I have heard other points about how “the US should remain the sheriff of the world because no one else would ensure the world spins to the direction the US wants it to.” I don’t know where they got their definition of a police force from, but it is not correct. The job of the person who polices the world is not to determine world events, but to ensure they occur peacefully, and that order is ensured. That isn’t ensuring that events follow the agenda of a certain nation, but that events follow an agenda that enforces order, without any ulterior motives. What do others think? Should anyone (or could anyone) replace the United States as the sheriff of the world? I say no. But you already knew that.
With the many international organizations who should be policing the world, why should the US have the lone role of policing the world, especially in the middle east? The UN is the organization designed to be the world’s police force, and really should be the one tackling the international quarrels and civil wars,and not the US. It would even be better for the world for the UN to police the world, because they are unbiased for the most part. The US (understandably) is biased toward the US getting the better end of whatever deals they create between nations. That’s no way for the world to be policed. The UN, however has one big barrier between a vote and military intervention- Russia. We saw this in action with Syria. If Russia didn’t have a seat on the UN security council, they wouldn’t have been able to keep the UN from doing its job of policing the world. As long as Putin is in power, I don’t see an end in sight of Russia’s diplomatic obstruction. So that puts the UN semi-out of the question at least until Putin’s demise.
So that leaves the world with two alternative police forces: NATO, and Interpol.
Interpol already does a pretty good job of traditionally policing the world (criminal action, and Interpol reaction, and comes up with most wanted lists and things of that nature), but they can’t do much other than traditional police operations for prevention of terrorism. Interpol is a useful tool in the fight against terrorism, but in my opinion couldn’t fully replace the United States’ immense role in prevention and countering terrorism.
So from my list above, that leaves NATO. There is one major flaw in NATO, in the fact that it only includes western countries like the US, the UK, France, and Germany. It is better suited for policing the world than the US alone because it is a coalition, and distributes responsibility between many nations, as opposed to leaving the fate of the world in the corruptible hands of one nation. It also currently has the most powerful military in the world between all of its member states. The political pressure is there for the utilization, as is the economic pressure (it has the majority of the world’s dominant economies for its usage). It’s really the perfect storm of coercion, and military might. Its role in policing the world will only increase in the near future, as the threat of terrorism spreads south into Africa, closer to the territorial interests of Europe.
America will not have to be the world’s lone sheriff for long.
@jack, The U.N. was set up for this purpose, we should let them do it.
The U.S. has always been seen as the worlds sheriff I think mostly because we shoved ourselves into the position to start with. Let the U.N. do its job if there is an issue with a country and action needs to be taken, then send in U.N. forces. If the U.N. is unable to get their majority to say this is serious enough to take action then the U.S. needs to stay out of it.
However I will add a disclaimer, if a country is directly threatening America and the U.N. votes not to take any action, then I say we handle it ourselves and tell the U.N. to take a walk and cut all ties to it.
We should not be the world sheriff and we should not be the re-builders of countries who have had a war and are now needing to replace buildings, bridges, etc. Its….not….our….job.
I absolutely agree with you in theory but in reality the United Nations is impotent. Jack listed some of the reasons for this, namely that Russia and China have a vote.
If the United Nations can be counted on to NOT do their job, then what? We can’t surrender because of an impotent United Nations.
Iraq was directly threatening not specifically the United States but the entire world. He was actively supporting and exporting terrorism (provable fact) AND the world believed that he had a WMD program. Keep in mind that most terrorists at the time had a goal of killing as many Americans as possible.
For clarity, it matters not, in hindsight, whether he did or did not have WMDs, what matters is that the world seriously believed he did. Anyone who dismisses this argument because we “didn’t find WMDs” is first of all factually wrong but more to the point of the debate, they are refusing to acknowledge the deadly potential capability of weapons of mass destruction (either real or perceived WMDs). In other words, as commander-in-chief who is responsible for the protection of the American people, YOU DO NOT JUST BLOW OFF THIS THREAT.
If you can’t prove the threat doesn’t exist, you must take action. People like Jack have the luxury to sit on the couch and risk the lives of the American people because in the end his opinion doesn’t matter (this is not personal, it just doesn’t enter into the thinking of the commander-in-chief). The commander-in-chief however, cannot take that chance, and George Bush didn’t.
