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Forum Post: What if one day....

Posted 10 years ago on Dec. 31, 2011, 3:22 p.m. EST by JoeTheFarmer (2654)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

What if our foreign policy of the past century is deeply flawed and has not served our national security interests?

What if we wake up one day and realize that the terrorist threat is a predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others and has nothing to do with us being free and prosperous?

What if propping up oppressive regimes in the Middle East endangers both the United States and Israel?

What if occupying countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and bombing Pakistan is directly related to the hatred directed toward us?

What if some day it dawns on us that losing over 5,000 American military personnel in the Middle East since 9/11 is not a fair trade off for the loss of nearly 3,000 American citizens no matter how many Iraqi, Pakistani, or Afghan people are killed or displaced?

What if we finally decide that torture even if called “enhanced interrogation technique” is self destructive and produces no useful information and that contracting it out to a third world nation is just as evil?

What if it is finally realized that war and military spending is always destructive to the economy?

What if all war time spending is paid for through the deceitful and evil process of inflating and borrowing?

What if we finally see that war time conditions always undermine personal liberty?

What if conservatives who preach small government wake up and realize that our interventionist foreign policy provides the greatest incentive to expand the government?

What if people understood once again that their only logical position is to reject military intervention and managing an empire throughout the world?

What if the American people woke up and understood that the official reasons for going to war are almost always based on lies and promoted by war propaganda in order to serve special interests?

What if we as a nation came to realize that the quest for empire eventually destroys all great nations?

What if the American people learn the truth that our foreign policy has nothing to do with national security and that it never changes from one administration to the next?

What if war and preparation for war is a racket serving the special interests?

What if diplomacy is found to be superior to bombs and bribes in protecting America?

What happens if my concerns are completely unfounded? Nothing.

But what happens if my concerns are justified and ignored? Nothing good.”



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[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 10 years ago

I've seen a lot of posts on here talking about how war is murder and how we need to immediately stand down and/or recall all of our troops and pretty much wipe out the defense budget. Further, many of these people seem to believe that pretty much every war we've gotten into since 1945 was hopelessly misguided at best and murderous imperialism at its worst. I understand where you're coming from, but I don't think it's that simple.

I'm not going to disagree about Vietnam; that was a major blunder on the part of Eisenhower (when he decided that backing a French colonial government was a good idea) and Kennedy and LBJ (for not realizing what was going on and backing us out of there). I would much prefer that we'd been able to settle our affairs in Afghanistan and leave already, and Iraq never should have happened.

Korea, I do disagree on. Given the modern-day difference between North and South Korea I would argue that the results of the action we took there were worth the cost. I also feel like the ICC needs a warrant enforcement mechanism of its own (because otherwise it's usually us getting involved). However, sending a few people in to deal with Joseph Kony is the right thing to do. Sending the military into Darfur with orders to clean up on the Janjaweed and extradite Omar al-Bashir would have been the right thing to do.

You can't simply disallow all conflicts on the grounds that they're ugly. Sometimes we as a nation have to do ugly things because the alternative is worse. Before you ask, I would be more than willing to go to war if asked to; my greatest fear isn't dying (if it's for the right reasons) but to have hung back in a a situation when my interference could have saved someone.

War isn't something we should enter into lightly, and quite honestly Iraq was a PR stunt based on a lie. That said, I also feel like we need to move to a different way of handling our military; perhaps two years of mandated public (including in the military) or community service after high school would be a good idea. That would (in my mind) cut down on unnecessary warfare, given that there would be no exemptions and especially if children of public officials and defense contractors would be on the front lines of any military action we go into; authorizing and/or powering a war becomes a much tougher decision when doing so will point your child at the business end of someone else's AK-47.

Also, you could probably take a pretty good chunk out of our defense budget without dismissing or recalling a single soldier or reducing our combat readiness one iota. This is mostly due to all sorts of contracts that are late and over budget, or simply more expensive than training and maintaining your own people. If you look at the Lockheed Martin fighter jet flap it probably would have been cheaper to train a team of engineers and build the prototyping equipment they'd need. If we take government-subsidized private firms and consolidating those operations in-house, we have a start right there; if we stop giving crazy tax breaks for companies doing military R&D and moved those operations back in-house the cost of funding the labs and paying the people would probably be less than the lost revenue. The same goes for mercenary firms like Blackwater; we already have trained, disciplined soldiers capable of providing security; why should we pay a private firm to provide less qualified people at a net loss to the taxpayer?

