Foreign Policy

The Wickedness of Our Foreign Policy

Individual persons who did no harm to anyone are being slaughtered and starved with the help of American politicians and military bureaucrats.

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Bernie Goldbach/Flickr

If you want to see how inhumane people can be, just watch those who make and execute foreign policy. We could spend all day discussing the cruelties that politicians and bureaucrats commit against people who live inside the United States. Think how many are caged like wild animals because they manufacture, sell, or consume disapproved substances; gamble where government has forbade it; traded sexual services for money; possessed a gun they weren't "supposed" to possess; etc. ad infinitum. Naturally, America leads the world in locking up people. But at least the policy of mass imprisonment gets increasing attention. Subject to far less scrutiny is how America's (mis)leaders, (mis)representatives, and public (self-)servants treat foreigners, especially those with dark skin and a still-unfamiliar religion.

When we talk about foreign policy, how easy it is to get wrapped up in abstractions like empireinterventionnonintervention, and kinetic military action. These are important concepts to understand, of course, but foreign-policy conversations often become sterile examinations of "policy," when what we need is a full awareness of the harm to individual human beings, and the destruction of their families, homes, communities, and societies. These persons are the victims of our rulers' geopolitical stratagems, which seemly outrank all other considerations. Yet each victim has a story embodying unique relationships and aspirations, a story that is permanently changed by an American cluster bomb, drone-launched missile, or special-ops mission.

The best that can be said of the perpetrators of this carnage and social devastation is that they are guilty of gross negligence. Many of their acts, however, cross into the territory of premeditated murder and the infliction of mayhem with malice aforethought.

One need not look hard for the most egregious examples taking place right at this moment. In Yemen the Obama administration gives indispensable material support to Saudi Arabia's barbaric war —war ought not to require a qualifier like barbaric, but it seems necessary these days—on the poorest population in the region. The U.S.-facilitated starvation blockade and cluster-bombing take an untold number of Yemeni lives while devastating the social order. Policymakers (a euphemism for the architects of devastation) can rationalize this cruelty in geopolitical terms—the Houthis, who incidentally are fighting al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadis, are (falsely) said to be instruments of Iran—but the fact remains that individual persons who did no harm to anyone are being slaughtered and starved with the help of American politicians and military bureaucrats.

Or how about Syria? U.S. conduct carries out a seemingly incoherent policy of simultaneously targeting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and one of his chief adversaries, the Islamic State, while helping another Islamist group, al-Nusra Front, that has pledged allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's successor as head of al-Qaeda, perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. Estimates of the death total in Syria's civil war reach as high as 340,000, a number that represents the toll at the hands of both government and rebel forces. (The total is sometimes invidiously attributed to Assad's military alone.) The injured and refugees are probably uncountable.

What must be understood is that most of these deaths, injuries, and dispossessions would probably not have occurred had the Obama administration—most especially Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—not early on intensified the civil war by declaring Assad's regime "illegitimate," demanding that he "go" (i.e., die), and overseeing the transfer weapons and jihadi fighters from Benghazi, Libya. While doing all this, the Obama administration was thwarting promising efforts toward a negotiated settlement, which might have stopped or at least reduced the killing of innocent persons. For details see these three articles by the excellent investigate journalist Jonathan Marshall.

And then there's Libya itself, which Clinton boasts is an example of "smart power at its best." In 2011 she had egg on her face because she was on the wrong side of the Arab Spring, having defended Egypt's military dictator, Hosni Mubarak, as a family friend and trusted world leader to the bitter end while throngs of aggrieved Egyptians were in the streets demanding his exit. Needing to clean up her image (perhaps in preparation for her quest for the presidency), she along with administration national-security VIPs Samantha Power and Susan Rice persuaded a reluctant Obama that the residents of Benghazi had to be saved from Col. Muammar Gaddafi's alleged genocidal designs. The only problem was that Gaddafi had no genocidal designs. (Also see this and this.) And in a classic exhibition of mission-creep, the U.S.-led NATO air campaign went from protecting Benghazi to changing the regime in Tripoli, prompting Clinton to gloat, "We came. We saw. He died." (Gaddafi was killed extrajudicially, reportedly in a most gruesome manner.)