This is a very serious threat and one that cannot go unanswered. Only the United Nations had the capability/authority to demand that Saddam Hussein allow the United Nations weapons inspectors in to inspect and verify for the world that he either had them or did not have them. Having that question answered was paramount to any country that valued freedom (the United States is just one of those countries, you might consider the size of the coalition and the number of concerned countries was far higher than that).
The United Nations either could not, or would not use all their might to make this happen. The United Nations failed the world in that instance and the threat to the world remained and was very real and very serious.
Sorry, I cannot and will not bet my freedom on an organization (U.N.) that does not have my freedom at heart.
As far as re-building countries, I am mixed on that. I believe the United Nations should play a bigger role here as well. If they refuse, which they usually do, then if we decide to do it anyway which may be good or bad, it should be the State Department, NOT the military. The ONLY reason the military goes to work is because the State Department was unable to do its job.
Again, especially for the sake of people like Jack, I do not believe that we alone should be the sheriff of the world. I do however believe that it must be done and that we can lead that effort.
Unlike Jack, who wants to right things AFTER they go wrong, or fix things after they are broken, I prefer to do what we reasonably can do to prevent things from getting broken in the first place (kinda like being proactive instead of reactive). I wish we had more contributors but at the end of the day, if there is nobody to promote freedom in the world we will be at war constantly, and I don’t want that either.
Again James, I like your theory and I absolutely support it. I just wish in this case reality was the same as theory.
I am not a fan of the U.N. to begin with. I would like to see us remove ourselves from it, for several reasons, including the gun ban. Who are they to say we should not have OUR guns.
As far as the U.S. only acting with the U.N. in foreign countries, I posted this disclaimer.
“However I will add a disclaimer, if a country is directly threatening America and the U.N. votes not to take any action, then I say we handle it ourselves and tell the U.N. to take a walk and cut all ties to it.”
I was not trying to theorize, I was trying to speak to the way it is “supposed” to work. I feel I summed it up fairly accurately. Does it work that way? No. Is that how it was suppose to work. Yes. I didn’t intend to speak on the way it actually functions.
We have lost billions, upon billions of dollars rebuilding other countries, just to have them turn on us, protest us and burning our flag. If we get our economy back on track and if we have a solid relationship with that country, then we could choose to help them rebuild. We should never help any country a second time if they turn on us after the first time.
We need to rebuild America before we even think about helping some other country rebuild.
Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I had it correctly in my mind but I didn’t put it in the correct words. I didn’t mean that this was your theory. That said, I have no excuse because that is the way I wrote it. My apology.
What I meant to say was that in theory the United Nations is the police force of the world and that they fail miserably at that mission. We have a long history of the United Nations failing at their job. There a few things the U.N. is OK at doing but off hand I can’t think of any.
I’m not sure we see eye to eye on the notion that if a country (or terrorist organization) is directly threatening America that we should wait for the United Nations to vote yes or no and act independently if the vote is no. In many situations there simply isn’t time.
After 9/11 we didn’t wait for the United Nations to act. We reserved the right to stand in our own national defense and we did just that. We did however, wait for the United Nations over the Iraq thing for months on end and all that time, had Saddam Hussein actually had a running WMD program like most of the world thought he did, he could have wiped out half of the United States in the time we waited for the United Nations to make a decision that to this day they have not made.
The attacks of 9/11 had to be answered and answered in a timely manner. Waiting on the United Nations to make a decision was an episode in practice bleeding (waste of time). On that one we never gave them an opportunity to drag their feet.
Lastly I agree that we need to re-build America before we re-build someone else. Unfortunately that re-building won’t start for at least three more years and depending on the election in 2016 it could be four or even eight years after that.
Thanks for pointing out my mistake!
Now it’s my turn to apologize. I was thinking along the lines of Syria, Iraq, and others, where we had time to sort things out before an action was needed, but you rightly pointed out that I failed to address the more immediate situation, like 9/11. A person should learn to be thorough when he speaks, it squelches confusion.
The fact is, I completely agree that there are times when action needs to be almost instantaneous, anything less would look cowardice or weak.
Must be a bad day for mistakes or a good day for learning.
I usually make mistakes at the rate of one each hour. If I am not making mistakes at that rate it is because I am making them at twice that rate.
