(AntiWar.com) -- by Justin Raimondo --
Americans are sick and tired of perpetual war: even that champion evader, Barack Obama, had to acknowledge that in his recent Afghanistan speech, in which he said it’s time to start nation-building right here at home. Of course, he’ll say anything to get reelected – except, perhaps, that it’s time to end the wars in Afghanistan (and Pakistan and Yemen and …) and bring all our troops home now.
With polls showing 70 percent-plus in favor of doing just that, the President had to make some accommodation with popular sentiment. The War Party, however, has no such political calculation to make: they don’t care about popular sentiment, at least the neoconservatives don’t. Indeed, the neocons are self-consciously elitist, disdaining the hoi polloi, who supposedly live in a world of “myth,” in favor of the alleged wisdom of the “enlightened” minority – the Philosopher-Kings – who supposedly know what’s good for the rest of us. The neocons make their appeal to Washington, and the foreign policy establishment, not the American people, and that’s who Max Boot, writing in the Los Angeles Times, is addressing when he avers:
“The signature line of President Obama’s June 22 Afghanistan address was ‘America, it is time to focus on nation-building here at home.’ This no doubt resonates among an electorate sick of foreign wars and eager to focus on domestic problems, but it is a wrongheaded statement. ”Whenever America has eschewed commitments abroad and turned inward, the results have been disastrous. The most isolationist decade in the country’s history — the 1930s — was followed by World War II. The ‘Come Home, America’ isolationism of the 1970s was followed by the fall of South Vietnam, the genocide in Cambodia, the Iranian hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In the 1990s, the post-Cold War desire to spend the ‘peace dividend’ led the U.S. to turn a blind eye to the rising threat from Al Qaeda.”
After all, who cares what the American people think? Senor Boot and his crew of war-lovers know what’s best for the country, what with their specialized – albeit very selective – knowledge of history. What Boot leaves out of his capsule account of American “isolationism” in the 1930s is that Franklin Delano Roosevelt – elected in 1932 – was hardly an opponent of US entry into the world war. Indeed, he spent much of his first two terms finagling and manipulating the US into entering the war. In a series of ever-escalating steps – Lend-Lease, the embargo of Japan, US intervention in China – FDR edged us toward war. Boot also leaves out World War I – an eminently avoidable conflict – which was the prelude to the second act...
Undeterred by either history or common sense, Boot – who once called for the creation of an “American empire” – asks:
“Is isolationism really a course we want to follow today at a time when Iran is going nuclear, Pakistan is turning against the West, North Korea is trying to export its destructive technology, turmoil is spreading across the Middle East, Al Qaeda is far from defeated and China’s power is growing?”
Although Boot never defines his terms, the clear implication is that anything other than full-on “nation-building” and military occupation of targeted countries is an example of “isolationism” in action (or, rather, inaction). By this standard, Ronald Reagan, who got us out of Lebanon, was an “isolationist,” as was every American chief executive who ever chose peace over war.
As to Boot’s specific examples of looming “threats”: no informed observer is going to be quaking in their boots.
There is no credible evidence Iran is building a nuclear weapon: Israel remains the sole nuclear power in the region. If Pakistan is “turning against the West,” then the West also seems to be turning against Pakistan – and how, exactly, is a policy of “nation-building” supposed to reverse that trend? Increasing the American presence in a country that already hates us hardly seems to be solving the problem. As for North Korea: its people are on the brink of starvation, and “nation-building’ is hardly going to deter them from exporting whatever nuclear technology they have. “Nation-building” will deter neither the crazed commissars of the Hermit Kingdom nor the Islamist ideologues of al-Qaeda. As long as US intervention continues to create fresh enemies, the ranks of the terrorists will be replenished – and al-Qaeda will never be defeated.
Boot’s evoking of China as the latest bogeyman is particularly ludicrous: if we keep over-extending ourselves, sending troops and billions in taxpayer dollars abroad, the Chinese will soon be “nation-building” right here in bankrupt America, where entire cities have been foreclosed and abandoned (check out these pictures of Detroit). In any case, I hardly think the Chinese – our major creditors – are going to attack us any time soon: why would they want to destroy their own investment?...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
I was reading through some Orwell from his novel ‘1984’ and I realized that “the Party” he was writing about was the ancestral line of the neocons, before they shifted to the West and switched from Bolshevism to naked Zionism and Globalism as their power-grabbing, perpetual war mechanisms. Their packaging may have changed, but their reptilian world view and perpetual war agenda remain the same. Here are some bits from ‘1984’:
"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power…We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power…The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy — everything."