michael Says:

    The comparisons with ancient Rome are interesting. What happened with Rome? It was a Republic which became an empire. It still had de facto republican forms of government and a senate, but power got increasingly concentrated in the hands of the emperor. It began to expand to take over other country’s resources. Military success became the key to political success in Rome. The empire got overstretched, and the empire fell.
    What made it fall was imperial overstretch, an over-emphasis on militarism, and a turning away from republican forms of government into dictatorships. The lesson is clear there for America, whose form of government was heavily influenced by that of the Roman republic. What America needs to do is scale back its world military presence and start to mind its own business again, and then, deal effectively with its wealthy classes who are simply looting and ruining the country.
    You have passed the stage that Rome was in at the time of the Punic Wars. You are now in your imperial phase. Rome’s imperial phase overstretched its resources and eventually, destroyed it. Don’t turn into Rome.

  16. Michael Eden Says:

    Michael,

    Always nice to hear from a fellow Michael – esepcially a fellow Michael who is interested in history.

    I differ with your view somewhat as to what caused the collapse of the Roman empire. I myself would put it into three things: 1) global cooling, which increasingly brought waves of barbarian tribes to move south into Roman territory; 2) poor leadership – and I agree with you that the “federal government” in the form of the emperor incraeasingly expanded and grew out of control (probably primarily as a result of 1) above, btw); and 3) indebtedness. Rome spent too much and simply could not sustain it.

    And you need to remember that the WESTERN Roman empire collapsed while the eastern half continued to remain strong.

    While I frequently hear “inequality between rich and poor” as a leading candidate for the fall of Rome, I need to point out that there was ALWAYS such inequality and that that inequality continued on in the continuing Eastern Roman empire. And I would also state for the record that one of the things that greatly contributed to the Western Roman empire’s collapse wasn’t “poverty” on the part of the ordinary people but hoarding of wealth as they came to have the same fear of spending in troublesome economic times that we are seeing now. As the ordinary classes were afraid to spend because they feared they would need their money for the coming rainy day, the already-shrinking economy continued to shrink. And Rome didn’t have the leadership or the policies to reverse that fatal trend.

    We talk about global warming and how terrible it is; Rome THRIVED during a period in which “global warming” was “warmer” than anything we’re seeing today. It turns out that it’s when temperatures DROP that human civilization struggles. And as a further example, the so-called “Dark Ages” (which most historians now don’t tend to use because the term was coined as an anti-Christian polemic by Voltaire rather than a meaningful description) were “dark” because humanity was essentially struggling through an ice age.

    Gibbon (Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire) was an anti-Christian religious bigot whose central thesis was that religion needed to be defeated for science to thrive – which ignores the fact that science emerged exclusively out of Christendom and all the first universities in the world emerged out of the Christian monastaries. His work is so thoroughly tainted with his personal bias that it becomes nearly worthless. The fact of the matter is that Christianity extended the survival of the Roman empire for centuries beyond what it would have been able to endure without the unifying force of Christianity (and even the Christianization of many powerful barbarian tribes). In saying that, I recognize that you in no way spoke as a religious bigot and these final sentences in no way impugn anything you said.

    I DO agree with your conclusion: “Don’t turn into Rome.” In my first comment in which I brought up Rome, I was making a VERY specific reference to a very specific aspect of what made Rome great during its rise.

    Lastly, even my example of Cannae (the battle in which Rome lost 50k dead to Hannibal) has “Don’t turn into Rome” implications. Basically, in that battle Rome had a bizarre political solution in which it had two consuls who ruled on alternate days. One consul (Paullus) looked at Hannibal’s alignment and decided it was wisest to not attack Hannibal; the other (Varro) wanted to attack and foolishly did so to the army’s complete destruction.

    So even there, ‘Don’t turn into Rome.’

    Rome at that time didn’t have the type of professional military or military leadership capable of dealing with Hannibal and his mercenary army.