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 10 years ago

It sounds like you are agreeing with the post. Our policies are flawed and make us less safe not more safe.

[-] 1 points by IslandActivist (191) from Keaau, HI 10 years ago

What if the American people finally realized the monetary system should be abolished, tyranny of presidents and kings should be overthrown, technology should take over manual labor, natural resources should be managed locally, only sustainable renewable energy should be used, the pursuit of knowledge should be the center of our principals, and only a resource-based economy could save the world's horrid state?

[-] 0 points by survivor514 (65) 10 years ago

WOW. Either get on some meds or get off of them. You can " What If " yourself ( worry ) into an early grave. Worry is like a rocking chair, You can move but you aint going no were. Come to think of it. Rocking chairs might be something OWS would be interested in. Wonder if I could corner the market ?

[-] 2 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 10 years ago

What if conservatives who preach small government wake up and realize that our interventionist foreign policy provides the greatest incentive to expand the government?

What if people understood once again that their only logical position is to reject military intervention and managing an empire throughout the world?


[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 10 years ago

Oh that was not me asking those questions.
That was from a speech given before congress.


[-] -1 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

What if we develop a world system of equal pay and opportunity. Will war end and be replaced with peace ?

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 10 years ago

I do not believe we need a "world system of equal pay" to have peace. I believe education is probably more important to world peace than equal pay. I believe equal opportunity is important to moving the world forward.

In the context of this post however, I believe our policy of preemptive wars is counter productive. I believe manufacture our enemies through our military interventionist policies.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

I believe preemptive is necessary and most effective. But also morally correct. For example a cruel dictator oppressing his people while the rest of the world looks the other way IMHO is immoral. Also through preemptive action the oppressed will be grateful. But it takes an altruistic spirit to understand this. For the most part those in power are not altruistic. those at the top are evil and mean, making decisions based on their personal gain of wealth and power.

It is never wrong to do the right thing.

[-] 2 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 10 years ago

I don't believe it is our right or responsibility to shoot cruise missiles and drones at people for over 10 years. They often miss their target. We are no better than suicide bombers.

We created all of these "Oppressive Regimes" We funded Mubarak for many years and gave him weapons. We funded and supported Saddam Hussein and supported Bin Laden in the 80s.

We also selective bomb. We do not help the folks in Darfur or Ivory Coast. Why? There is no oil there...

Let's not pretend we do it to save the oppressed citizens.

[-] -1 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

I am not pretending. Just in some cases the results indirectly help the oppressed. Which I am grateful.

If you put them there should you nor be responsible to take them out and perhaps apologize to the people they harmed?

With all due respect

[-] 2 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 10 years ago

It is a cycle of war that we perpetuation.

I believe we should stay out of the affairs of other countries and deal with our problems here at home. There is still no peace in Egypt. People are still being killed. We should mind our own business.

They are already starting the rhetoric for the next war with Iran. The official reasons for going to war are almost always based on lies and promoted by war propaganda in order to serve special interests.

You do not owe me any "due respect".

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

The respectdue was for all those lost and suffered in horrible wars.

To not be preemptive or to just stay out of all if it ends up with 9/11. There were plenty if warnings leading up to 9/11. And if we are to learn anything from that terrible day. We must never let a threat go unchecked. To do so would leave 3000 lives to die in vain.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 10 years ago

On the contrary, to be preemptive is why 9/11 happened.

The reason 9/11 happened is because we have military bases in the "Holy Land" Saudi Arabia. That was the reason the terrorists gave and that was the reason confirmed by the CIA.

If we took all the trillions of dollars wasted on those occupations since the 1980s and had focused on becoming energy independent 9/11 would not have happened.

Losing over 5,000 American military personnel in the Middle East since 9/11 is not a fair trade off for the loss of nearly 3,000 American citizens no matter how many Iraqi, Pakistani, or Afghan people are killed or displaced. There have been over 800,000 civilian casualties in the middle east since we started bringing democracy to them.

[-] -1 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

It just sounds like you are trying to fabricate your conspiracy that somehow the USA government is to blame for 9/11.

You need to stand back and take it all in. Instead of trying to prove your theory with words like medling. Try living in the middleeast. And maybe you will understand the true horrors that go on there. The ones you call propaganda. 4 planes of innocent people died a complete merciless death. That should be some indication as to what our enemy is capable of.

