Written by Frank Li
This post was triggered by the recent development in Iraq (e.g. Obama sending up to 300 soldiers to Iraq as advisers), although I have been planning an article on this subject for a while, as a part of my series "The America that can no longer think" (e.g. The America That Can No Longer Think, Politically).
The Constitution of the United States and the subsequent Amendments (List of amendments to the U.S. Constitution) specify several obligations of the U.S. government. One of them is "defense, war prosecution, peace, and foreign relations."
How well have we been doing with this constitutional obligation?
1. America: yesterday
Until WWII, the U.S. had conducted itself fairly well. For example, despite all the atrocities committed by the Axis of evil (e.g. The Nazi hatred of the Jews and The Rape of Nanking), the U.S. was reluctant to get involved in WWII until after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
In short, the U.S. had wisely favored diplomacy over military actions, internationally.
2. America: today
After WWII, the U.S. has been conducting itself fairly poorly, over-using its military over diplomacy. Two points:
President Nixon was an exception. He was outstanding in diplomacy. For more, read: Barack Obama vs. Richard Nixon.
President George W. Bush was the worst, so far, in abusing military in lieu of diplomacy! For example, he recklessly launched a massive pre-emptive war in Iraq in 2003. All hell broke loose after that! More on this later ...
Here are five recent news stories:
Totally brainless! America does not have a basic understanding of international affairs, let alone a sound national strategy for it! As a result, the more the U.S. interferes, the more it harms the U.S. in the big picture and in the long-run! For more, read: Three New Kingdoms.
3. Why such a huge difference between yesterday and today?
It's American democracy, stupid! Specifically,
"Getting re-elected ad nauseam!" In addition to incompetency, our politicians, including the American Presidents, would do anything and everything to get re-elected, even if it means destroying America in the long run. For more, read: JFK Met with Nikita Khrushchev in Heaven!
Over the past five decades, our national agenda, especially on the international front, has been driven by the MIC (Military-Industrial Complex), exactly as forewarned by President Eisenhower (Eisenhower's Farewell Address). In other words, we have been using military, instead of diplomacy, to deal with many international affairs, in the best interest of the MIC's (e.g. selling more weapons), not America's! For more, watch this short video: Eisenhower warns us of military-industrial complex.
More profoundly, America can no long think diplomatically for international affairs, mostly because America can no longer think politically at home! Any doubt? Let's look at Iraq in some detail as an example ...
What's really going on in Iraq today? Total chaos! Specifically, let's view it with two points:
Post the Iraq War.
4.1 The Iraq War
While "the Pearl Harbor attack was by far the largest attack, by a foreign force, to a U.S. territory," the 9/11 attack was by far the largest attack by a foreign force to the U.S. mainland in modern times. Like our response to the Pearl Harbor attack, our response to the 9/11 attack was decisive and correct: We launched a war in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, to go after Osama Bin Laden. However, by the summer of 2002, it became clear that the war in Afghanistan was not easily winnable and therefore could have put President Bush's re-election in jeopardy. Something bigger must be done to turn the public's attention away from Afghanistan - Iraq was chosen! That, to me, was the real reason behind the Iraq war! In other words, Iraq was simply a casualty of American politics at the time!
The Iraq War ended in December 2011. For more, read: The Iraq War and Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War.
4.2 Post the Iraq War
Saddam Hussein was a bad dictator! But today's Iraq is far worse off than those days under Saddam! Why? Three main points:
We overthrew Saddam's stable government, without replacing it with a stable one.
By launching the Iraq War, we destabilized that region totally. For more, read: What's The Real Cost of The Iraq War?
By launching the Iraq War "illegitimately", we discredited ourselves hugely, not only in that region, but also all over the world! For more, read: Tutu: Bush, Blair, should face trial at the Hague.
Today, almost three years after the Iraq War ended, can you, my fellow Americans, answer this simple question: who benefited most from the Iraq War? Here is my simple answer: regionally, Iran! Globally, China and Russia! For more, read:
Now, answer this question: what the hell was the U.S. doing in Iraq?
A tragedy happened there recently (Malaysia Airlines Flight 17: Plane with 298 on board down in Ukraine). We must not look at this tragedy in isolation! Specifically, two points:
What happened in Ukraine earlier this year? Read: A Pseudo Conversation between President Obama and Ukraine PM.
What does Ukraine mean to the U.S.? Read: Three New Kingdoms.
More generally, Ukraine must find its own way of success. Unfortunately, a civil war may be unavoidable. But will it be worse than the American Civil War? Highly unlikely! Do you, my fellow Americans, then think that a foreign country should have been involved in our civil war? If not, why should we, the U.S., be involved in a possible civil war in Ukraine?
Thinking positively, this new tragedy may result in avoiding a civil war in Ukraine!
Consider this: China's Mao was also a bad dictator, killing tens of millions of people on his watch. Should the U.S., or any other country, launch a preemptive war against China because of Mao (and his nuclear weapons) or for the sake of spreading democracy? No! Instead, we should let the Chinese work it out by themselves, over time. The Chinese did, remarkably well, after Mao's death!
Here are three basic points Americans must understand:
Not all dictators are bad! For example, China's Deng was not only a dictator, but also a bloody communist before becoming one of the greatest peaceful transformational leaders in human history!
Other people in the world have their own "inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", in their own ways. The U.S. must stop interfering in their affairs! Very importantly, democratic imperialism is still imperialism. For more, read: Democratic Imperialism.
Just like communism, democracy is a failed human doctrine. Make it truly work at home first before selling it abroad! For more, read: We, the Intelligent People of the United States ...
More broadly, throughout human history of the past 5,000 years, there has been only one "real" way to truly change the world, fundamentally and big, according to the will of one country: land expansion via a military occupation followed by culture (or ideology) spreading. Two examples:
Alexander the Great of more than 2,000 years ago.
What the British did throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
So, what are the odds of success for America's half-way interventionist policy?
More bluntly, the era of American domination is over, thanks to democracy, as we practice it today! For more, read: Civil Rights Act: 50 Years Later.
What, then, should America do, internationally? How about arming yourself with some knowledge first? Specifically, here are three recommendations:
For some robust thoughts, watch this movie: "The World without U.S." (Netflix).
For some junk thoughts, watch this movie: "Death by China" (Netflix).
For a historical and philosophical perspective, read this: Three New Kingdoms.
As for Iraq today, stay out! We can no longer afford to be a world policeman! Worse yet, the more we are involved, the more trouble we cause. Worst of all, the payback can be dearly!
Yes, 9/11 was a payback for our Middle East policy! For more, read: Ron Paul on 9/11: Ask the right questions and face the truth.
Oh, what about the oil in Iraq in specific or in the Middle East in general? The Europeans, the Chinese, and the Japanese have a lot more at stake than we Americans! Let them worry about it before we further bankrupt ourselves!
Bottom line: Stop working for the MIC - Working for America, instead!
The U.S. can no longer think, either politically or diplomatically, thanks to democracy, as we practice it today!
We must change, fundamentally and big, for our own survival! For more, read my book: "The GOP Bible for 2016".