Since the U.S. intervention, Libya has been wracked by sectarian civil war—even the Islamic State now holds territory there—prompting many Libyans to flee to Europe, which now has to contend with a growing refugee crisis. As noted, the Libyan power vacuum, featuring the unlocking of Gaddafi's arsenal of heavy weapons, helped to boost the Islamist rebel militias in Syria, to the delight of U.S. allies Turkey (which fears the Kurds) and Saudi Arabia (which fears Iran and the Shi'ites). After the nightmare in Iraq, one has to wonder what Clinton was thinking. The closest thing we have to an answer is from then-Secretary of War Robert Gates, an opponent of the intervention, who said, "we were playing it by ear." (And let's not forget: destabilization itself can be an objective.)

Of course we could point to Iraq, George W. Bush's invasion of which in 2003 set most of the aforementioned mayhem in motion, and Afghanistan, but the story is largely the same: innocent lives are sacrificed to the politicians' grand agenda. Little people living small lives can't be allowed to stand in the way.

The piece originally appeared at Richman's "Free Association" blog. 

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  1. You know, Obama may be right…He may be smarter than all his advisors. *slams back another bourbon*

    1. Well, he picked ’em, didn’t he?

    2. He’s definitely smarter than all the stupid people who voted for his total lack of experience on the basis of a personality cult.

  2. ‘she along with administration national-security VIPs Samantha Power and Susan Rice persuaded a reluctant Obama that the residents of Benghazi had to be saved from Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s alleged genocidal designs.’

    What am I supposed to take from this? That Obama is not to blame per se for the decision? And if he was ‘reluctant’ why did he go along with it? If he was such a strong leader why listen to Hillary and Rice if his gut told him otherwise? Now he has to pay for this in the halls of public opinion.

    “Of course we could point to Iraq, George W. Bush’s invasion of which in 2003 set most of the aforementioned mayhem in motion,”

    Jews, you get a free pass this week. In any event, he may have set the mayhem in motion but who said the current dopes had to continue it? Sounds as though Libya and Syria is more sinister than the Iraq event.

    1. As I recall, when the light bringer stepped into office both Iraq and Afghanistan were in pretty decent shape. After two and half terms of 3d chess both are horror shows of murder, rape and torture, add in Syria, Lybia, Yemen….three cheers for the Arab Spring.

      My question is ‘Who’s next?’.

      This comment is in no way intended to relieve HRC, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, or Vallerie Jarett of their responsibility in Obumbles disastrous foreign policy implementations.

      1. But Richman seems to be implying Hillary and Rice twisted his arm in Libya.

        1. Well see, Sidney twisted Hilliary’s arm to destablize Lybia so his private security firm could make bank there so she had to twist Obama’s arm to make it happen. And it did. She came, she saw, and Gaddafhi was butt raped to death with a forgien object.

          At least Bush made the Iraqis have a sham trial before they hung Saddam.

          It just twisting all the way down.

          1. It should have taken more than a sham trial to convict Saddam? Saddam’s trial makes the Jeffrey Dahmer trial look like OJ’s.

  3. Can anyone shed light on Consortiumnews – the three articles linked to by Richman?

    1. I can tell you ‘it’s the jooze fault!’

      “Israel’s Endless Cycles of Violence
      October 30, 2015
      Israel’s near-half-century-old occupation of Palestinian territory has fueled such animosity that Israelis fear that ending it could unleash even worse violence,”
      (link won’t compress, you’ll have to search)

      1. The comments section lends some insights.

        Some Jew bashing in there.

        “Abe
        July 21, 2015 at 12:13 am

        All that death and destruction in Syria, coming soon to Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and yes, Saudi Arabia, will continue to yield limitless subsidies to keep Israel “secure”.

        Israel has worked tirelessly to ensure that it never is surrounded by a stable and prosperous Middle East.”

        ” Mark
        August 1, 2015 at 1:19 pm

        Moohammad, or is Mossadman?

        The trouble in Syria is due entirely to Israel’s pre-planned wars in the Mid-East being carried out by their American double agents and puppets.

        Whether you realize it or not your comment amounts to propaganda that Israel has been spewing to promote their continuous illegal wars?”

