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View Diary: Stephen Walt in FP--"Addicted to War" (29 comments)

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  •  How? (0+ / 0-)

    How will we deal with this actual threat. You don't even know what it is, and you want us to be confident in your claim that it will be no problem to deal with it?

    What I would actually say if I was saying is that the US must be the guardian of the world because the world needs a guardian, and we're the ones able to do it.

    You seem to be assuming, though, that since I pointed out the fallacies in the argument presented in this diary, I therefore don't believe the US military is too large or too expensive. That is a mistake on your part. A more careful reading of my comments would be appropriate.

    •  Right back at you ... (0+ / 0-)

      You are square in the American Exceptionalist camp, and that is what has poisoned our foreign policy and is breaking us economically.

      It is obvious to anyone with a brain outside of the Foreign Policy Establishment. The US is performing such a service to the world...

      The facts are that since the Cold War, no power is even close to threatening the US. Arguably, the Cold War was pretty overblown as well and since the late 1950s it served the interests of the MIC and the Foreign Policy Establishment very well--which dovetailed pretty nicely with some the biggest multinational US corporations. Of course, after the oil shock, most of those US corporations are a couple oil companies and weapons manufacturers.

      So we should keep building weapons systems regardless of the cost for some potential threat some day?

      What fallacies have you pointed out, other than you don't like "isolationism"?

      You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife, and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

      by FrankCornish on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 04:44:48 PM PDT

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      •  U R still terribly mistaken (0+ / 0-)

        Simply claiming that anyone who isn't an uber-pacifist believes in "American Exceptionalism" is a bogus substitute for having a valid position.

        The US is performing the service of global watchdog for our benefit, not for theirs.

        And again, I agree we shouldn't keep building weapon systems regardless of cost which are designed for historical enemies. That isn't what Walt is arguing, though, so that isn't the position you are defending.

        You really need to do a better job reading the comments you're responding to, FC, because I've already said that I do like "isolationism". I also think it should be balanced by realpolitik, rather than constituting the entirety of our foreign policy, as you and Walt are advocating.

        •  These are your words (1+ / 0-)
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          What I would actually say if I was saying is that the US must be the guardian of the world because the world needs a guardian,

          That is based in American Exceptionalism, and no one but Americans are buying it anymore.

          You keep saying I have not read your comments properly, but you were the one who brought up Pearl Harbor and the Holocaust as if it were some permanent lesson that should always apply. This is the essential position of the Am. FP Esatblishment whether it is Neo-con or Liberal Interventionist--as covered by Walt.

          We can't afford this positioning, and it does not work. We are not safer and we are spending more money than ever, and you have not come up with a single argument that shows otherwise, other than vague references to a doctrine that seems to say the US should be able to respond to any threat, anywhere etc. and this is exactly the bunk that Walt, Bacevich and I will argue against any time--this is the set of ideas that is destroying us. You can't have perpetual war for perpetual peace--it's an oxymoron.

          You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife, and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

          by FrankCornish on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 08:18:45 AM PDT

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          •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

            The very fact that you cut off the end of the quote which explains WHY the US fills that role (and was specifically not "because we are exceptional", but closer to 'because we are available to do it' - I paraphrase only because you've already misinterpreted it the first time and I have no reason to believe you wouldn't do it again) indicates how dishonest your approach to this discussion is. I shall therefore cease bothering with it.

            Thanks for your time. Hope it helps.

    •  There is another way to engage (1+ / 0-)
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      the rest of the world, which is through multilateral institutions, particularly the UN.  That's hardly isolationism, and accords better with how Americans and non-Americans alike prefer to approach international problems.

      Most of the people of the world, having seen the US recently invade another country due to an overactive imagination (to use a charitable interpretation), do NOT want the US as a "guardian".    The larger our pretenses to that role, the more resistance we will encounter and the less successful we will be.  Just look at how the popularity  of the US hit rock bottom during the last administration, which championed that view.  

      Finally, if you can't identify a threat, and you haven't, it's impossible to build a defense against it.  

      •  You mean (0+ / 0-)

        the UN that just authorized our military incursion in Libya? That UN? How is that supposed to be an argument for disarmament? Are you aware that, for the first time in history, the Arab League requested our military assistance? I know it isn't glitter-farts, but, still...

        Basing your assessment of foreign policy solely on the Iraq war is stupid, regardless of your feelings about the Iraq war.

        Being prepared is impossible because perfect knowledge of the future is unavailable, is that what you just said? I disagree.

        •  In general the UN has been a brake on militarism. (1+ / 0-)
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          I'm not sure why you brought up Libya, but that's an exception rather than the rule.  

          I certainly don't base my assessment of foreign policy solely on Iraq. Iraq simply showed that the US can't necessarily be trusted to make wise decisions on its own when it comes to using military force.   That's why neither Americans nor rest of the world accepts the US as "world guardian".  

          You have tacitly conceded that there's no specific significant military threat to the US that justifies current military spending.  (If this is incorrect, please state what you consider that threat to be).   It's impossible to allocate resources properly to defend ourselves against an unknown (to be more blunt, imaginary) threat.

          Our current military is a liability.  Because it is so big, and because we spend such an incredible amount of money on it, we are tempted to use it to solve problems.  The notion that we're the "guardian" causes us to use coercion rather than real diplomacy far too often.

          I'm not a pacifist, BTW.   I consider the military to be necessary.  Necessary for defense, not to run the world.

          •  That's not an exception; that's a unicorn (0+ / 0-)

            which unfortunately but predictably has failed to fart the glitter you are looking for.  We didn't need Iraq to know that the US can't necessarily be trusted to make wise decisions on its own, did we? So why did you bring it up again? As the sole example upon which to criticize in general our foreign policy?

            I haven't "tacitly conceded" our military is too expensive: I specifically stated our military is too expensive. But this isn't a discussion about the size, cost, or composition of our military; this is a discussion of whether we are "addicted to war". What you (laughably) call running the world, some people call defending our national interests. And vice-versa. We don't need a military to defend against invasion; we have the 2nd Amendment for that.

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