The View From 1776

A Reader’s Review of American Foreign Policy

A reader sees American foreign policy since World War II as a series of failures in judgment, concluding with Afghanistan and Iraq.  The focal point of our policy today, he believes, should be supporting Israeli actions to defeat Hezbollah in Lebanon and then turning all our forces upon Osama Bin Ladin.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/30 at 01:40 AM
  1. There are many good points in this article and there are some crucial mistakes. The insurrection in Iraq can be put down, I would say rather easily. I calculated that if Iraq were to be represented by a 60 foot-long rope, the insurgents have chewed off a 2.5-inch segment of it. 19 provinces out of 22 are peaceful. About 570-600 Irqquis are born every day and about 200-225 die from natural causes. If the world were not to get instant images of car bombs and a few Iraquis getting killed here and there, there is no iraqui insurgency. Therefore, it follows that the new Iraqui government should throw out all foreign journalists under an emergency martial law. Next, the Iraqui and American forces should identify and seek out the supporters (not the insurgents themselves) and families of the insurgents. That will kill the enthusiasm of the insurgents who don't care for their own lives but are not willing to sacrifice their supporters and families. In this sense, the article is wrong in saying that a Sunni strongman is needed. A strongman or strong government is needed to do things that western democracies have no way of doing legally to end the insurgency. I do agree that "surgical precision" in achieving victory, without massive civilian casualties and war-caused civilian pathos, is largely the cause of the insurgency. But carpet bombing will bring spectres of VietNam and is not good policy if it can be avoided. I do agree that President Bush is a brave man who doesn't know what he is doing. Nor, apparently, his advisors. I fervently hope that he and/or his advisors read this article (and my comments too!!!).
    Posted by vchalla  on  12/30  at  05:24 AM
  2. "Don't keep a pet canary in a fishbowl of water."
    - Raymond Smythe age 10 Grade 5 1957

    As long as politcians deal only with effects - and not causes - they will produce mediocrity and worse.

    The missing element in every human 'solution' is
    an accurate definition of the creature.

    The way we define 'human' determines our view of self,
    others, relationships, institutions, life, and future. Many
    problems in human experience are the result of false
    and inaccurate definitions of humankind premised
    in man-made religions and humanistic philosophies.

    Deterministic systems, ideological symbols of abdication
    by man from his natural role as earth's Choicemaker,
    inevitably degenerate into collectivism; the negation of
    singularity, they become a conglomerate plural-based
    system of measuring human value. Blunting an awareness
    of diversity, blurring alternatives, and limiting the
    selective creative process, they are self-relegated to
    a passive and circular regression.

    Tampering with man's selective nature endangers his
    survival for it would render him impotent and obsolete
    by denying the tools of variety, individuality,
    perception, criteria, selectivity, and progress.
    Coercive attempts produce revulsion, for such acts
    are contrary to an indeterminate nature and nature's
    indeterminate off-spring, man the Choicemaker.

    Until the oppressors discover that wisdom only just
    begins with a respectful acknowledgment of The Creator,
    The Creation, and The Choicemaker, they will be ever
    learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth.
    The rejection of Creator-initiated standards relegates
    the mind of man to its own primitive, empirical, and
    delimited devices. It is thus that the human intellect
    cannot ascend and function at any level higher than the
    criteria by which it perceives and measures values.

    Additionally, such rejection of transcendent criteria
    self-denies man the vision and foresight essential to
    decision-making for survival and progression. He is left,
    instead, with the redundant wreckage of expensive hind-
    sight, including human institutions characterized by
    averages, mediocrity, and regression.

    Humanism, mired in the circular and mundane egocentric
    predicament, is ill-equipped to produce transcendent
    criteria. Evidenced by those who do not perceive
    superiority and thus find themselves beset by the shifting
    winds of the carnal-ego; i.e., moods, feelings, desires,
    appetites, etc., the mind becomes subordinate: a mere
    device for excuse-making and rationalizing self-justifica-

    The carnal-ego rejects criteria and self-discipline for such
    instruments are tools of the mind and the attitude. The
    appetites of the flesh have no need of standards for at the
    point of contention standards are perceived as alien, re-
    strictive, and inhibiting. Yet, the very survival of our
    physical nature itself depends upon a maintained sover-
    eignty of the mind and of the spirit.