    After Cannae, Fabius was appointed dictator. He recognized that direct battle with Hannibal was suicide and employed a strategy of following Hannibal and denying him supplies while avoiding major pitched battle. The strategy would have worked, but the Senate demagogued him as doing nothing. They wanted action – which is a quintessentially fascistic element. Sometimes the “conservative” approach of “the government doing nothing” is far and away the best. He got dumped and Rome foolishly continued to try to directly defeat Hannibal with huge losses each time. Again – “Don’t turn into Rome” fits. But eventually Rome’s sheer determination to win ground Hannibal down.

  17. Michael Eden Says:

    [quote]Heterosexual servicemen are currently forced to shower with openly homosexual men who are by definition aroused by other naked men whether they say “thanks, but I’m not interested” or not.[/quote]

    Okay, but why is that necessarily a problem? Why does it make a difference if you *know* that the person you’re sharing a shower with is homosexual as opposed to if you don’t? On the off-chance that a homosexual man finds you personally attractive, what do you imagine he’s going to do about it?

    David Brider,

    I find that answer ridiculous beyond the extreme.

    I’ll ask the same question of women in demanding that women shower with men. So what if the men are sexually comparing them? So what if the men are staring at their “assets”? What does it have to do with them? They shouldn’t mind. Except they DO mind very much as anybody with a functioning brain immediately understands.

    And women have successfully sued in court merely because men leered at them WHEN THEY WERE FULLY DAMN CLOTHED.

    Here is an .edu link on what constitutes sexual harrassment: and there it is – “Ogling or leering, staring at a woman’s breast or a man’s derriere.” Here is another one from “Being a Woman.” The VERY FIRST one mentioned is “leering.”

    And so here you are with your outrageously double standard saying why should we consider something to be sexaul harrassment simply because it’s always been considered sexual harrassment???

    If you were to ask heterosexual soldiers, “Would you choose to shower with openly homesexual men?” the answer would be overwhelmingly NO. And yes I do know that because I was a soldier long enough to know. But do they get that right to “just say no”??? Hell no they don’t. Because people like you would never DARE give them such a right.

    You continue on the same theme throughout:

    [quote]…rather than doing a damn thing about the heterosexual soldier’s concerns about homosexual soldiers leering at his junk.[/quote]

    Why does this hypothetical soldier assume that homosexual soldiers will necessarily find him attractive?

    And how many homosexual soldiers are we talking about? Homosexuals comprise by most estimates 5% or less of the population. How many does that work out to in the average communal shower situation?

    Let’s say that only 5% of the guys ventured into the girl’s shower. That would make it okay??? Moms would lecture their incredibly unhappy daughters: “Oh come ON, honey. 95% of your fellow showerers are girls. There’s nothing to be upset about.”

    Sex crimes have skyrocketed in the exact same period in which you liberals have turned the military into your sexual cultural experiment. You don’t understand because you don’t want to face the consequences of what your actions on the military have created.

    My final comment, David, is that I might have assumed you were reasonably intelligent prior to reading your final sentences:

    [quote]Everything you demon-possessed people do utterly fails.[/quote]

    Oh. Well, I’m not, to the best of my knowledge, demon-possessed. Sorry to disappoint you.

    [quote]And yes, I can readily understand why somebody as completely beyond reality as you would – out of your warped and depraved worldview – conclude I’m loony.[/quote]

    Neither am I beyond reality, and I don’t have a warped or depraved worldview. Again, sorry to disappoint you. But then, I haven’t concluded that you’re a loony either. You’re just someone with whom I disagree (most right wing folks *are* people with whom I disagree to some degree or another) who’s made some rather inaccurate statements on a blog. But that doesn’t make you a loony.

    My comment was directed to another person who called himself ‘Anonymous’ and you either decided to demagogue me or you just aren’t very smart. Do you not see that “in reply to Anonymous” there? He is the one who called me a “loony” and I was directing my comment to him. I merely threw your name in to address a single point you made – your “Just say you’re not interested” line – because I didn’t want to have to write two comments. It is reprehensible for you to make yourself into some kind of victim when I wasn’t even talking to you or about you in those words.