It is important to honest debate that when someone makes a mistake that others call him on it. You did that and I appreciate it.
Some mistakes are like the one I made in that the concept was understood correctly in my mind but the keyboard re-arranged the words. Do you like how I am trying to claim “victim” status, I learned it from Obama. Just kidding, it was my fault and mine alone. I hold myself to account for my actions.
Yet others are due to an honest misunderstanding of the facts or due to a misapplication of rational thought. This is the case between myself and Jack. Most people, through rational thought and research can resolve those differences. I think Jack was able to work through some of those using rational thought because now instead of hating GWB I think he just thinks GWB could have acted better, in many cases I would agree. If that is the case then I have succeeded, although he has a ways to go.
There is never any harm in pointing out mistakes. Doing so keeps the debate honest and clean.
Thanks again and I will try to keep that rate down to one mistake per hour with the ultimate goal of less than that!
I sincerely apologize, as it appears I have drastically misstated my position. That’s on me.
I have never hated GWB as a person, or as a president. I believe that he, like all presidents, had the good of America as his #1 priority (as all presidents should). He was qualified for the job, and was capable of executing his duties (just like all presidents).
My primary problem with the presidency of George W. Bush was his reaction to 9/11 and the supposed WMDs in Iraq. I am NOT opposed to doing something about the threat of WMD’s in Iraq (or anywhere that isn’t friendly with us). What I am opposed to, however, is undertaking a full scale invasion of a region at the cost of thousands of American and native people. I believe an invasion to be a last resort measure, but Bush just went ahead and used that as his opening play in the middle east. In my personal opinion, the initial reaction should have been to use special forces to take out key targets and camps instead of throwing a military that was largely unready to fight an against an enemy that
1) knew the terrain far better than they did,
2) thought that they were fighting for their god/way of life (despite the fact that their actions actually go against Islam, but I digress),
3)was highly mobile, and operated using guerrilla tactics\
Possibly the worst part about the decision to attack in that fashion was the fact that Iraq and Afghanistan weren’t the first examples of the US military fighting (and experiencing many casualties from) a war against an enemy with all of the characteristics I have listed above. The Vietnam War was a similar conflict to Iraq and Afghanistan in the fact that the enemy knew the land far better than the US did, were fighting for their way of life (not defending them), and operated using guerrilla tactics. It is safe to say that while the US military learned enough from its experiences in Vietnam to win the war and partially complete their objectives, they did not learn the overall lesson from conflicts such as Vietnam. That lesson is that traditional armies (think tanks, large armies of soldiers, etc) don’t fair well against a highly mobile enemy such as al-qaeda or the viet-cong.
That is my major issue with the Bush administration.
This post is entirely irrelevant to the conversation, but I figured that I had better reconcile the fact that kevlar doesn’t understand my position due to an egregious error on my part. For that, I apologize.
The United Nations has not proposed an action to allow member states to disarm their citizens, if that’s what you’re talking about. (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/aug/12/chain-email/united-nations-document-shared-social-media-says-c/).
The UN has, however, passed a treaty (which has been signed by the majority of its members, including the US) to regulate the global arms trade, with the intention of removing fuel for the conflicts in Africa and the middle east, which are largely caused by illegal trafficking of small arms. The treaty has no enforcement provisions, but it does require disclosure from all member states who have signed the treaty.
I agree that if a nation credibly threatens America, we shouldn’t wait for the UN to take a vote to take action.
Your post is very relevant, don’t sell yourself short. And thanks for providing clarity to something that otherwise has probably been misunderstood at one time or another by both of us.
A couple things are worth mentioning – as a matter of conversation, not as a matter of attack on you because you bring up some important points. I mentioned at one time (several times I think) that the reasons for going to war, either Afghanistan or Iraq, were absolutely valid and I will defend that until the cows come home.
The attack on the World Trade Center for 9/11 and numerous reasons to include, but not limited the very real and untenable threat of WMDs (they did in-fact exist but their factual existence is immaterial). The conduct of the wars, either of them, is certainly open for debate but there are a couple things to know to set the scene for good debate on the conduct of those wars.
With the single exception of Obama using the United States military to offensively bomb Libya in 2011 and his attempt to do the same in Syria (the war that was thankfully headed off by Putin), our country only goes to war to defend our country. Vietnam was no exception because we were trying to contain the spread of communism (there may be other reasons as well but as long as this reason was present, our participation in Vietnam was legitimate and legal).