    It remained, therefore, to the initiative of a personal
    and living Creator to traverse the human horizon and
    fill the vast void of human ignorance with an intelli-
    gent and definitive faith. Man is thus afforded the
    prime tool of the intellect - a Transcendent Standard
    by which he may measure values in experience, anticipate
    results, and make enlightened and visionary choices.

    Only the unique and superior God-man Person can deserved-
    ly displace the ego-person from his predicament and free
    the individual to measure values and choose in a more
    excellent way. That sublime Person was indicated in the
    words of the prophet Amos, "...said the Lord, Behold,
    I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel."
    Y'shua Mashiyach Jesus said, "If I be lifted up I will
    draw all men unto myself."

    As long as some choose to abdicate their personal reality
    and submit to the delusions of humanism, determinism, and
    collectivism, just so long will they be subject and re-
    acting only, to be tossed by every impulse emanating from
    others. Those who abdicate such reality may, in perfect
    justice, find themselves weighed in the balances of their
    own choosing.

    That human institution which is structured on the
    principle, "...all men are endowed by their Creator with
    ...Liberty...," is a system with its roots in the natural
    Order of the universe. The opponents of such a system are
    necessarily engaged in a losing contest with nature and
    nature's God. Biblical principles are still today the
    foundation under Western Civilization and the American
    way of life. To the advent of a new season we commend the
    present generation and the "multitudes in the valley of

    Let us proclaim it. Behold!
    The Season of Generation-Choicemaker Joel 3:14 KJV

    - from The HUMAN PARADIGM
    Posted by Choicemaker  on  12/30  at  11:18 AM
  3. Q: "What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son
    of man that You take care of him?" Hebrews 2:6
    A: "I have chosen the way of truth; your judgments I have
    laid before me." Psalm 119:30 "Let Your hand become my
    help, for I have chosen Your precepts."Psalm 119:173

    "Man cannot make or invent or contrive principles. He
    can only discover them and he ought to look through the
    discovery to the Author." -- Thomas Paine 1797

    "Got Criteria?" See Psalm 119:1-176

    semper fidelis
    Jim Baxter
    Sgt. USMC
    WWII & Korean War

    Teacher, 5th Grade - 30 years

    ...make it count!!
    Posted by Choicemaker  on  12/30  at  11:21 AM
  4. Only a moving universe of opportunity plus choice enables
    the present reality.

    Each individual human being possesses a unique, highly
    developed, and sensitive perception of variety. Thus
    aware, man is endowed with a natural capability for enact-
    ing internal mental and external physical selectivity.
    Quantitative and qualitative choice-making thus lends
    itself as the superior basis of an active intelligence.

    Human is earth's Choicemaker. His title describes
    his definitive and typifying characteristic. Recall
    that his other features are but vehicles of experi-
    ence intent on the development of perceptive
    awareness and the following acts of decision and
    choice. Note that the products of man cannot define
    him for they are the fruit of the discerning choice-
    making process and include the cognition of self,
    the utility of experience, the development of value-
    measuring systems and language, and the accultur-
    ation of civilization.

    The arts and the sciences of man, as with his habits,
    customs, and traditions, are the creative harvest of
    his perceptive and selective powers. Creativity, the
    creative process, is a choice-making process. His
    articles, constructs, and commodities, however
    marvelous to behold, deserve neither awe nor idol-
    atry, for man, not his contrivance, is earth's own
    highest expression of the creative process.

    Human is earth's Choicemaker. The sublime and
    significant act of choosing is, itself, the Archimedean
    fulcrum upon which man levers and redirects the
    forces of cause and effect to an elected level of qual-
    ity and diversity. Further, it orients him toward a
    natural environmental opportunity, freedom, and
    bestows earth's title, The Choicemaker, on his
    singular and plural brow.

