March 19, 2011

Obama's Jonah Goldberg War

In April 2002, in "Baghdad Delenda Est, Part Two," Jonah Goldberg declared:
“Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”

Goldberg attributed this to a speech by his friend Michael Ledeen.

69 comments:

Grayson L said...

I wonder how Goldberg would feel if the crappy little country smacked around for teenage "mine is bigger than yours" style politics were Israel?

fish said...

To ask the question is to answer it!

Has to be said...

Goldberg and Ledeen are quite right, you know. Now it's Obama's turn to realize that.

Brent Lane said...

What if they gave a war and nobody noticed?

Harry Baldwin said...

Every year or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little neocon and throw him against the wall, just to show them we're tired of them screwing this country up.

Anonymous said...

In other words be a bully (and of course, a coward). The USA only attacks countries like Serbia or Iraq. Countries that can't hit back. Lets see the USA attack China over Tibet like it did Serbia over Kosovo. Not gonna happen....

Anonymous said...

Wow. There is so much wrong with that 2002 article by Goldberg, it's mind-blowing.

DYork said...

Great, Jewish nerds acting tough with other people's lives.

By the way Jonah Goldberg after high school joined the Marines to prove.......oh wait, I'm sorry.

Jonah Goldberg after high school chose to attend Goucher college an historically all female college in Maryland.

Goldberg was part of the second class to allow male students.

You go girl!!

Chicago said...

Why are the wimpiest of people always the ones who spout the most bloodthirsty of rhetoric? There's a strange relationship between wimp-ass cravenness and the high pitched shrillness of their public demands for some rough tough action. Walter Mitty disease, perhaps?

Garland said...

Well, we certainly showed the world we meant business. That's just what we did: we picked up a couple crappy little countries, threw them against the wall, and the whole world respects and fears us more than ever. It may not be pretty but you have to admit that our prestige skyrockets every time we throw some crappy little country around.

Anonymous said...

Jonah Goldberg and likeminded people have significant sway over U.S. domestic and foreign policy. They choose issues of importance and shape the national debate. Sort of sad though. Back in 2002, he was making fun of the French for being "cheese eating surrender monkeys" (yes, he really said that).

If we had more intelligent or knowledgeable public intellectuals, we might get a revision of our trade or immigration policy. Instead we get a National Review that's fixated on Israel, tax cuts, deregulation, and pushing around loser countries.

Whiskey said...

Goldberg is quite wise. In fact, Putin did this with Georgia, picking a fight with it to deter larger attacks by other people. Bismarck did this with Denmark, and later Austria, as well.

Deterrence, particularly with tribal idiots with nukes (Pakistan has more than 100 nukes, that's more than the roughly 50 combined for UK/France if you believe Wikileaks) is not based on rational appreciation of US responses. But EXAMPLES.

What, you thought US security was based on having other peoples "love" us? The same goes true for Russia, or Europe, or China, or anyone else. Israel too. The "goodwill" of the international community and such is worth exactly nothing to Israel. The only thing that keeps it alive is deterrence and rational fear by explicit and periodic examples.

Whiskey said...

Follow up, why would Goldberg be wrong? After all, with nuclear proliferation, the argument that bin Laden and others make constantly is that Muslim forces can attack the US with impunity. Before 9/11 this was in fact, reality. America did not retaliate even under Reagan for the Tehran Embassy hostage taking, an overt act of war. Or various other acts of war, including the Beirut barracks bombing.

Now, the argument Jihadis make, is that the US will only make 'pinprick' responses that do not threaten the ability of regimes that can retreat (the Taliban) to a nuclear fortress (Pakistan) and outwait weak, divided Americans.

Making an example of people like Khadaffi concentrates the minds of Pakistani and Iranian military men who control access to their nuke arsenal. If we are not willing to make pre-emptive strikes to destroy their nukes, we'd better deter them.

Which requires key people in the military to believe us, and fear us, rationally. Does this suck? Yes. Welcome to the post-Cold War world.

Anonymous said...

Hey anti-Semite numbnut commenters: Ledeen is Jewish too, and his kid's served a couple combat tours in Iraq. Good enough for you?

Steve, why attribute this to Goldberg when he was quoting Ledeen, and somewhat equivocally at that? Guess a Goldberg reference makes for a better headline, huh?

This Libya business is the work of Susan Rice and Samantha Power, and it doesn't get less neocon than those two.

