Barack Obama

This Is Not What Non-Intervention Looks Like

The absurd argument that America is withdrawing from the world

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Charlton Comics

"The claim that the U.S. is 'withdrawing' is a convenient and self-serving one for advocates of activist foreign policy," Daniel Larison writes, "since it lets them pretend that the U.S. is following a radically different foreign policy from the one that it is actually conducting and frees them from the responsibility for the results of incessant meddling abroad." So as a reminder to the people who peddle that narrative—he's calling out Fred Hiatt specifically, but Hiatt is hardly alone—Larison offers some quick reminders:

[T]he last three years in particular have seen the U.S. become much more involved in the conflicts in several countries, and its involvement around the world has stayed the same or increased in every case.

The U.S. is in its second year of bombing ISIS in Iraq, and has been bombing targets in Syria for almost as long. The U.S. has been actively aiding the Saudi-led devastation of Yemen for over a year, and it has done so precisely because it wants to "reassure" its awful clients in the region that it isn't going anywhere. At the same time, the U.S. has been increasing its military presence in Europe and leaving its other commitments unchanged. Earlier this summer, an exasperated John Kerry said, "The United States of America is more engaged in more places with greater impact today than at any time in American history. And that is simply documentable and undeniable." Yet hawkish interventionists have to deny it, because it contradicts the fairy tale they've been peddling for years. The main problem with Kerry's assessment is that he thinks the "impact" of all this engagement is desirable and constructive when much of it clearly is not.

It is true that President Obama has not favored every intervention the Serious People have proposed over the last seven years—he hesitated to intervene in Syria and has refrained from going to war with Iran—and it is true that he, unlike his party's presidential nominee, is willing to call the poor planning for the Libyan aftermath a "mistake." But that doesn't make him a dove; it makes him a hawk who is capable of reluctance and regret. What's depressing is the realization that in a year I may be nostalgic for even those small scruples.

NEXT: Clint Eastwood Tears into "Kiss-Ass Generation...P*ssy Generation," Hillary Clinton

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  1. Peace Prize Laureate Apologizes for Wanton Civilian Casualties.

    OR

    Top Diplomats Agree It’s Only Interventionism When White Men Order The Airstrikes.

  2. He didn’t hesitate to go into Syria, he wanted to go full on into Syria. Badly. Then in an odd twist of luck the desire of Congressional Republicans to poke him in the eye won out over their raging warboners, and he was stopped.

  3. Hmmm, what’s the betting pool on Hillary Clinton getting a Nobel Peace prize in the next 9 months? She deserves one right? At least by the current standards.

    1. I’m thinking 50% change on inauguration day, 50% chance in her first year in office.

    2. By the current standards, I deserve one of the fucking things.

      1. Hell, i’ve done far more for world peace than Barack Obama. I ain’t droned anyone to death, ever!

      2. Trigger, you are not nearly a bad enough human being to rate a Nobel Peace Prize.

    3. She deserves a Nobel Peace Prize precisely – precisely – as much as she deserves to be President.

    4. I want to see Hillary win election, and then rip her pants off on camera and say, “I’m really a man, baby!” As her enormous cock takes the stage.

      Then we can watch the media try to sort that all out. Do we hate him for lying about the feminist moment? Or do we embrace him as a transsexual being, just doing what he must to make it in this horrible, cigender heterosexual world?

      And then, give her a Nobel Peace Prize.

  4. We had to arm the good terrorists to help defeat the bad terrorists. The fact that it was s complete disaster and now ISIS has the latest US made weaponry, is just unfortunate. What that means is that we have to do more of what didn’t work. We’ll get it right this time. Giving up would be like giving up on socialism just because it never works, crazy talk!

    1. How about stop arming the terrorists including the Saudis whose only difference with ISIS is the size of the sword they use to behead the infidel?

      1. Crazy talk again! The Saudis are our good friends. Why, they’re funding a good portion of Hillary’s campaign. They’re trying to save us from Trumphitler! You obvious sexist, bigot, hate monger.

    2. What’s all this nonsense about goals and consequences. We do what feels right, dammit!

  5. The warmongers online at least are bloodthirsty zombies. They say, “We must utterly destroy ISIS because they don’t like the gays!” They are getting really desperate for excuses to kill.

  6. One of my Democrat friends that calls himself a socialist has told me that it is ‘factually untrue’ that Hillary is a Hawk. He’s otherwise a fairly intelligent person, but this is a sign of the level of partisan blindness that’s going on with the Democrat party. Of course, he was going to vote for Bernie but Hillary is just as good in his eyes. Because Trump, you know?

    1. Trump is set to launch golden, dollar sign shaped nukes at the Middle East on day one of his supremacy.

    2. Ask him to prove it, then give all your own proof to him that he’s wrong, such as Hillary’s vote for every war she’s ever had to vote on and her abysmal war mongering as SOS.

      She’ll waste no time getting us into more hapless quagmires than we’ve ever been in before. Obama was a great commander in chief compared to Hillary, who will make Dubyah blush with her war mongering.

      1. If someone thinks it’s ‘factually untrue’ that Hillary isn’t a hawk there isn’t any reasoning with them. He will rationalize anything as long as Trump is on the other side of the aisle. Keep in mind that he’s a Democrat in Texas so I think a large part of his political ideology relies simply on social issues rather than economic ones. Of course, he was in banking regulation for the state for a while, so I don’t even know.

        1. ” it’s ‘factually untrue’ that Hillary isn’t a hawk…”

    3. “One of my Democrat friends that calls himself a socialist has told me that it is ‘factually untrue’ that Hillary is a Hawk.”

      I would actually agree with that. Hawks are beautiful creatures. Hillary is more of a rapid, drooling turkey vulture.

  7. That GUN you like is going to come back in style.

    Are you implying guns went out of style, Jewessy Walmarter? This place is infested with SJW Muslim lovers that hate the RKBA! Reason has gone downhill since the Bernie lovers took over.

    What you mean it’s a Twin Peaks reference? Fuck you. I know Critical Theory when I hear it.

    1. “Jewessy Walmarter”

      +1 Block Insane Yomama

  8. i get Paid Over ?80 per hour working from home with 2 kids at house. I never thought I would be able to do it but my best friend earns over ?9185 a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless.

    Heres what I’ve been doing,……… http://www.CareerPlus90.com

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