If our only reason to participate in offensive combat operations, where people are killed, is to defend our country, then body-count is not a valid deterrent to war. Our survival as a free country is at stake (at least according to the leaders who have the authority) and that is that. As a side note, with the single exception of the United States dropping bombs in Libya in 2011, I can’t think of a recent war that did not fit this criterion.
Even Desert Storm, where we were asked by several allies of ours to get involved, had that flair of self defense which is desperately needed to justify our participation. For clarity, that flair of self-defense was the fact that if Iraq annexed Kuwait, Saddam Hussein would be in complete control of a very large percentage of the world’s oil. If you wonder how that is a national security interest of ours, consider what would happen if Saddam Hussein then turned off the spigots? The entire world would suffer except him.
Vietnam, although a justified war (democracy and communism do not mix), was not well executed and there is more than one reason. You mentioned one and that is gorilla-warfare. We didn’t have a great deal of experience here. The other and even bigger problem was our own politicians.
Foreign policy works something like this (Readers Digest version): Two powers, the United States and someone else, have different goals. If those two sets of goals cannot exist on the same planet then some kind of arrangement must be made – the art of negotiation. Our politicians negotiate with their politicians to resolve the differences. Sometimes this is as honest as “I didn’t know this was unacceptable to you and since it is unimportant to me, I will stop.” Often however, the differences are more serious than this because the purpose of a foreign policy is to avoid something this mundane.
Negotiations continue until they can be resolved and if there is no acceptable resolution then and ONLY then (meaning last resort, we agree here) is force used. The military is then given a goal by the political leadership, president and his administration, and this usually directs our military to render their military forces useless so that they will have no other choice than to sue for peace (this suit for peace can be an unconditional surrender or a negotiated peace).
The bottom line is that the military doesn’t go to work until the politicians fail. Even then the military is given their marching orders by those same politicians. The military then devises a strategy to achieve the political goals that were given to them. I went through all this to lay a foundation for the failures of the Vietnam War.
Once the politicians give the military their marching orders the politicians need to, for the most part, stay out of the day-to-day operation of the war. This did not happen in Vietnam. Our politicians did not give clear goals to the military and to make matters worse the politicians could not keep their hands out of the cookie jar. The politicians tried to run the day-to-day operation of the war and this is known as “mission-creep.” Politicians are not trained in warfare and have no idea what it takes to win, however, the generals do know how to win a war. Unfortunately (in this case) the generals are forced to listen to the politicians.
Mission creep means that as you approach your wartime goals the politicians move the goalpost on you and you never get there. War-fighters become frustrated, politicians become frustrated (although it is them who cause this) and the folks back home become frustrated and start taking it out on the military, calling for a cessation to military activities under threat of losing elections. Pretty soon all support for the war, no matter how justified the cause might be goes away and the troops are brought home before the war is won. In Vietnam we won nearly every battle but if we lost the war, and many think we did, this is why. We watched this happen in Vietnam, Iraq, and we are still watching it happen in Afghanistan.
There is one place we did not see this “mission-creep” happening and that is Desert Storm. Desert Storm was run by Powell (army officer during Vietnam and Chairman JCS during Desert Storm), Schwarzkopf (army officer during Vietnam and later Commander, United States Central Command), and Cheney who grew up in politics and served as Secretary of Defense during Operation Desert Storm.
Three highly influential people who understood mission creep (two of them had first-hand experience on the losing side of mission creep) vowed that this would not be allowed to happen this time and they all went out of their way to make sure it didn’t happen. They also had a commander-in-chief who understood mission-creep and decided, after giving the military the goal, to defer to the military as to how best to achieve that goal. This was President George H.W. Bush (41).
If there ever was a downside to this it is that this is the only reason we did not take out Saddam Hussein in Desert Storm. History will be the judge here but that was not a stated goal given by the commander-in-chief to the military and ‘not allowing mission creep’ was so important to the United States and its relationship with the military that these three men were not about to give it even the faintest start.
If you think about you will agree. The country looked down on the military for years after Vietnam (even though the military did not deserve this) but nowadays this country loves the military. That reversal all started in Desert Storm. Given a chance to do it over with the knowledge of hindsight, killing Saddam Hussein would indeed have been a stated goal for Desert Storm (water under the bridge).