  18. Michael Says:

    But if you want to take the analogy seriously, you are past that point of consolidation, the Punic Wars stage. You were probably at that stage in the nineteenth century. You had the war of 1812, the civil war, the Spanish-American war, etc.
    My point is that you are now deeply into your imperialist phase. You have a global reach, and bases all over the place. What do we know from history? Empires collapse, no matter how big they are. They over-extend, and their own internal contradictions and pressures contribute to their downfall. It was ever thus.
    What I am suggesting is that America should scale back and stop being actively interventionist around the world. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most Americans would probably agree with me.

  19. Michael Eden Says:

    Michael,

    I would agree with it, the way you stated it.

    The devil is always in the details.

    You live in the UK, I see. If America had pursued the policy you suggest during WWII, you would have been a subject of the Thousand Year Reich. And that is simply a fact. And the ONLY way you would have shaken off the yoke of Nazi Germany is if the USSR had devoured you instead. Particularly had the US pursued the policy you suggest instead of fighting as we did to contain the USSR in the Cold War.

    It never ceases to amaze me how quickly and profoundly Europeans repudiated the very thing that saved them from abject tyranny.

    Right now, America is in the place where if we try to lead we are decried as arrogant and if we don’t lead the very people who decry us for being arrogant if we try to lead decry us for our lack of leadership. We are backstabbed everywhere we turn.

    Most Americans would agree with the way you phrased your statement: but think about it: most Americans were in favor of the Gulf War. Most Americans were in favor of the Afghanistan War. Most Americans were in favor of Iraq War II by a nearly 2-out-of-3 margin. Furthermore, fully 60% of DEMOCRAT SENATORS supported the war.

    So you’re actually more wrong than you are right in terms of, you know, actual history.

    The United Nations has been the greatest barrier to actual peace in history. There is no way anything can get done. China and Russia can veto anything no matter how obviously right or necessary it is. Saddam Hussein played the UN like fools with their failed “Oil for Food” program and used the UN to advance his schemes as a matter of routine.

    Sometimes somebody has to stand up and fight evil. Just as Winston Churchill bravely did. And only the United States has either the power or the will to do it today.

    That said, look at what the American left has done AFTER constantly demonizing Bush for wars that were approved by vote in Congress:

    Barack Obama’s war in Libya bears the intellectual imprint of Samantha Power, the Dublin-born human rights author who has risen to visible prominence in the White House hierarchy. […]

    Power generalized from her Balkans experience to become an advocate of American and NATO military intervention in humanitarian crises, a position which became known as being a “humanitarian hawk.” She began to see war as an instrument to achieving her liberal, even radical, values.

    So, yeah, I actually was against Obama going to war with Libya without any vote in Congress (a war which proved NATO so weak and gutless that it could do NOTHING without US power) when that same Obama had demonized Bush for his wars THAT HAD CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL.

    Let me further state that what we did in Libya and how utterly pathetic and gutless and weak NATO turned out to be without America (and see here and here) points a wagging finger at your suggestion that America step back and allow a truly weak, pathetic and apathetic Europe to deal with what it clearly is neither willing nor able to deal with. That NATO clearly didn’t have the air power or resources to deal with even a tiny little pissant country like Libya apart from US power is a screaming indictment of European resolve to do anything but continue to depend on America even as Europe backstabs us for our strength that they refuse to stop depending upon.

    I preserved an article by Victor Davis Hanson called “Brave Old World” that possibly best addresses you:

    August 19, 2008
    Brave Old World
    by Victor Davis Hanson
    Tribune Media Services

    Russia invades Georgia. China jails dissidents. China and India pollute at levels previously unimaginable. Gulf monarchies make trillions from jacked-up oil prices. Islamic terrorists keep car bombing. Meanwhile, Europe offers moral lectures, while Japan and South Korea shrug and watch — all in a globalized world that tunes into the Olympics each night from Beijing.

    “Citizens of the world” were supposed to share, in relative harmony, our new “Planet Earth,” which was to have followed from an interconnected system of free trade, instantaneous electronic communications, civilized diplomacy and shared consumer capitalism.