        1. I hate to break the bad news, but the Middle East was exactly the way it is today long before the Brits put fences and refugees in Jerusalem. Newspapers from a century ago carry the same stories as the news today, only without US weapons everywhere. I would lay odds nobody here can sort a smattering of newspaper clippings for the region by date within a quarter-century. As more and more news archives come online it is more apparent the region is in a sort of timeproof, reason-proof stasis field. Ride a bike, build a reactor, find oil in Canada or Alaska… all of these things sound preferable to any entanglement with medieval fanatics interested only in torture and death. GOP and Dem meddling in Latina America also makes things worse. With a few libertarians in Congress we could probably get on good terms with Venezuela and buy oil there.

          1. “As more and more news archives come online it is more apparent the region is in a sort of timeproof, reason-proof stasis field.”

            So it’s the region’s fault? What a load of romantic claptrap!

            1. That’s quite a reach there mtrueman.

              Most people of average, or even below, intelligence would comprehend that he is referring to the people and governments “of the region”.

              But not you ?

              Curious indeed.

              1. OO, mtrueman is a pathological liar; you are wasting your time engaging that piece of shit. He posts here to see his name on a site that isn’t as pathetic as his blog:

                mtrueman|5.4.15 @ 12:59AM|#
                “[?] What you haven’t fathomed is that I’m so morally depraved that my deserved rep here doesn’t bother me or interest me in the least. I post for myself; your feelings about me are of no concern.”

                1. “OO”

                  Since when did you start defending fascistic sentiment here?

              2. A belief that the people of a region are trapped in the distant past, not subject to history, is certainly also romantic claptrap. It’s a variant on the myth of the Noble Savage. You also believe that the people of the middle east are somehow time-proof and reason-proof? You may want to meditate on that a while… It’s blood and soil fascism, not a libertarian notion.

                1. You’ll never get anywhere trying to reason or work with libertarians if you go around calling them fascists just for being hesitant about reforming the Middle East.

                  Talk about ideas. Talk about the value of opposing viewpoints. But simple name calling will get you nowhere.

                  1. “You’ll never get anywhere trying to reason or work with libertarians ”

                    I don’t see much in Hank Philips here that suggests he’s Libertarian. Since when did posting a load of romantic claptrap about Arabs make one a libertarian?

                    The notion that the people of the middle east are trapped in their past and unable to overcome it is a fascistic notion. If the name fits, it’s not name-calling. There’s nothing Libertarian about this. Libertarianism emphasizes individual choice and the possibility to change. Hank Philips is enthralled to these romantic ideas of the middle east, doubtless thanks to the media which repeats them ad nauseum.

                    1. You’re being quite liberal with your definition of fascist, stretching it to the point of absurdity. One isn’t a fascist simply for being hesitant about reforming the Middle East, given its track record.

                      You should try to be more generous when someone is speaking figuratively. Otherwise, you’ll never find potential allies here with that attitude.

                    2. “You’re being quite liberal with your definition of fascist,”

                      Are you confusing me with someone else? I haven’t provided any definition of fascist.

                      “One isn’t a fascist simply for being hesitant about reforming the Middle East, given its track record.”

                      For the third time now, the notion that the people of the middle east are somehow trapped in a distant past and are incapable of overcoming it is romantic claptrap. I haven’t made any comment on the project of reforming the middle east.

                    3. Do yo have any ideas about reforming the Middle East? Perhaps, an idea, one that is both humane and inspiring?

                      Or does your contribution end when you feel justified in name calling someone a fascist, just because they have doubts about reforming the Middle East, given its history?

                      You don’t think you could possibly be a little more open to the benefit of the doubt, before making accusations of fascism?

                      That’s not a good way to open peoples’ minds to your own perspective. Your strategy is working against you.

                    4. “Do yo have any ideas about reforming the Middle East?”

                      Nothing comes to mind.

                      “Or does your contribution end when you feel justified in name calling someone a fascist,”

                      I’ve never called anyone here a fascist. So your question is a little strange.

                      ” just because they have doubts about reforming the Middle East, given its history?”