The bottom line is that this was probably the very best example of how to fight a war that this country, or the world, has seen in recent times. The war (boots-on-the-ground) lasted 100 hours from start to finish and mostly this was due to the politicians getting the hell out of the way and letting the military do what it does best – win wars. These three guys had bad memories from Vietnam and were not about to repeat them. After that the United States was on a roll.
Then we were attacked several times by terrorists during the Clinton administration and we sat by and did nothing to defend ourselves (short of burning down a tent in the desert with a cruise missile). The world watched as we did nothing and the terrorists took good notes. The decision by the terrorists was that the United States no longer had an interest in defending herself. That all changed with GWB and the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
GWB did have the guts to defend this nation. The problem was that so much time had gone by since Desert Storm, we kinda forgot the best way to conduct a war, and this is where your valid concern comes in.
After 9/11 we rose to the occasion with all our might. Don Rumsfeld wanted to fight the war using smaller and more mobile forces such as the special operators you suggest. This was the theme for the initial part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The size of our forces was slightly larger than just special operators but still relatively small. This force was fairly effective too. Our forces moved very fast and it wasn’t long before the Taliban went into hiding and were no longer in power. Of course this wasn’t the end of the war, but it was significant.
Afghanistan somewhat cooled down and since this was a war against terrorism and NOT specifically the Taliban, or just al Qaeda itself, Iraq with Saddam’s threat of WMD’s and a hundred other reasons, was the next logical choice. By this time the administration was starting to get political flack from the other side (as will eventually happen in any protracted war) and that flack was coming down hard on Rumsfeld for his “small-force” strategy. Not necessarily because of his small force thinking but one excuse was as valid as any other to put down your political opposition when preparing for upcoming elections and that is exactly what the Democrats did, eventually forcing Bush to accept the resignation of Don Rumsfeld.
This however was used again in Iraq (smaller and more mobile forces) to great success. The notion of “small” was kinda going away but “fast” was still “fast.” You might remember that we drove Saddam Hussein from power (and into hiding) very quickly. This happened so fast that the politicians, and the military, were kinda left without an executable plan for rapid victory. We won the war but didn’t have a plan in place yet for the unexpectedly rapid arrival of peace. You might remember that the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad fell rather quickly and the celebrations were everywhere. The Iraqis loved the United States. But what happened next? Do you remember? Since we were not at that time prepared for such rapid victory, that victory kinda went away.
Our war plan did not account well for such rapid success and we, the military and the politicians, just kinda stood there in amazement, looking at each other as if to say “what now” (we have had more memorable moments in military history if you ask me). That gave the al-Qaeda terrorists time to get a foot hold and the rest is history.
To be fair, there are a couple other things that have really tied the hands of the military, both in Afghanistan and Iraq. That is the rules of engagement (ROE). ROE exist for a reason (some humanitarian but most of them are politically driven) but can very easily get in the way, get Americans and innocent civilians killed and generally prolong wars. All of these ROE come from our political leaders and remember, some of them are good because they are based on the international laws of armed conflict (most though are not).
What should we take home from all this? Several things. We go to war to defend our freedom and nothing else is legitimate (Libya 2011 is an example of an illegal war). Keeping politicians out of the operational and tactical level of war is a very good thing. Having a plan for an unexpected quick victory is a good thing.
When contemplating war it means you have already determined that your freedom is being threatened (or you wouldn’t be at this point) and if your freedom is being threatened you answer the call without regard to potential body count. What level of body-count (us or them) in a war to defend our freedom, is acceptable and what level is not acceptable? That question cannot be answered and we should not try to answer it. Hindsight though is always 20-20 but only the politically motivated will try to do that math backwards to re-write history.
Jack, you bring up excellent points but I think these concerns you have are answered in the conduct of the war, not in the rationale for going to war in the first place. I will be the first to admit that both of these wars could have been conducted better, although the first casualty of war is always the plan, this is true in EVERY war.
You get this stuff Jack, all you need to do is sit back and think rationally about it. Perhaps you don’t need someone like me telling you that you don’t understand it. In my defense, until your last post I didn’t think you did understand it. But then had it not been for our debates on both threads (single topic), you might not have given yourself that chance to mull it over.