    But was that ever quite true?

    In reality, to the extent globalism worked, it followed from three unspoken assumptions:

    First, the U.S. economy would keep importing goods from abroad to drive international economic growth.

    Second, the U.S. military would keep the sea-lanes open, and trade and travel protected. After the past destruction of fascism and global communism, the Americans, as global sheriff, would continue to deal with the occasional menace like a Muammar al-Gaddafi, Slobodan Milosevic, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-il or the Taliban.

    Third, America would ignore ankle-biting allies and remain engaged with the world — like a good, nurturing mom who at times must put up with the petulance of dependent teenagers.

    But there have been a number of indications recently that globalization may soon lose its American parent, who is tiring, both materially and psychologically.

    The United States may be the most free, stable and meritocratic nation in the world, but its resources and patience are not unlimited. Currently, it pays more than a half trillion dollars per year to import $115-a-barrel oil that is often pumped at a cost of about $5.

    The Chinese, Japanese and Europeans hold trillions of dollars in U.S. bonds — the result of massive trade deficits. The American dollar is at historic lows. We are piling up staggering national debt. Over 12 million live here illegally and freely transfer more than $50 billion annually to Mexico and Latin America.

    Our military, after deposing Milosevic, the Taliban and Saddam, is tired. And Americans are increasingly becoming more sensitive to the cheap criticism of global moralists.

    But as the United States turns ever so slightly inward, the new globalized world will revert to a far poorer — and more dangerous — place.

    Liberals like presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama speak out against new free trade agreements and want existing accords like NAFTA readjusted. More and more Americans are furious at the costs of illegal immigration — and are moving to stop it. The foreign remittances that help prop up Mexico and Latin America are threatened by any change in America’s immigration attitude.

    Meanwhile, the hypocrisy becomes harder to take. After all, it is easy for self-appointed global moralists to complain that terrorists don’t enjoy Miranda rights at Guantanamo, but it would be hard to do much about the Russian military invading Georgia’s democracy and bombing its cities.

    Al Gore crisscrosses the country, pontificating about Americans’ carbon footprints. But he could do far better to fly to China to convince them not to open 500 new coal-burning power plants.

    It has been chic to chant “No blood for oil” about Iraq’s petroleum — petroleum that, in fact, is now administered by a constitutional republic. But such sloganeering would be better directed at China’s sweetheart oil deals with Sudan that enable the mass murdering in Darfur.

    Due to climbing prices and high government taxes, gasoline consumption is declining in the West, but its use is rising in other places, where it is either untaxed or subsidized.

    So, what a richer but more critical world has forgotten is that in large part America was the model, not the villain — and that postwar globalization was always a form of engaged Americanization that enriched and protected billions.

    Yet globalization, in all its manifestations, will run out of steam the moment we tire of fueling it, as the world returns instead to the mindset of the 1930s — with protectionist tariffs; weak, disarmed democracies; an isolationist America; predatory dictatorships; and a demoralized gloom-and-doom Western elite.

    If America adopts the protectionist trade policies of Japan or China, global profits plummet. If our armed forces follow the European lead of demilitarization and inaction, rogue states advance. If we were to treat the environment as do China and India, the world would become quickly a lost cause.

    If we flee Iraq and call off the war on terror, Islamic jihadists will regroup, not disband. And when the Russians attack the next democracy, they won’t listen to the United Nations, the European Union or Michael Moore.

    Brace yourself — we may be on our way back to an old world, where the strong do as they will, and the weak suffer as they must.

    One day, very soon, America will do precisely what you want it to do: and it will be a very dark day for the world as tyranny that only America kept in check rises once again.

    It is interesting that just as our strength finally defeated al Qaeda, our present condition of waffling and weakness is now emboldening a new enemy to take its place. Hezbollah is now seen as a greater threat than al Qaeda, and hundreds of Hezbollah fighters are in the US right now and they are identifying terror targets on behalf of their Iranian masters.

