Preemptive Offenses

Sunday, March 17, 2013

If I Believed In Reincarnation...

...and I could choose which columnist to return as, I would instantly choose to return as Mark Steyn:

Meanwhile, back at the GOP, Senator Rand Paul is no Dick Cheney either: At CPAC this week, the narrow bounds of his smash-hit filibuster — questioning drone assassinations on Americans in America — broadened somewhat, not just to questioning drone assassinations on Americans anywhere, nor to questioning drone assassinations on anyone, nor even to questioning the “war on terror” or war in general, but to questioning the very assumptions of American global order, starting with our bankrolling of Mohamed Morsi in Cairo. The Egyptians send mobs to torch the U.S. embassy, the Saudis wage ideological warfare against Western civilization, the Turks call Israel a “crime against humanity” and threaten a cultural and demographic takeover of Europe, the Pakistanis are ramping up nuke production to sell to any loon in town — and those are just our “allies.” With friends like these, who needs foreign policy? There are fewer and fewer takers for the burdens of global superpower, and whoever wins the nomination in 2016 will be considerably less Cheney and more Randy....

Two more Americans died this week at the hands of one of their Afghan “allies,” a man trained, paid, and armed by the United States. If you slaughter thousands, you can still just about get our attention, as Mullah Omar discovered after 9/11. But the slow bleeding of two deaths here, three deaths there, week after week after week takes a psychological toll, rotting out purpose and strategy. So in Washington this will be a war we “shut down”; in Kandahar and beyond, it will be a war we lost....

As the CPAC crowd suggested, there are takers on the right for the Rand Paul position. There are many on the left for Obama’s drone-alone definition of great power. But there are ever fewer takers for a money-no-object global hegemon that spends 46 percent of the world’s military budget and can’t impress its will on a bunch of inbred goatherds. A broker America needs to learn to do more with less, and to rediscover the cold calculation of national interest rather than waging war as the world’s largest NGO. In dismissing Paul as a “wacko bird,” John McCain and Lindsey Graham assume that the too-big-to-fail status quo is forever. It’s not; it’s already over.

To me there's no mystery about the appeal to Americans of the suggestion that we retire as GloboCop. Not only is it a dirty, expensive job that costs the lives of the finest young men in America, no one actually has to do it.

There are occasional reasons to exert ourselves militarily. September 11, 2001 provided an example. But we were too prissy; we should have utterly destroyed Kabul, left not one stone standing on another, promised even more comprehensive "service" in the event of any future assaults, and gone home. A single 475 kiloton B-61 nuclear weapon from a single B-2 intercontinental stealth bomber would have done the trick -- and would have emblazoned DON'T MESS WITH THE YANKS on the skies of the Muslim Middle East in quite literal letters of fire.

And why not? More Americans died at the World Trade Center than died at Pearl Harbor. By a considerable margin, at that.

We face the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran today because we didn't destroy Kabul. The ayatollahs have contemplated our insane restraint and evaluated it as a symptom of national squeamishness. Under current circumstances, it's an accurate assessment: the mulatto in the Oval Office is too concerned about his "legacy" as a Nobel Peace Prize holder to act to halt them.

Steyn grasps this. He doesn't like it any better than I, but he gets it. Savages speak only one language: the language of deadly force. If you want to police the world, you have to be ready to use it, without hesitation and at the magnitude the situation demands. Failing that, stay home, guard the borders well, and let the wolves eat one another.


furball said...

Just playing devil's advocate here: If I'm a constitutionalist, under what authority can a president unilaterally order a strike (even a targeted drone) against say, Bin Laden?

I'm not saying the authority doesn't exist, I just don't know what it is. I'm pretty convinced that if on September 13, Bush had flattened Kabul, more than a few conservatives would have been very uncomfortable.

I've been unhappy with U.S.policy on "war making" since Korea. I think we need to go back to the idea that Congress declares war, and if we need a provision for armed response to terrorist acts we should state its parameters clearly. We seem to have mission creeped to the point where the president can do just about anything he wants.

Greenleaf said...

I say nuke that fucking black rock in Mecca the next time we're attacked. Than every nuclear facility in Iran.

You're absolutely right about Afghanistan. We did the job in a few weeks, we should have left than.

Should have done the same damn thing in Iraq-took us 3 weeks to get rid of Saddam.

What is the hell is point of having the greatest military if not to bring death and destruction to our enemies because you can bet your ass, if they could do it to us, they would.