Difference Maker said...

Whiskey:
We have nothing to fear from the jihadis. Their countries are jokes, and if we take care of ourselves all will be well.

In anycase wars should be fought with tangible benefit to our country, seizing sources of oil instead of spreading democracy

Todd L said...

Wow, either its too much involvement in the form of 'Tikkun olam' or too much involvement in the form of 'grab a runt and bash his two front teeth down his throat'. Can't you guys just live and let live? This is more in line with the US tradition of letting others sort out their own problems, and we had our greatest national growth during that period. I guess its not really about what's best for the US is it? If the US is grabbing small Middle East countries and slapping them around, that makes a larger and more immediate target of the US for the other Muslim countries, and takes their eyes off of Israel.

none of the above said...

D'York:

Sounds like a guy who, even at age 18, understood statistics, and knew what he wanted out of a college education....

Anonymous said...

"Follow up, why would Goldberg be wrong?"

Because his lips are moving and/or his fingers are typing.

Harry Baldwin said...

Anonymous said...Back in 2002, [Goldberg] was making fun of the French for being "cheese eating surrender monkeys" (yes, he really said that).

That of course was a quote from "The Simpsons," one of the fonts of wisdom from which the teeny-cons draw their insights.

none of the above said...

Fortunately, there's never any blowback from that sort of thing. Really, we're completely insulated from the impact of blowing up foreigners far away every few years, to help the president look manly for the next election.

Anonymous said...

“””Whiskey writes
In fact, Putin did this with Georgia””

Except for the fact that it was Georgia which attacked Russian peacekeepers, peacekeepers that that Georgians had agreed too. And in fact before Russian forces entered Georgia the Georgian war plan was already falling apart. The South Ossetia’s had managed to stop the Georgian advance and their Abkhazians allies were advancing into Georgian territory.

“””More Whiskey
Making an example of people like Khadaffi concentrates the minds of Pakistani and Iranian military men who control access to their nuke arsenal. If we are not willing to make pre-emptive strikes to destroy their nukes, we'd better deter them.”’””””

So you think that a few cruise missiles and aircraft being used against Libya is going to do more deterrence against Pakistan and Iran then the thousands of nukes that the US has. I think everyone knows that the deterrence against the US being attacked by other countries with nuclear weapons is massive nuclear response, not tactical non-nuclear weapons.

Once again Whiskey gets it wrong.

DJF

Tony said...

"Why are the wimpiest of people always the ones who spout the most bloodthirsty of rhetoric?"

You mean like Rush Limbaugh?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone actually read what Whiskey writes, or does everyone just scroll past his retarded posts like me?

Daybreaker said...

Anonymous: "Lets see the USA attack China over Tibet like it did Serbia over Kosovo. Not gonna happen...."

Exactly that much is right with American foreign policy.

Aaron Baugher said...

If we actually did that and then walked away, it might work. But we're emotionally incapable of reducing a country to rubble that can't hurt anyone and then walking away and forgetting about it -- thanks in large part to people like Goldberg trying to prettify the situation by building schools and voting booths in the rubble. So the crappy little country has no more than bounced off the wall and we've switched into mom/nurse/camp counselor mode, dabbing its boo boos with a hanky and promising to make it all better.

They don't hate us for slapping smaller countries around; that they might even respect. That's SOP in most of the world. They hate us for other reasons, but now they don't respect or fear us either. We're like a schoolyard bully after all the other kids got to see a video of him crying to the school counselor about how much he hates himself and how he wets the bed every night.

ben tillman said...

He's a misanthrope.

Matra said...

Goldberg is quite wise. In fact, Putin did this with Georgia, picking a fight with it to deter larger attacks by other people.

Russia did not pick the fight.

Russia-Georgia war

Mr. Anon said...

"Whiskey said...

Goldberg is quite wise. In fact, Putin did this with Georgia, picking a fight with it to deter larger attacks by other people. Bismarck did this with Denmark, and later Austria, as well."

Whiskey seems to be unaware of the inherant contradiction in what he has written. Yeah, Bismarck's picking a fight with Denmark worked so well in establishing his badassness that a few years later he had to it again with Austria. And then with France. And then later the Kaiser had to step outside into the parking lot with France, England, and Russia combined - plus eventually America after we got tired of just holding England's coat.

Hitler picked up a lot of small countries and threw 'em against a wall too - how did that work out for him, Whiskey?