If I have been a help then I say good. If I have been a hindrance then I apologize! You do understand this stuff, all you need to do is put your rational thoughts into words and forget the indefensible talking points of others.
You have some good points about the Vietnam War, and mission creep. I only compared the two wars because of the fact that they had similar enemies. I agree with you about the US needing a better strategy for preserving what was a military and public relations victory.
If we are to go under the assumption that this will not lead to any “infringement” on American citizens’ rights, then I will say that all is well. However, given MY level of distrust with our current administration, I am guarded when it comes to anything they say or do.
I am interested to see how certain things will be handled, for instance when a country that isn’t a member of the U.N. sells guns to one side or the other during a conflict, what would the U.N.’s response be? Sell the other side guns? Put trade embargo’s on the offending country?
What do you guys think?
I wouldn’t be too hasty about dismissing my first suggestion, I can think of one scenario, just off the top of my head, that might make it feasible. If there was enough animosity by the U.N. against the country that is at war and the country selling them guns, I could see something like that happening.
I don’t trust politicians. I don’t care what country they’re from. A politician is like a walking catfish. I trust it will stay in the pond I put him in, but I’ll put a fence around the bank just to make sure.
I would never, ever make a statement that starts out with, “I know he’s a politician but he wouldn’t………………..” Not in this lifetime. I’ve seen too much.
Absolutely not! We have no right to tell others how to act. Our increasing paranoia of terrorism is getting old. You are 10 times more likely to be killed by a police officer in the US than a terrorist. END ALL WAR. Stay out of other countries business. Protect sovereignty.
Julia I completely agree that we have no right to tell others how to act.
Until we can get our country straightened out we should focus on our own defense and that of loyal countries like England. If we fail to defend countries who are loyal to us then we should not expect them to defend us if we need it.
A lot of this discussion was about speculative scenarios and the U.N.’s role in these situations. Why the U.N. was formed and what they actually do or don’t do.
On a side note, you said, “You are 10 times more likely to be killed by a police officer in the US than a terrorist.” Wow……I mean……WOW. You must live in one horrible place. Get out while you still can.
You are 100% right that we have no right to tell others how to act; yet before I close out this sentence I believe you should know that you are 100% wrong as well. I say that with all due respect, so please allow me to explain.
James, I don’t think this explanation will be in conflict with what you said because you correctly stated that we should focus on our own defense. I respect the sovereignty of others and the notion that we cannot tell them what to do, but on the other hand, sometimes our very defense trumps their sovereignty. Read-on to understand what I mean.
Julia, if the question is something like telling Lithuania that their sidewalks must be 36 inches wide instead of 24 inches wide, then I completely agree with you that we have no right to tell them how to act.
However, if the question is something like Iran developing nuclear weapons, we absolutely have the right to impose our will on them and of course we first must start by asking them to stop. We can’t just go to war at the drop of a hat although sometimes expediency is warranted. The WTC attacks on 9/11 is an example of warranted expediency.
This is no longer telling someone how to run their country by describing the acceptable dimensions of their sidewalks. This is now about the national security of the United States. Keep in mind that the government of the United States is in business to guarantee freedom and security to the people of the United States. The impact of a nuclear tipped warhead mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile launched from Iran that airbursts in the sky above St. Louis will deny that guaranteed freedom to millions of Americans, and to some extent to ALL Americans.
There once was a time when we could sit on our front porches with our muskets at the ready while sipping tea and waiting for the Red-coats to arrive in the harbor, then wait some more while they disembarked and assembled. We even had the luxury to wait even longer (while sipping our tea) until they got in range of our primitive muskets and then fight and defend our country.
That luxury of waiting to act until we could smell the burning powder is nothing more than a trivial part of history. With modern warfare capabilities of any aggressor, waiting for the enemy to make a move can determine your fate before the first shot is fired. In other words, acting preemptively is often the best and only method of survival today.
This doesn’t mean that we must always go to arms preemptively like we did in Iraq. That had its own set of circumstances but even those circumstances are all not that different from the issues with Iran. That preemptive war (if you look at it as the “war on terrorism” it was not preemptive but reactive) was valid and on a case by case analysis pre-emptive war is still often the best answer.
