Your Lying Eyes

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23 February 2006

150 Killed in Sectarian Violence

And that's just in Nigeria! Christian and Muslim clashes over the Mohammed cartoons have left 150 dead. Now why in the world would they be rioting in Nigeria over cartoons printed in Denmark? Pretty crazy, huh? Well, it's a pretty crazy world - and we're crazy to be involved in it.

It's really time the U.S. stops getting involved in other countries. Let other countries take care of their own problems - there's little we can do except maybe screw things up worse.

And the mess in Iraq right now - what kind of people destroy a beautiful shrine like that. What madness (yes, of course I know about Monte Cassino - that was a madness we had no choice but to join). Sure, it never would have happened if we hadn't invaded - but it's a madness we're ill equipped to deal with, and unlikely to improve. It's been about 3 years, and the overall situation just keeps getting worse. What makes anyone think we can improve things?

What about Israel? We don't need to be intimately involved with the situation there to ensure Israel's survival. Perhaps our involvement is needed to protect the Palestinians from Israel. But interjecting ourselves over there hasn't made anything any better, so I can't see how our involvement is needed.

North Korean nukes? Not really our problem, is it? Were North Korea to use their bomb, the country would cease to exist - and they know that. If they invaded South Korea, it would barely exist. Japan and China might feel uncomfortable with a nuclear North Korea - let them worry about it (although, to be fair, this isn't far from the administration's actual approach thus far).

Russia? Well, I think we have pretty much given up caring about what goes on there. The country's really in too much of a mess to amount to much of a threat even if so inclined, and as long as she keeps sending us her most valuable exports, we've got no cause to complain.

After 9/11, Americans felt they had to start kicking bad-guy ass around the world. I know I certainly felt that way. But we've since seen the result of this aggressiveness, and it hasn't gone all that well. We were right to get rid of the Taliban - they attacked us, and it's important that we took it right to them. But even Afghanistan today is more or less a mess, having returned to a medieval economy of camel dung and opium. Elsewhere we've just pissed people off and at home we are divided.

Plus, we really can't afford to be the world's watchdog. We experienced negative savings in the 4Q 2005. Gas prices went soaring, and we just kept right on spending. Meanwhile our trade deficit hit $725 billion. Our economy grows at a little over 3% a year, just enough to handle our annual population growth which is mostly driven by immigration from third world countries.

Rather than trying to kill terrorists abroad, we need to concentrate on keeping them out of the country. Rather than trying to control drug production abroad, we need to concentrate on keeping drug dealers out. Both these require very strict immigration controls - but that's all they really require. I don't think international relations are a lot different than everyday interactions. People don't resent neighbors who keep to themselves and don't invite others over to their home - they resent neighbors who are constantly nosing around and inviting themselves over to others' homes. Yeah, it's nice to live in neighborhood where you don't have to lock your doors and live behind fences, but we don't live in that kind of neighborhood.

While Iraq and Afghanistan have exposed our weakness - i.e., we really can't control a foreign country very well by sending in our troops - we've also shown the world we can do an awful lot of damage by sending in our troops - and that the American people can handle casualties. Not to mention a huge fleet of B-52's, B-1's, cruise missiles, etc. ready to go anywhere, anytime. We have nothing to fear from any other country, militarily - at least not for now, and not unless we continue to squander what we have.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's nothing at all surprising about killings in Nigeria, mass violence is pretty much a fact of life there. And it's hard to tell the good guys from the bad. The usual [Muslims = bad, non-Muslims = good] rule of thumb doesn't really apply in Nigeria, where the Christians from the south of the country can be just as brutal as the northern Muslims.

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

February 23, 2006 11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If nothing else it puts to rest it "doesn't matter who you vote for" because this president has placed the country in a war that will never end. Vietnam had no oil so we could leave but there is no leaving and there is alot more dying to come of Americans. Thankfully for us we have an inexhaustable supply in West Virginia.

February 24, 2006 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, Get some anti-depressants,
your bringing me down!

February 24, 2006 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You heartless bastard! What are all those Mexicans who emigrate illegally going to do if your restrictions are carried out? Never mind that they don't like us and suck us down into the mire - who's going to do all those terrific unskilled jobs we're going to create as part of our march to further and continued greatness?

February 24, 2006 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe I'm getting zero props for having pointed out the wrongness of our Iraq "initiative" from Day One.
If you check your archives you'll see my missives (against severe backlash) that we were way out of our league, would never change Iraq into a democratic republic (or any other type of democracy) and that the failure would come at the cost of thousands of American lives, as well as the damage to our economy, excepting Haliburton and a few other choice Bush crony companies. I'm glad to see you've come around.
Pat Buchanan may be (is) an extremist but his isolationist policies have some merit, when taken in moderation. Is there not enough of the "civilized" world for us to trade with and gain our needed resources? Maybe the cold, cruel answer is to let them all (the third world theocracies and tribal nations) wipe each other out and then slide in for their natural resources. It may be less honorable but also less costly. Can anyone but the most blindly Republican, conservative hawk still defend our Iraq decision. The argument could be made that we are responsible, at least indirectly, for the deaths of Iraqis at a rate approaching Saddam. What an utter failure of analysis, leadership and execution. Speaking of execution, in Iraq, Rumsfeld would be long buried. Don't hear from him much anymore, do we?
Now the question is how do we gracefully bow out?

February 27, 2006 7:46 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Harlem, I offer you mad props, bro. I always felt you had a sensibly cynical, pro-American reluctance to get involved in overthrowing Saddam - you were so right.
I don't know that there is a "graceful" way out. We might have to settle for gradual draw down to Afghanistan/Kosovo levels over two years. We've already made the sausage - there's no getting the pig back (to use a wholly offensive metaphor, under the circumstances).

February 27, 2006 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems inevitable that a Crusade vs Juhad is coming. Neither side has had a very good history of tolerance.

March 26, 2006 8:06 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

That would be rather unfortunate. We leave them alone, and we make sure they leave us alone.

March 27, 2006 7:11 PM  

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