I agree with Harry Baldwin's post above: Goldberg, Lowry, and all those chickenhawk pussies at NR ought to be picked up and thrown against a wall themselves.

Elbrac said...

I'm divided on this. I generally don't like American interventionism, but if we are helping Libyans against tyranny... After all, Americans could not have won the War of Independence without foreign help.

victoria barkley said...

If there's genuine concern over "wimpy" people having influence over foreign policy, how come nobody here pumps LeBron James or Ray Lewis for Secretary of State?

TokkinTrashWifTrolls said...

Hey anti-Semite numbnut commenters:

Problems with singular and plural?

Severn said...

I generally don't like American interventionism, but if we are helping Libyans against tyranny.

We're not helping Libyans against tyranny. The Muslim Brotherhood are not the Son's of Liberty. As we've done do often, we're going to turn a bad situation into a worse one.

Anonymous said...

In purely realpolitik terms, it's not a bad idea. It's like the heavyweight champion has to knock some palooka out now and then to REMIND the world that it is #1.
But most of the fighting thus far has ben done by the French. I guess French wants to show off its world power status too by beating up on Gadfly.

OTOH, when a powerful nation beats up on a weaker nation unprovoked, it may seem like an act of bullying than an act of awesome might. If Mike Tyson beat up a kid, he would just lose respect.

Anonymous said...

All too often, Israel picks up America, throws it against a wall, and makes it do as AIPAC demands.
AIPAC owns the A-Team.

Anonymous said...

As much as I respect Ron and Rand Paul, there seems to be a contradiction in their criticsm of American foreign policy.
The Pauls blame the problems in the Middle East on American Interventionism. They say Americans have invaded that region in the name of spreading democracy--which the Muslims don't want, at least as a 'gift' from us--and have supported dictators and tyrants throughout the region.
In the case of Iran, where CIA played a key role in toppling its elected leaders and enthroning a monarch, this criticism may have some value--though one could argue that CIA acted purely in American interests since democratic Iranian leaders effectively stole(via 'nationalization')extensive American investment in that nation.
But in most cases, Americans have 'supported' Arab and Muslim leaders who came to power WITHOUT American help. In those case, 'supported' really means 'dealt with'.

Now, consider the contradiction in the Paulian logic. US should not try to change the political system in the Middle East. US should do business with or deal with political systems that already exist, whether they be democratic or dictatorial. Okay, good enough. But in cases where US did exactly what Ron Paul advised--in places like Egypt, Saudia Arabia, Iraq in the 80s, Pakistan, etc--, he condemns US for having 'supported' dictatorial regimes.
Ron Paul lauds the peace between US and China brokered in the 70s. Instead of trying to liberate China from 'communism', US decided in the 70s and 80s to acknowledge the dictatorial system and do business and deal with it. But isn't this a case of Americans 'supporting' Chinese Communist Party's tyranny over the Chinese?
With Paul, it's damned if you do, damned if you don't. It's wrong for Americans to insist on human rights and democracy in other nations. We should just deal with the powers-that-be, even with the likes of Castro, Kim, and Gadfly. But if the people in those places were to hate us because of our dealing with those tyrants, we are to blame again for having 'supported' tyrants.

Reagan understood things better cuz he was less of a rigid ideologue on foreign policy that Ron Paul is. Reagan understood that WHEN is as important as WHAT.
He knew that Marcos, Pinochet, and Chun were our 'sons of bitches'. They'd been loyal allies of the US in the Cold War. But he also undertood that the downside to us was the rap that 'US is supporting dictators'. So, he watched and waited carefully. When sufficient democratic forces materialized in those nations, Reagan switched support from the dictators to the people. He told Marcos that his time was up, and he pressured Chun to accept free elections. And US fully aided the democratic forces in Chile in the latter part of the 80s. Reagan understood the art of politics. For Paul, politics is a dogma than an art, so he'll never really get it.
Reagan knew how to write the drama of history whereas Ron Paul only knows how to read instructions from an ironclad manual--which is chockfull of contradictions.

Svigor said...

Jonah Goldberg after high school chose to attend Goucher college an historically all female college in Maryland.

Goldberg was part of the second class to allow male students.

You go girl!!


I don't want to undermine your greater point, but you've just brought to light the first thing I've ever found to like about the guy.

Svigor said...