                      For the fourth time now, maybe this time I’ll get lucky, it’s not just because they have doubts about reforming the middle east. Rather it’s just because they claimed that the people of the middle east are trapped in a past they are unable to overcome.

                      Let’s go for a fifth time: it’s not just because they have doubts about reforming the middle east. Rather it’s just because they claimed that the people of the middle east are trapped in a past they are unable to overcome.

                      ” before making accusations of fascism?”

                      What accusations of fascism?

                      “That’s not a good way to open peoples’ minds to your own perspective.”

                      How would you know? Given the chance, people might surprise you.

                    5. If you figuratively say that some people seem trapped by he past, then you’re a fascist?

                      If so, then no one can really understand you. If people do understand you, then I truly would be suprised, because yours seems like an insulting and self-sabotaging way of tying to engage people.

                      I’m just trying to open your mind to being more generous of the people you think you disagree with. Try generosity, open-mindedness, and give people the benefit of the doubt. They might turn around and surprise you.

                      Because as far as I can see, you haven been suprised by new found allies or by opening people up to your perspective, just by calling them fascists.

                      jist consider a different strategy, that’s all. It’s a sign of wisdom to be able to think and apply different strategies.

                    6. “If you figuratively say that some people seem trapped by he past, then you’re a fascist?”

                      No, and that was not my claim but that of Hank Philips. He claimed “the region is in a sort of timeproof, reason-proof stasis field.” I was disputing this claim and pointing out its illiberality. My open-mindedness or lack of it is irrelevant. Hank Philips’ claim is romantic claptrap, and no amount of sweetness and understanding on my part is going to change that.

                      “jist consider a different strategy”

                      Why? I seemed to have convinced Hank Philips, who hasn’t typed a word in his own defence.

                    7. Silence only equals agreement if you enjoy wishful thinking.

                      Somehow, I doubt Hank considers himself a fascist because of your comments. But, if you find thinking so enjoyable based solely on his silence, then, be my guest.

                      While your at it, you could imagine that everyone in the world with Internet access is reading this and silently agreeing with you. Otherwise, they would pipe in and voice their disagreement. I suppose you could get a certain enjoyment from that fantasy, too.

                      As for me, I don’t equate being ignored with being agreed with. But, that’s just me.

                      Do you have room in your mind to imagine that he’s possibly ignoring you, due to your rude name calling?

                      I’m just trying to suggest ways for you to be more successful than your current style. Some people are just one trick ponies, though. I hope you start surprising me.

                    8. “Do you have room in your mind to imagine that he’s possibly ignoring you, due to your rude name calling?”

                      I have this room you speak of, yet all things considered, I believe that Hank Philips in all likelihood, agrees with me, assuming he’s read my response to him. On reflection, he’s certain to have realized what arrant nonsense he was parroting in his original post here, and understood its essential illiberality. I don’t ask for or expect his gratitude. His tacit agreement is all the ‘success’ I could wish for.

                    9. Let’s see:

                      OneOut and Sevo obviously don’t agree with you, and you simply assume that Hank would agree with you, if he went so far as to read your fascist name calling. That’s 3-0, and only 2-1 under very generous assumptions about Hank’s willingness to agree that he’s a fascist just for not having high hopes about reforming the Middle East (a bizarre concept of fasicm completely beyond its real definition), and something you yourself have nothing to offer in terms of constructive conversation.

                      I’m suggesting that, perhaps if your rhetoric could rise above baseless name calling, you could have more of a meeting of the minds with the people here.

                      It’s a moment to share actual thoughts and ideas, but you’re just wasting it on divisive name calling, with nothing further to offer. That’s no way to find like minded allies or to influence people in a positive way.

                      But, if you’re going to take the silence of one person as implicit success, then, really, what hope do you have of actual success?

                      Sad. I am not suprised. Pity, really.

                    10. “Sad. I am not suprised. ”

                      Sorry to spoil your day.

                      “a bizarre concept of fasicm completely beyond its real definition”

                      That’s the first time you mention a bizarre concept of fascism. Why don’t you expand on that? Honestly I’m not interested in anything else you wrote there. Tiresome drivel. But do go on about fascism. When you’ve overcome your sadness, of course.