As for what happens next ? It could be horrific. With nuclear catastrophe and destruction causing sickness and famine on a scale that would make 9/11 look insignificant. But even with such looming destruction you still will not consider equal pay as a peaceful preventive solution. Your greed will be your downfall.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 10 years ago

It is not a conspiracy theory. The terrorists including Bin Laden told us why they flew those planes into the buildings. "Because you have military bases on our Holy Land, Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam"

Again, let's not pretend we are in the middle east to help the poor citizens. Especially since over 350,000 were inadvertently killed in the process of helping them.

If we went there to help the oppressed, then why would we do nothing about the 800,000 innocent people killed in Rwanda? Why do we do nothing about the 2 MILLION killed in Darfur since 2004 or the 2.7 MILLION Darfuris currently in prison camps?

I could not be because the oil is in the middle east, of course not....

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

And why don't we just bend over and surrender. Which sounds like what you would wish for. That oil in the middleast has been there millions of years. It's no more belongs to Saudi kings than a mosque belongs at ground zero. We are at war and you are borderline competing treason with your rhetoric.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 10 years ago

Not wanting to intervene in foreign affairs of other countries is not surrendering and is certainly not treason.

What we did in Libya pretty much violates the constitution. The president is supposed to present his case to congress and they are supposed to vote on behalf of the people to declare was unless there is a clear and present danger which there certainly was not. Even if there were he has thirty days to do the same.

As for "it's not their oil" it appears you are not really a Friendly Observer you are an Unfriendly Interventionist because we need what you have.

There is a big difference between Non-Interventionism and Isolationism.

Isolationism means no diplomacy, not trade, no discussion, no treaties, high import tariffs, and basically building a wall around our country. Some even want to build a real wall across the southern border.

Not wanting to put sanctions on everyone over there, prop up regimes, launch missile and drone attacks, occupy the streets with tanks and machine guns... is not isolationism it is non interventionism..

If we did not have bases in Saudi Arabia some of my friends that worked in the WTC would still be here. Some of my daughters friends parents would still be here. On September 12, 2001 there were people in the streets of Tehran, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan with candles lit in solidarity with America. The world was united in favor of the US.

It is not treason to want a stronger defensive position for the United States in the world.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

Some of your logic doesn't add up.

The bases in Saudi havenot been removed .. there is no animosity between saudi and usa .. Mr Obama .. bowed to the saudi king did he not? Is it not true Bin Laden was thrown out of Saudi? And if it was military bases in saudi that directly caused 9/11 attack than the loss of military life 5000 soldiers is not to blame on 9/11 or be considered a trade off for the 3000 lost. since , in your belief and the cia , it was the military in medling that brought the whole thing on. The 3000 were innocent.

We have different opinions on this is very obvious. What happened in Libya with usa intervention was welcomed by the world .. just it was weeks late .. so many lives were lost to that horrible dictator before Mr Obama finally gave the go ahead. Same with Iraq. Why did we allow 3 decades of that tyrant to live .. why did we need a wmd excuse , why could we simply not use morals as a reason?

The flag waving /banner waving usa being the greatest nation on earth has obligations as a leader we all look to for leadership. and doing the right thing is what a leader is expected to do. But to hear people whine about their budget when lives are brutally being murdered , or pointing to regulation and quoting "intervention law" shows lack of moral conscience. And will also be a factor in the downfall of the world. The people with all the wealth simply lack empathy. Which is really no surprise , but it is a reason why they should not have power or control .. they lack the human qualities to make such decisions.

[-] 1 points by JoeTheFarmer (2654) 10 years ago

There is no animosity between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (i.e. the royal family) but there are many Islamic fundamentalists that are against US having those bases in the holy land. I suppose you can ignore the reasons given by Al Queda and go with the "They hate us because we have freedom" spin.

My problem with Libya is not the action but the skipping of the rules.

We declared ourselves the leader of the world? What give us the right to do that?

If you are the living in the country being bombed and watching US tanks and Humvees driving around town and had checkpoints and raids on homes for ten years I wonder what kind of leader you would think we were.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 10 years ago

Joe, I honestly would like to step out of this debate .. I have offered a peaceful solution which trumps all the problems we have mentioned .. and I agree with much of your concerns.