Deterrence, particularly with tribal idiots with nukes (Pakistan has more than 100 nukes, that's more than the roughly 50 combined for UK/France if you believe Wikileaks) is not based on rational appreciation of US responses. But EXAMPLES.

It makes no more sense here than it did in the other thread. Again:

These people are smart enough to understand cause and effect. They know that if they lay out in the sun all day, they'll get sunburned, if they stay outside during a sand storm they'll be in trouble, etc. They can understand "if you don't play ball, you get smacked." Establish the cause and effect, and it's counterproductive and stupid to bully them on a regular basis because you weaken the association between cause and effect; you send the message that you're going to stand one of them up against the wall every 10 years, no matter what they do.

Unless, of course, your goal isn't getting them to play ball, but rather, say, a foreign policy centered around Israel (and by extension, the military-industrial complex). Then your policy makes perfect sense.

EXAMPLES and repeated bullying are two very different things. EXAMPLES abound. Mission accomplished.

The "goodwill" of the international community and such is worth exactly nothing to Israel. The only thing that keeps it alive is deterrence and rational fear by explicit and periodic examples.

From the horse's mouth...

Svigor said...

Your average dog trainer knows Whiskey's policy recommendations are counterproductive.

Smack your dog when he misbehaves - good.

Smack your dog once a day whether he deserves it or not - stupid.

Svigor said...

Does anyone actually read what Whiskey writes, or does everyone just scroll past his retarded posts like me?

I went through a long phase where I scrolled past them. Like our prolific anonymous, who actually has things to say, but needs his own blog.

Now I go by mood. If he keeps it short and sweet, that helps.

Svigor said...

We're like a schoolyard bully after all the other kids got to see a video of him crying to the school counselor about how much he hates himself and how he wets the bed every night.

Yyyyep. Whiskey routinely ignores suggestions that we protect ourselves from terrorism by simply not letting people from Jihadi-producing populations into our territory. Realpolitik, right? After all, our elite would never countenance that.

Okay, I can buy that. But the same elite would no more countenance stopping all its crying and bedwetting, putting Whiskey's hardnosed, abusive foreign policy equally out of range of realpolitik. In short, we're constitutionally incapable of the deterrence he suggests, so his favoring it over sensible immigration policy has nothing to do with realpolitik, and everything to do with his real goal vs. his ostensible goal (my money's on Israeli security, but it could just as easily be a booming Military-Industrial complex).

Svigor said...

If there's genuine concern over "wimpy" people having influence over foreign policy, how come nobody here pumps LeBron James or Ray Lewis for Secretary of State?

I have, in a general sense, by advocating every non-black person be removed from the media and federal government and replaced with blacks. Nobody ever responds, though, so I figure everyone assumes I'm joking, or nuts.

But my suggestion has nothing to do with foreign policy.

Svigor said...

And then later the Kaiser had to step outside into the parking lot with France, England, and Russia combined - plus eventually America after we got tired of just holding England's coat.

Lol funny. :)

Nanonymous said...

Ledeen is Jewish too, and his kid's served a couple combat tours in Iraq. Good enough for you?

No. The test should be this: If you KNOW FOR SURE that your kid will die in the war that you you think we as a country must fight, will you start the war?

If everyone playing with other peoples' lives had to first address this dilemma, I can assure you there would be a lot less innocent blood spilled around the world.

ATBOTL said...

"Hey anti-Semite numbnut commenters:"


How dare we question the self-chosen ones? shame on us.

DYork said...

Mr. Anon said...

Whiskey seems to be unaware....


.......ah, yeah.

Svigor said...
Jonah Goldberg after high school chose to attend Goucher college an historically all female college in Maryland.

Goldberg was part of the second class to allow male students.

You go girl!!
-----------------------------

I don't want to undermine your greater point, but you've just brought to light the first thing I've ever found to like about the guy.


Have you seen the average girl at a small women's college?

I'd rather go to Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Those of you who think that Goldberg was getting laid at that all-female college should read this:

http://jezebel.com/#!5416119/oh-yeah-male-student-calls-wellesley-women-bunch-of-whores

A beta male won't get the girls, no matter what the male to female ratio is.

Chief Seattle said...

These periodic wars would be a whole lot more satisfying if we would actually win them.

Truth said...

"I have, in a general sense, by advocating every non-black person be removed from the media and federal government and replaced with blacks. Nobody ever responds, though, so I figure everyone assumes I'm joking, or nuts."