    The funniest thing is that you probably don’t want to deal with a nuclear-armed Iran. And if we get into Iran to prevent it from getting nukes you people will complain. But if we DON’T stop Iran from getting nukes, America will have $12 a gallon gas and you’ll have $25 a gallon gas and then you’ll be angry about why didn’t the US prevent Iran from getting nukes so that it could shut down the Strait of Hormuz with now total impunity??? Because ONLY the United States has the power to actually DO anything.

    For the record, in my original comment about Rome I was NOT suggesting that the US fights more wars, but rather that if we commit to fighting a war, we will see that war through to victory. When we start a war and then cut and run, we embolden our enemies – as happened in the case of Osama bin Laden who watched Bill Clinton flee from Somalia and famously concluded that “America is a paper tiger”:

    “After leaving Afghanistan, the Muslim fighters headed for Somalia and prepared for a long battle, thinking that the Americans were like the Russians,” bin Laden said. “The youth were surprised at the low morale of the American soldiers and realized more than before that the American soldier was a paper tiger and after a few blows ran in defeat. And America forgot all the hoopla and media propaganda … about being the world leader and the leader of the New World Order, and after a few blows they forgot about this title and left, dragging their corpses and their shameful defeat.”

    Now I could phrase it in the same straw man terms that you did and ask you if you prefer a paper tiger America just like your paper tiger NATO and your paper tiger Europe.

    My point in using Rome during its rise was that if America fights a war, it must fight it to win and never even CONSIDER anything other than winning. So please object to the point that I was actually making rather than trying to make it appear that I was saying something I was never saying.

  20. Michael Says:

    Well, let’s just take American foreign policy after world war 2 then. (By the way, obviously America did contribute a lot to ending the war in Europe, but a lot of the contribution was economic. You came into the war late and only when your own interests were threatened. My own grandfather flew a Lancaster bomber and when I spoke to one of his fellow veterans he told me that he thought the whole Allied bombing campaign was completely futile, and that the Germans lost the war because “the Russians kicked the arses oot o them”. There’s a lot of truth in that. But we won’t get into who contributed more, let’s just say that ALL the Allies contributed to defeating fascism.)
    I think we all know why some of the American public was in favour of Iraq. Because leading up to it there was a huge propaganda campaign to convince the public that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
    I’m not demonising America. But please don’t have any illusions about American foreign policy. Like every other state in history, the United States looks after its own interests. But the history of its foreign policy since world war 2 has been disastrous. In order to placate a few big business interests, you’ve managed to alienate and offend half the world, including countries that formerly admired and respected you.
    American foreign policy for a long time operated on the principle of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”. This led your government to support any disgraceful tinpot dictator or any religious nutjob who declared himself an anti-communist. This led your government to intervene in the internal politics of sovereign nations, sometimes with terrible consequences for yourself.
    And what is this rhetoric about having to win every battle? No nation in history has won every battle it has engaged in, it’s over-reaching and unrealistic to think that way. To name an obvious example, Vietnam was a disaster for everyone.
    If the United States scaled back a bit, and became, if not isolationist, at least not actively interventionist, then the world would regain its old respect and admiration for all the good things about it. But any power that takes on a hegemonic role, and ruthlessly advances its own interests under the pretext of saving the world from some (usually non-existent) enemy, is going to be hated. Just like (to get back to the original analogy) Rome was. Just like the British empire was. And look what happened to that.
    Good luck, is all I can say.

  21. oahu scuba Says:

    Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up
    and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same outcome.

  22. Michael Eden Says:

    oahu scuba,

    I always appreciate “heads up.” Especially if a bullet is coming my way.

    I looked at the article, and the only picture I seemed to have loaded did come up. Sometimes its a browser issue – especially if you use Firefox and need to accept cookies for dang near everything.

    Some times I link to pictures and the websites I link from delete either the post or the picture.

    Which is why whenever the image is important these days, I copy it and link from my own hard drive.

    P.S. I hope I didn’t just fall for a clever spam. It didn’t even occur to me until I got through responding.

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