However, let’s look at Iran a bit closer. Is pre-emptive war justified in Iran? Possibly not yet but someday it very well (and soon) could be because the risk of getting that wrong is having millions of dead Americans in our streets. This would be orders of magnitude worse than the WTC attacks of 9/11.
Iran is a sovereign nation, just as the United States is sovereign. We cannot demand that their sidewalks be a certain width but we can and absolutely should demand that they stop their efforts toward making nuclear weapons because Iran having nuclear weapons is a very serious threat to the national security of the United States. In addition to that, once that bell is rung you cannot “un-ring” the bell, meaning that once a nuclear power, always a nuclear power. Another downside is that the rest of the region will follow suit just to defend themselves.
It is one thing that nuclear weapons exist in the hands of nations who value human life. This is the case with the United States and Russia. The chance that we will start a nuclear war with each other is almost non-existent. As proof I offer the cold-war and the fact that neither side started a nuclear war (close, but no cigar).
Consider nuclear weapons in the hands of a thug dictator who is manipulated by religious zealots who want to destroy everyone who does not share their religious beliefs and you have the perfect recipe for disaster. Add to that the notion that they do not value their own lives and are very willing to die for their cause. All of a sudden responsible nations are compelled to be proactive in their defense.
Some may take the position promoted by Iran that they are developing nukes for medicinal (and other peaceful) purposes. That is a judgment call but history (both past history and current geopolitical events) tells us to be very wary of that and that the risk is unbearable.
Personally I do not accept and do not trust someone who is involved in nuclear research and development while at the same time is sworn to destroy the United States. This seems painfully obvious to me but again you can decide for yourself. The evidence is there in front of you that they do intend to wipe us out (seriously).
Back to your question (or perhaps misguided statement) which is: “We have no right to tell others how to act.” I would say in this case that not only do we have the right to tell others how to act but we have the obligation to tell others how to act. Iran is a sovereign nation and as such they have the right, as only they can decide, to either comply with our request, or tell the United States to go to hell. This is the true essence of sovereignty – you can do whatever you want.
If Iran complies with our request then life goes on. If Iran tells us to go to hell and continues developing nukes, we have to decide our next course of action. Do we wait until they get a nuclear weapon? That weapon can be delivered via missile, bomb, or via boat and then delivered by a Ryder moving van by any one of their terrorist lackeys such as Hezbollah, Hamas, al Qaeda, or anyone they choose; all of whom want to see the “great-satan” destroyed.
Once we have decided that the risk to our nation is too great and we have exhausted all reasonable diplomatic efforts, we must act. Keep in mind that there is not the option to keep talking forever and hoping that talking will forever stall the process.
The Iranians have proven themselves very good at talking while simultaneously continuing their development of nuclear weapons. The entire world is very aware of this and nobody is more aware and gravely concerned for this Iranian deceit than the country of Israel.
Unfortunately there is one organization that is completely unaware of this danger and that is the Obama administration, the same group that is responsible for our security. We witnessed how the Obama administration failed to lift a finger when the sovereignty of the United States was attacked by terrorists in Benghazi in 2012. You might remember that the terrorists won and the sovereignty of the United States suffered humiliating defeat. Are you willing to bet your life that Obama might decide to do his job next time?
It is in the best interest of the United States (and the world) that Iran not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. Ironically the Obama administration does know this much but they are convinced that they have a good handle on it (remember these are the same people who cannot build a simple website).
As free Americans with a constitution that guarantees that freedom and requires every government employee, starting with the president himself, to swear an unconditional oath to support and defend the constitution (the guarantee to protect your freedom), we should be able to rely 100% on the Obama administration to guarantee that Iran will not get nukes. How is that going so far? Didn’t we just relax the sanctions that were starting to work? Yes, we did.
The Obama administration, more correctly the government of the United States, is duty-bound to guarantee our freedom. Our freedom cannot exist in a world where a nuclear capable country (Iran’s goal) is sworn above all else to destroy us. Curious, how does that make you feel?
It is my belief that the country of Israel will rise to our defense when our government fails us, yet again. They will not do so because they want to defend the United States. If Israel takes out the threat they will do so in their own national security best interest (their own survival). Coincidently, this will be to our benefit as well.
In closing, do we (the United States) have the right to tell others what to do? Absolutely we do. Why? Because even though all nations are sovereign and that should be respected, our national survival, specifically the survival and freedom of the American people, out-ranks the sovereignty of ALL others.