                    11. It’s probably beyond my ability to explain fascism to you, if you think a satisfactory condition is having low hopes for reforming the Middle East. If it makes you feel better, I’ll take responsibility for that.

                      I’m just suggesting that you could have a more open mind, give people the benefit of the doubt, and try to actually have a dialogue, before accusing people of fascism, however you choose to define it. As it stands, it could be that you just disagree with Hank about the definition. He may not feel particularly fascist just for making figurative statements about reform in the Middle East.

                      Really, the sharing of ideas should be (hopefully) insightful and inspiring. Immediately devolving it into silly name calling does no one a service, even you, since it works against you. You can fetch more flies with honey then with vinegar, as they say. But, it seems that you’re too close minded to hear that.

                      Here, I’ll do you a favor, since you’re not interested in the main point: I’ll stop responding. Then, you can just assume that I tacitly agree with you and declare success, even though I don’t agree, and your effort here has largely been a failure. That should be good enough for you, which is sad, and not surprising. But, I promise I’ll get over it soon.

                    12. *stands and applauds*

                    13. “It’s probably beyond my ability to explain fascism to you”

                      Tiresome blather is well within your abilities, though. I was actually interested in learning why you find my comments on fascism bizarre. Care to expand on that?

                    14. mtrueman,

                      As I have written before, culture matters. The Middle East, for a variety of reasons, most of which relate to the self described “Religion of Peace”, has been culturally frozen in the 7th century.

                      The area has been a cesspool of war, atrocities, and widespread poverty for hundreds of years. It has briefly reduced internal fighting during periods where it fought wars for expansion.

                      The discovery of oil, creation of nation-states, and anointment of leaders by the British (in order to have someone to deal with) usurped the previous state of tribes and warlords throughout the region.

                      A portion of the problem, is that Islam (certainly as largely practiced in the middle east) is wildly different from most other major religions in that Mohammad was not just a religious leader, but rather leader of civil government and general of the military. The expectations we in the west have, of a government separate from, and indeed independent from, religious authorities is considered blasphemy throughout the Middle East.

                      Before you announce to me that Christianity once, via the Roman Catholic Church, was much the same, I grant that point, and note that it progressively changed over time to our modern expectations and standards. The Middle East is, by this standard, still in the 7th century.

                    15. We continue to make the attempt to impose our standards on the Middle East. G.W. Bush was insistent that we were going to establish a western style democracy in Iraq that would be so successful it would spread through the Middle East and the egomaniacs in the State Department actually seemed to believe that the “Arab Spring” was just that. So, we helped destabilize the existing warlords (incuding Kaddafi) only to discover that we only unleashed the smaller warlords and Islamic Cleric inspired groups such as ISIS.

                      So, is the Middle East trapped FOREVER? Not necessarily, but they are trapped now and for decades to come. The progression from the 7th century hell they live in to a more individually liberty oriented society will have to evolve slowly, and at least appear to be driven internally.

                      Our attempts to force them to a rapid societal/cultural change has not been, and probably will not be, successful as it makes them cling violently to what is “theirs” over what is “ours”. In a certain sense, we need to “build a wall around the playpen” and what for their culture and society to progress, however long that takes.

                    16. ^^This. Thank you.

                      I’ve been advocating this very solution – “building a wall around the playpen” – for almost a decade now. Not an actual physical wall mind you, but an economic and cultural wall. Isolate them. Don’t let them export Islam beyond the ME, and keep immigration to minimum…regardless of circumstances. Don’t purchase anything from them with money, and certainly don’t trade military hardware or expertise. If we need to trade with them use food or grain instead. Don’t intervene unless it’s to keep them in “the playpen”. They need to solve their own problems. “Help” from the west will only prolong the bloodshed and keep them mired in the 7th century.

                      If, by some remote chance, they kill each other off completely we could consider them a failed branch on the family tree.

                    17. “has been culturally frozen in the 7th century.”

                      Admit it. You are simply parroting someone you heard on TV.

                      “of a government separate from, and indeed independent from”

                      More idiotic TV parroting. The head of the state in the UK has sworn to “protect the faith” of which she is the leader. Church and state are united.

            2. It’s islam’s fault. Islam is inherently violent and bloodthirsty. Muslims have a very hard time living in peace with non-Muslim neighbors. They even have a very hard time living in peace with other Muslims.

