promoting the unwanted, redheaded stepchild that is individual liberty

America’s foreign policy; promoting ‘Peace on Earth?’

In foreign policy, war and peace on December 10, 2009 at 5:05 am

The holiday season is upon us once again. The time of year where everyone runs around with Merry Christmas on their lips and tidings of comfort and joy. The time of year when all Americans, not just Charlie Brown, ponder the true meaning of Christmas. It’s a peaceful time of year — or, at least it’s supposed to be.

This is the irony that is America. A self-declared peaceful nation, where 80 percent of the population professes to be Christian. Whether or not American is a Christian nation is debatable. Whether or not it is a peaceful nation is not debatable.

With troops in 70 percent of the world’s countries and current conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the United States seems to be in a perpetual state of war — never satisfied with the extent of its empire. However, the American people, unlike their government, appear to be growing weary of the violence.

A recent poll shows a slim majority of Americans support the troop surge in Afghanistan and 49 percent of Americans now say the United States should “mind its own business in the world.” And, in hopes of stemming that tide of violence and war, they went to the polls on Nov. 4, 2008 and voted for Barack Obama. Hoping he was the “anti-Bush” as Reginald Dale, senior fellow for the European program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, puts it. But alas, President Obama turned out to be just a more charming version of President Bush.

Not only has President Obama not withdrawn troops as promised, he’s instead escalated the wars, sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and increasing drone attacks in Pakistan. And today, as President Obama receives the Nobel Peace Prize, he will give a speech on America’s desire to seek peace “in a world where sometimes to won’t be able to avoid a war,” said Jon Favreau, Obama’s chief speechwriter. Surely Mother Teresa is rolling over in her grave.

To be sure, there are those that argue that by waging wars and overthrowing other nation’s tyrannical regimes, America is promoting peace in the world. After all, it’s our duty as leader of the free world to promote democracy; even if it’s at the end of a gun. Such a concept is not only incorrect, it’s completely illogical.

How can one promote peace through violence? How can one decrease pain and suffering through waging war? How can one force democracy and freedom on a people?

But such is the rational of the American government.

Perhaps it was the Vietnam war, perhaps it was Nixon, but the American people seem to be waking up to the reality that America’s foreign policy is costly. Unlike their blindly patriotic predecessors, today’s generation questions its government’s intent for going to war — and with good reason.

  1. A Holiday Thought…
    Peace on Earth???

    Aren’t humans amazing Animals? They kill wildlife – birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

    Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – – health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

    So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions of more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

    Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

    Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for “Peace on Earth.”

    ~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates~

  2. Jessica,

    I disregard JC as a “nut”.

    For you, far from a nut, I note that you challenged “How can one decrease pain and suffering through waging war?”

    Ask the American People after the Revolutionary War.

    Ask the slaves after the Civil War.

    Ask the Jews and Germans and Japanese after WWII.

    Ask the women in Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq today.

    As I have often quoted to you, “War is politics by other means”. Want to stop War? Stop Politics? Some sage once said that humans were “political animals”. Do you agree?

    Maybe JC is correct. When all humans stop acting like animals we might achieve your worthy goal. I just wonder what we would eat?


  3. Jessica,

    After the above comment was posted I read Obama’s speech accepting the Noble Peace Prize. He said”

    “For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world. A nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al-Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism — it is a recognition of history, the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.”

    Do you agree with him?


  4. Actually JC “the nut’s” comment is what inspired me to write this post. He pointed out the irony of Christmas day — the day on which “Humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for ‘Peace on Earth.’ ”

    I do not agree with our President’s assessment of America’s role in the world. I do believe in the use of force, but only when that force is in self defense. The American government’s use of force on foreign soils, like its use of force on domestic soil, should be negative, not positive — acting only when an infringement or attack has occurred.

    Since the World Wars, America’s foreign policy has been one of preemptive warfare. I fear that Hitler and the threat of Nazism will ever be used as an excuse to force ourselves and our interest’s on sovereign nations. Notice Obama’s reference to America as a force for “global security” and “Hitler’s armies.”

    America currently has a military presence in more than 70 percent of the world’s countries, works to undermine and overthrow nation’s governments while propping up others, tells those same nations what they can and can not do by means of the “international community” and arms them against their neighbors. I do not feel that these imperialistic, expansive policies are in the interest of the American people. I do believe they are immoral.

    Check out the Navy’s new slogan, “A global force for good”:

  5. Jessica,

    I understand your position on war and the military. I for sure will not be around when you are my age. But I wonder how your position will change over the years. That is not being critical of your youth and enthusiasm. I respect those characteristics and your style of writing your views. You do not stoop to ridicule or name calling and have all the right in the world to express your views.

    Now go read your last blog on bloggers.

    Folks with your views and passion against war obviously do not like Hitler thrown in the face. But to defend an all inclusive position against war except in self defense, you must include that regime in your rational. As well you must critique how to have “fought” the Cold War against the various regimes in Moscow, starting with Stalin.

    Do you really believe that a “hands off” or “live and let live” approach to radical Islam is sufficient for our own self defense? How then do you explain 9/11? Please no internal conspiracy rational. Do you really believe a plane piloted by foreign terrorists did not land in PA or the Pentagon?

    Finally, I can think of any more anti-war President in my lifetime and probably at least in the last century than President Obama. Yet he chose to escalate in Afghanistan, twice in the last year.

    If you were President from which of the 70% of the world would you choose to withdraw American military power? All of Europe, Korea, Japan, the entire Mid East, the Balkans, take your pick. As for the “global Navy” do you consider it unnecessary to be able at all times to keep the oceans of the world free and open? How would you deal with pirates in Somalia or the closure of the Straits of Hormuz by Iran just for starters.

    Until you and JC can provide rational solutions to those problems I for sure will argue against your approach, respectfully but with firmness.

    Now go state your position (and have the education as a woman to back it up) in, take your pick, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, etc.


  6. I’m sorry Anson, but what do you mean by having “the education as a woman?” Is it any different from a man’s?

  7. Hall,

    It sure as heck is in Afghanistan, Saudia Arabia, Iraq, Iran, the Gulf Emirates, Indonesia, and I will let you add to the list.


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