“Winning overseas means re-election for Obama in 2012 so he can finish bankrupting the country while destroying the Constitution. But apart from the president’s claque, no one else is seeing Afghanistan quite that way, it appears, and there might even be a longing in the country for a president who will speak frankly about how badly the war is going as a prelude to getting out of the quagmire. Will Obama be able to hold on with the plausible fiction that he is presenting, or will enough of the media and public finally see through the game that is being played and vote him out of office? Or will he only be able to survive because the Republican candidate, whoever that might be, is perceived as being even more dangerous than he is? That is the true dilemma of American politics: Bad is invariably succeeded by worse in a dizzying line-up of the ruthlessly ambitious but mentally and morally challenged who seek the highest office in the land.”
I write as a Canadian citizen, one of your northern neighbors (“neighbors” spelled incorrectly), an inhabitant of a country that shares with you the world’s previously “longest undefended border.”
That was then. This is now. Bring on the drones.
I, an ordinary Canadian citizen of grumpy disposition and possibly malignant tendency to read, have long been critical of American foreign policy and vented spleen on multiple occasions, some - like Giraldi - on the Antiwar.com web site, a bastion of libertarianism, although I myself am a prairie populist who thinks that universal health care is a no-brainer. My view of the current Canadian government is of a proto-fascist police state that mirrors the American drift to the same. As George Carlin said, there’s no need for a new Iraqi constitution because the USA has one it isn’t using.
However trenchant my criticism, there are no criticisms of American foreign policy more excoriating than those of Americans, like those of Philip Giraldi. He and others like him give me hope.
Meanwhile back at the United Nations Security Council, the current endgame of “responsibility to protect” is being played out – Gareth Evans arguing as might be expected that the whole thing was a wild success and a blueprint for UN involvement in the future, as in fact Michael Ignatieff has argued with considerable eloquence.
As my kids would say, “Yeahno.”
First of all, we all need to know what actually happened in Libya, an accounting of civilian deaths and injured caused by the sclerotic autocratic Gaddafhi/Kadafi/Quaddafi whatnot regime, as opposed to NATO. This wasn’t a UN operation; it was an improvised NATO operation. Anyway, we need a straightforward accounting in order to honestly assess the whole R2P thing, the control experiment unfortunately not being possible, despite the enthusiasm of Evans, Ignatieff, and others who have a stake in proving themselves correct.
Then, there is the grillion dollar involvement in Afghanistan. There’s a lot of windy verbiage about the whole “Occupy Wall Street” thing, from which is missing the obvious conclusion that the USA has its own horrendous welfare state which is the military. It contributes nothing to the American economy except as Michael Herr memorably described it, “noise, waste, and pain,” and accounts for the American national deficit as well as the destruction of any American example for “leadership” in the civilized world.
You know, it’s not clear why the USA regards “leadership,” particularly its own, as its unique role in the world, the whole “leader of the free world” fantasy being exactly that. The American delusion that it is destined to lead the world into a better life – OK, “Manifest Destiny” – clearly sucks, as was obvious in 1873, when Treaty 3 was signed at Northwest Angle, Lake of the Woods, in large part to forestall the treatment of native populations like the treacherous abrogation of the Fort Laramie Treaty.
So here’s a message to America from one of your best friends: wake up. You can agitate for smaller government and greater individual responsibility, and against the “redistribution of wealth,” but somebody has to look after the chronic schizophrenics and the traumatized people who have been fighting self-evidently stupid, aimless wars in Asia, and the combination of poverty, humiliation, impotence, and testosterone is a recipe for disaster, like the French Revolution.
The Occupy Wall Street people are painfully trying to reinvent the wheel and point this out to you. You’ve already invented the wheel, which is to say, The Constitution of the United States of America. Use it or lose it.
Use it. Please.