              1. ” Islam is inherently violent and bloodthirsty.”

                Another one trying to pass off TV blather as wisdom.

          2. I believe the US already buys oil from Venezuela if that is who you are referring to as WE.

            Yet what would buying oil from Venezuela do for a country that can already, and for the far future, provide it’s own domestic oil needs ?

            Many of our allies can’t provide for their own oil consumtion but they should be forced to provide for themselves. If that requires them to allocate more $ to their own defense budget then so be it. The US taxpayer simply can no longer afford to keep the worlds shipping lanes free. Our government grows at a minimum 7% per year due to base line budgeting. Baseline budgeting set at 7% assures that our governments budget doubles every 10 years and we are no longer productive enough to pay for our own and the rest of the West’s defense needs.

            1. “The US taxpayer simply can no longer afford to keep the worlds shipping lanes free”

              That sounds like a great opportunity to shift the burden from the tax-payer, to those who profit from the transport of oil, subsidized for decades now by the tax-funded US Navy. Instead of calling for a market solution, as is usual here, you want allies to follow suit, taxing the heck out their subjects to subsidize the oil transport.

              1. OneOut is simply suggesting that they work it out for themselves. He suggests they could pay for their own defense, but they should decide how much defense they want and pay for it themselves anyway.

                He then points out the burden that the US carries to insure defense, and yes oil supplies for others.

                mtruman, have you considered refuting the points others actually make, rather than strawman versions you create yourself?

                1. “mtruman, have you considered refuting the points others actually make, rather than strawman versions you create yourself?”

                  I’m only pointing out that I don’t see any market-based solution here, as one would expect on a board like this.

              2. We should be doing this with most foreign countries as well. They should be paying tribute for our efforts abroad. Which would be a huge improvement over what we have now.

  4. Is anyone else absolutely sick of reading how much Obama doesn’t want to be at war, or involved in the Middle East? If he really thinks that, then he has no courage for his convictions. If he doesn’t think that, as the evidence of his continued involvement suggests, stop giving him cover by blaming minions.

    1. I fail to see it as any sort of defense, and I’d go a step further and say that it makes him kind of a monster. Sending people off to fight a war you don’t believe in and don’t think can be won for political reasons? Yea, that’s pretty fucking sickening to me.

      And that’s exactly what he’s been accused of with Afghanistan. Meanwhile, he’s basically admitted he fucked up with Iraq with his Afghanistan policy, but don’t expect our fawning media to ever point that one out.

    2. His Iran deal begins a chain of events that will lead to a major regional, or even world war.

  5. Dense, choppy, but I believe I managed to follow most of it. It would be nice to find a reason other than a Final Solution for mohammedans to “justify” all this murdering. Mecca and French Polynesia lie opposite each other on the globe, and neither one is anywhere near These States.

  6. So the underlings, Rice, and Clinton, managed to twist Obama’s arm into intervening in Libya. Bullshit. If that’s really the case, he shouldn’t be cut any slack. In a way it makes him worse but, honestly, what high level chief executive lets himself get prodded into a stupid move without agreeing with it on some level?

  7. Did the racist show up yet?

  8. “Individual persons who did no harm to anyone are being slaughtered and starved with the help of American politicians and military bureaucrats.”

    So the fuck what? That’s war. War never changes.

    1. Cytotoxic,

      I hate it, but I have to agree. The statement is stupid. Every war slaughters “innocents”. An argument could be made that we at least make an effort to slaughter fewer “innocents” using targeted weapons and “intelligence”. We could after all, just firebomb the region instead, or perhaps build a few hundred tactical nukes and carpet bomb the area.

      So Sheldon is opposed to the war, ok, me too. But let’s not pretend it is horrible because it is worse than previous wars, because this war is being conducted in a MORE civilized way, not less.

      I am opposed to this war (not all wars) because there is no reason for us to keep kicking this hornet’s nest. I am opposed because this hell hole is none of our business. I am opposed because although we can’t fix it, we can make it worse, and are. And finally, WE don’t need anything from the Middle East so long as we don’t resume shipping oil around the world from the US. We can supply ourselves and mind our own business.