    Human is earth's Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by
    nature and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of
    Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive
    characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural
    foundation of his environments, institutions, and re-
    spectful relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is orien-
    ted to a Freedom whose roots are in the Order of the
    universe. selah

    "Freedom is the Right to Choose, the Right to create for
    oneself the alternatives of Choice. Without the possibil-
    ity of Choice, and the exercise of Choice, a man is not
    a man but a member, an instrument, a thing."
    Thomas Jefferson

    ...and, by the way; don't even try to keep a goldfish in a canary cage. It won't work any better than socialism for humans. jfb
    Posted by Choicemaker  on  12/30  at  11:38 AM
  5. The writer has many good points. However, how would or could the troops taken from Iraq be used against bin Ladin and al Qaeda? They are not bunched anywhere except maybe in western Pakistan. Is invasion of U.S. troops into Pakistan against the wishes of the government and people of Pakistan likely to make the Pakistani government stronger when it appears to be somewhat shaky.
    We cannot go back and avoid the mistakes made in the past. Israel should not have been called off, but some of the Israeli public are like some of our people. They don't want to do what is needed to win. Too bleeding heart and too politically correct.
    Sharia law doesn't seem to have worked very well nor does Islamic attitudes seem to have worked very well. If they did not have the oil, those countries would be even more backward in every way than they are. As it is, we have barbarians who want to live in the seventh century who have modern communication and modern weapons and the support of many "useful idiots" in the West, including many in the U.S. Due to multiculturalism and tolerance the radical Islamists also have a great "fifth column" in every western country.
    Posted by Donald W. Bales  on  12/30  at  01:30 PM
  6. My only major problem with the comments about why we went to war and why we still had bases is "dollar hegemony."

    We agreed to protect OPEC nations that would sell oil in dollars. When Saddam started selling oil in Euros that was the straw that broke the back. All the violations of the cease fire in the 10 year war with Saddam were still going on but, they weren't enough in and of themselves to cause us to resume the war. Clinton bombed him and warned him and still he continued his violations, but selling oil in Euros could have started other nations on the road to do the same (maybe they did anyway now that other nations are starting to sell oil in Euros now that they see how much damage that can do to our economy and our currency).

    Much of our middle-east intervention is tied to that 1971 agreement. Until we understand how fragile our currency is and how much risk there is to our economy if the OPEC nations switch to the Euro for oil sales, we can't understand why we do what we do in the Middle-east or any other oil producing nation.

    While I don't look for some "collapse" because it will be more of a slow divesting of the dollar assets by many nations, we can look for a declining dollar for years to come. But, the risk is there that a serious loss of value could trigger panic selling of dollar assets by China, Japan, U.K. and other nations with large holdings

    China has 700 billion in debt and some say a total of $1 trillion in dollar assets.

    Warren Buffett is so convinced we'll see a steady downward spiral to the value of the dollar in 2006, he's placed a $16.5 billion dollar bet to back it up, putting his money where his mouth is!

    Why didn't the President say this was the reason we went into Iraq? Because, we are trying to keep the fact our currency is at risk from creating a world sell off of the dollar. This is not something you tell the consumers of the world and world governments. If you tell them that the largest economy on earth is at risk you could easily create the panic we are trying to avoid.

    However, economists around the world keep warning of the risk. Most believe it can't happen though. Maybe they are right? Then, again, maybe not.

    But, on Monday, Dec. 18th. Iran announce they would begin selling oil in Euro's and selling off dollar assets. On Wed. Dec. 20 we said we will send a 2nd aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf to "threaten" Iran's nuclear ambitions and ignoring of the U.N.

    This history of the split between Sunni and Shiite is on target. There were meetings with Saddam and al-Qaeda but, al-Qaeda plays both ends against the middle. They will work with anyone that furthers their goals. Saddam trained 8,000 terrorists in the three camps and they may not have been for al-Qaeda but they were still terrorists and some may have been for al-Qaeda.

    Just because al-Qaeda didn't like Saddam didn't mean they wouldn't use him or work with him to further their goals.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  12/30  at  01:39 PM
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