Saturday, March 26, 2011

Welcome To the Hotel California

The Kinetic Military Action in The Land of No Good Guys.

I've been a tad indifferent about what it is we're doing in Libya ... and perhaps that is because I simply don't know what it is we're trying to accomplish.   I've never had any love for Khadaffi, and I never bought the "changed man" theory.  The Lockerbie bombing has a lot to do with this.  Yeah, I'd like to see him not there (or anywhere) anymore.

But of course, there's the whole "what moves in to fill the vacuum"  question -- which is the big hole in the well-meaning neo-conservative doctrine (and who knew Obama was a "neo-con", eh?)  It just doesn't work in a population that's not ready for it ("it" being anything like a Jeffersonian Democracy).  Imperialism, would in fact, be better if you're going to do anything at all (militarily) to advance the cause.   Which I am specifically not endorsing here.  Just putting weights on the options.

So leave it to Mark Steyn to finally put it in terms that make some sense.   I've been saying over the past five years or so that I could be an isolationist once we tie up our overseas obligations.   I'd be all for systematically drawing down all over the world ... and yeah, I mean Germany and the rest of Europe.   Beef up our defenses here, get serious about killing enemies when they attack, and pre-emptively strike if they threaten to attack.   I could get behind that if we had the right attitude about it.


Cylarz said...

I hate to say it, Phil, but I think that's the way the winds may be blowing. The way of isolationism, that is. It's 1935 all over again.

The caveat for me would be that the United States still is willing to arm and equip governments that are friendly to our interests, and that these governments are in turn willing to use those resources to go out and get the job done...instead of always sitting back and waiting for the US to take the lead. Really, this nonsense should have stopped around 1991.

(It's a travesty that the rest of NATO got so used to being protected by the United States that its members felt free to spend everything they collected in taxes on healthcare and social programs, instead of defense - the primary responsibility of any national government.)

From the early 90s on, the Soviet Union was gone. There was no reason that the European powers couldn't have taken responsibility for their own security against whatever remaining threat was posed by the Russian Federation, China, or various regional powers in the Middle East - or stateless terrorists. Are we still in Germany because it's thought to make a good launching pad for our wars in the MidEast?

I know you're kind of a fence-sitter about faith issues, and I don't mean to go off on a tangent. But I wanted to briefly talk about a conversation that some members of my mission team were having about three years ago while in Guatemala.

One of them was saying that the Biblical book of Revelation doesn't mention anything like the United States - a large, nominally-Christian superpower who's unquestionably been a force for good in the world during most of its existence. A major global player who's helped others fight for freedom, who has only taken enough dirt to bury its dead.

This lack-of-mention of a US-like country was interpreted to mean that in the time of the events described in Revelation, perhaps the United States no longer exists, or it does in a state where it's far weaker and with less world influence than it has now.

A world where it lacks the resources, the will, or both to maintain standing army and naval forces in countries on the far side of the globe, or otherwise has lost interest in projecting its will around the world.

Think Spain, for instance - one of the world's largest empires at one time, today, a second-rate European nation which has lost touch with its cultural roots and has little interest in fighting even alongside its allies. (I've read that the Spanish minister of defense sent troops to Afghanistan only reluctantly and then with the understanding they wouldn't be doing any actual fighting.) Britain and France might fall into this category as well, though they're not as far-gone as Spain is. Is the US headed down this path?

The answer might be "yes," and my friends on the Guatemala mission might have been onto something. What do you think?

philmon said...

I'm less of a fence sitter than you might think. I have read Revelation (albeit a long time ago) and I am paying attention in case things start looking eerily familiar. And more than a couple of things are raising my internal eyebrow.

Never thought about "what if America isn't around at the time", though. Because until the last several years, I just assumed it would always be around.

I don't assume that anymore. Which is why I am a Tea Partier.

If you've ever been out to One Cosmos, you'll kind of get an idea where I am. Bob and I are in similar places as far as Universe View goes. He is probably a decade ahead of me, but we're on the same road.