This is the nature of warfare, you don’t go to war because the other country didn’t build their sidewalks to your standards, but you do go to war to stop them from killing your people and in the case of modern weapons such as nukes, you cannot wait for them to take the first shot because you will have already lost. When dealing with weapons of mass destruction, pre-emptive action is the ONLY solution. That preemptive action can be either “telling” them what to do, or as an act of war and of self defense, forcing them to do what we want them to do.
The bottom line is that yes, sometimes we do have the right to tell others what to do. That right can turn into an obligation to tell them what to do and in a way that many people will never understand, this can sometimes avoid war because it starts out as a discussion which only results in war if either party refuses to talk and resolve differences.
If you took Julia’s statement literally that we have no right to tell anyone what to do, then the first indication that a country did something that another country didn’t like would be all-out-war. I don’t know about anyone else but that is probably not a good first-indication. Ask – negotiate – tell – and then if it is still supremely important – demand. If none of that works the only solution just might be war. Avoiding all this discussion and jumping straight to war is not good. I hope that is not the message Julia wanted to convey.
Kevlar, good post. I saw nothing conflicting with what I said, I assumed that Julia knew that anytime a country has WMD that it automatically becomes our business. Possibly that was a bad assumption. WMD’s are a threat to us, no matter who has them.
The U.N. Was created with the best of intentions but like many things so created did not consider the defects inherent in human nature.
The members are not all high minded like President Wilson.
Most view the U.n. As a venue to advance their personal or national interests. To quote Obama,PERIOD!
Our president does not swear an oath to protect the U.N.
He is sworn to protect the USA.PERIOD !
The writers on Volkalize like Riggs,Kevlar, Jack etc are really great and have excellent points and accurate facts but it’s simpler than that I think.
The US has to be the policeman because no one else can or will do it and unless someone does our way of life can’t continue.
With allies if possible ,without if necessary.
How we do it is a topic that would take a lot more time and energy than this discussion and greater expertise than I possess but guys,we’re it until someone else who
Can comes along!
Well said, Gary.
It is in our best interest to have the world policed and you are correct that it is not our job. That said, if it must be done and nobody is willing and capable of doing it, then who is left? I will let the reader do the math on that.
Iran cannot be allowed to get nukes. To use that famous Obama word – “PERIOD.”
If Iran gets nukes they can hold everyone hostage who is NOT willing to use nukes against them, and that is pretty much the entire world, including the United States.
If Iran gets nukes then everyone in the Middle East will start a nuclear arms program just so they can hold Iran at bay and not be overtaken by what would then be the superior nuclear power of Iran. There will be a nuclear arms race like we haven’t seen in years – possibly ever.
If Iran, which is predominately Shia Islam, gets nukes then Saudi Arabia which is predominately Sunni Islam will be forced to get nukes just to keep the balance of power in check.
If Iran gets nukes and the rest of the Islamic countries don’t, the centuries long battle between the Shia and the Sunni’s will be settled once and for all. Unfortunately though it won’t matter which side the reader takes in this battle because it will in all likelihood be a global nuclear war, one in which there are no winners – only losers and dead losers at that.
If clarity is needed on that previous point, nobody wins in a nuclear war and in the case of global nuclear war, even the party starting the war will lose because the name of the game will be “don’t be the last country to launch.”
There are only two countries in the world with the capability (which includes leadership of coalitions) to prevent Iran from getting nukes. Those two countries are the United States and Russia. Russia has no interest in helping the United States achieve its goals so you can count them out.
The ONLY country who can prevent this from happening is the United States. Sure Israel will help and by themselves can delay the Iranian nuclear program. But even Israel, by themselves cannot prevent the Iranians from getting nukes.
Again the ONLY country that can prevent this is the United States and the ONLY way short of all out war with Iran (which will include war with Russia) is to police the world.
If that is the cost to defend my freedom I am more than willing to pay it because my freedom (and your freedom too) cannot exist in a global nuclear war.
This should be painfully obvious but unfortunately too many Americans take their freedom for granted. Their freedom was there yesterday, it is there today, it should be there tomorrow. If we do not get out of that line of thinking we will lose that freedom.
Great post Gary. I hope everyone reads it carefully and puts some serious thought into it!
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