      Let our “betters” (so they believe anyway) in Europe deal with the Middle East if they must, or kiss Putin’s rectal opening if they must, decide fracking isn’t so bad after all, or build nuclear reactors to power their economies, or whatever THEY CHOOSE TO DO AND PAY FOR in whatever way they choose to do it. Freedom includes not only the freedom to decide, but the consequences.

      Sheldon is about 90% idiot. This was not one of his better pieces.

      1. He makes some good points on gun rights. Outside of that, he is a vile, cowardly piece of shit.

  9. Here is an interesting question for you though…

    If we bailed out of the middle east, provided our own oil and kept out of the international oil market, what exactly would the French and Germans do? Step into the Middle East in our place to assure the flow of oil? Cut deals with Putin at whatever terms he demanded? Restart German reactors and start fracking?

    How about the Chinese? Just sell the Iranians equipment and lock up their oil by contract and military presense?

    Since we have a LOT of oil, and don’t actually NEED to be involved to supply ourselves, why do we want to be part of ( and pay for) this?

  10. One crucial point is that there’s no actual policy at all. While we could say that in the Bush era everything was run according to MBA crisis management, day by day, the current administration has no policy or direction or doctrine at all. There’s no cause and effect. There’s only White House press office/mainstream media spin bytes. So the very nothing that what we’re doing is toxic is a side effect of chaos.

    1. I was so happy to see the writers of Homeland decided to change the show with the times. In the season five opener, there’s a scene where a major character explains essentially that same point. “How is our strategy working on the ground in Syria?” “What strategy?”

  11. Agree with all but our invasion of Afghanistan. That is where the 911 terrorists were and we had every reason to destroy them (even though it was our fault). We should have invaded and destroyed Saudi Arabia as well.

    I’m all for minding our own business, but if anyone attacks us, they should expect to be destroyed.

    1. Can we agree, though, that it’s well past time to exit Afghanistan? Osama bin Laden was hidden in plain sight by our supposed “allies”…in Pakistan, not Afghanistan. All we’re doing now in Afghanistan is wasting money and soldiers to prop up any of various corrupt institutions and line the pockets of the towelhead mafia. See yesterday’s story about the gas station we built there for close to $40 MIL. Of our money.

  12. “Subject to far less scrutiny is how America’s (mis)leaders, (mis)representatives, and public (self-)servants treat foreigners, especially those with dark skin and a still-unfamiliar religion.”

    Uh, would that religion be islam? Because I understand very well that not all muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are muslims, and they are all incompatible with western civilization.

  13. Live Free[er]?

    Dear Reason reader,

    one of the most personal freedom- damaging beliefs you can ever have [one of many :-)] , is the belief in the necessity, and the effectiveness, of political involvement – to supposedly “improve” your own life or, the lives of others, via the political “process”.

    Fact: as an individual you will _never_ enjoy a freer life for yourself until you completely reject the “drug”, “religion” [ or whatever else you want to call it] known as “political activism” or “involvement”, in its entirety.

    It is nothing more than a trap- a dead end that dramatically _decreases_ your chances of ever achieving more personal freedom and happiness for yourself in this world.

    Regards, onebornfree.
    Personal Freedom Consulting:
    http://www.onebornfree.blogspot.com

    1. You aren’t dead yet? Goddamn it! Get to the kitchen and drink the fucking Drano under the sink. Then report back that you did that while in your death throes.

  14. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.buzznews99.com

  15. When picking sides, I pick us. I’m okay with this.

    1. That makes you not a progressive. They always side with our enemies. Like Obama does.

  16. It’s always entertaining to read Sheldon’s incoherent ramblings.

    1. Sometimes it’s not. His piece last week about not honoring fallen military personnel was rather infuriating. I hope he got his ass kicked over that one.

  17. Innocent people will be condemned to death whatever courses of action or inaction we pursue. The Sheldon’s of the world can levy this criticism regardless of what we do or don’t do. Therefore the moralizing Sheldon’s of the world will never have an opinion that matters to people that matter.

    1. People like Sheldon survive based on the sweat and blood of real men. Like those he denigrates. He is an anallid.

  18. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.buzznews99.com

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