Well Svig, the first 6-7 times you wrote it, I was in the "joking" camp; now I'm making my way over to "nuts."

Anonymous said...

I hate to admit it but Goldberg makes a lot of sense to me - Whiskey too.

I guess it's that "hard liner" personality trait of mine. I was chosen once as an psychology undergraduate to be a test subject in an experiment about negotiation. I was paired up with another student who was also known as a hard liner except in the other direction. It didn't work very well. We pretended to negotiate alright but neither budged an inch. Most of the other more malleable subjects found ways to compromise. Like IQ I suspect that being sweetly reasonable and always ready to compromise is genetic.

I thought the US was in a bind of our own doing after 9/11 and needed to bomb or invade someone Islamic, irrespective of their actual participation in the World Trade Center attack.

That's just what Bush did to his great credit. I was hoping for some bombs on Mecca too but you have to take what you can get.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

"No. The test should be this: If you KNOW FOR SURE that your kid will die in the war that you you think we as a country must fight, will you start the war?

If everyone playing with other peoples' lives had to first address this dilemma, I can assure you there would be a lot less innocent blood spilled around the world."

If that's the standard, sooner or later you're guaranteed to be fighting such a war, whether you like it or not.

ben tillman said...

The Pauls blame the problems in the Middle East on American Interventionism.

No, they don't. Not even close. They argue that interventionism is bad for us, not that it's bad for them. That is, however, another excellent argument that I made eloquently on 7 February 1899.

ben tillman said...

I don't want to undermine your greater point, but you've just brought to light the first thing I've ever found to like about the guy.

Don't tell me you went to Winthrop!!

Anonymous said...

"community and such is worth exactly nothing to Israel. The only thing that keeps it alive is deterrence and rational fear by explicit and periodic examples."

The US should aspire to be in the situation Israel is in? Hated by it's neighbors, but tolerated out of fear. That's the goal?

Admit it, people living in Israel live horribly. It's a knife edge balance of terror. It's nothing to emulate.

Anonymous said...

Your average dog trainer knows Whiskey's policy recommendations are counterproductive.

Smack your dog when he misbehaves - good.

Smack your dog once a day whether he deserves it or not - stupid.



You keep smacking the dog around, and it's gonna bite you man.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, wouldn't you agree that the Iraq invasion created more enemies than we had before? This endless intervention in the Middle East accomplishes very little, kills people (on both sides), and creates more terrorists than it kills. I'm in favor of much more non-interventionist foreign policy, if we can get it.

Anyway, our country is financially on the brink. Our national debt and annual deficits are high enough that we're approaching Greece's financial state. How long do we think that investors will buy our bonds? How long are we going to keep printing money? This isn't tenable in the longterm and there will need to be massive cuts in spending, combined with tax hikes, to keep our country financially solvent.

We either cut spending now, much of which will be defense, or we suffer significant consequences in the coming decade.

Whiskey, we broke.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Hey anti-Semite numbnut commenters: Ledeen is Jewish too, and his kid's served a couple combat tours in Iraq. Good enough for you?"

Oh, so there is ONE. One Neocon who actually has a child in harm's way.

Any others?

none of the above said...

I expect there will be some rather sudden shift in the financial market, perhaps triggered by some natural disaster or terrorist attack or something, that will cause us to have to adjust both military spending and entitlement spending in a huge rush. One result will be a godawful destabilization in the world, as countries whose defense strategy was based on our always being there have to scramble to be able to defend themselves.

But preparing for that would involve sacrificing next year's election prospects for making the world better in the distant future. Thus, it's in much the same realm of political likelihood as imposing a $2/gallon gas tax to address global warming.

ex-balto said...

"Have you seen the average girl at a small women's college?"

Goucher had some very pretty girls. I knew some personally. But I don't know what the percentage was.

ex-balto said...

' "Why are the wimpiest of people always the ones who spout the most bloodthirsty of rhetoric?"

"You mean like Rush Limbaugh?" '

Rush was in combat?

Anonymous said...

REPLY TO WHISKEY:

I usually ignore this idiot, although sometimes his posts are unintentionally funny...

"Putin did this with Georgia..."

WRONG! Georgia started the war.

"..deter larger attacks by other people"..

WHO? Who is planning on attacking Russia?

"Bismarck did this with Denmark. And later with Austria as well"..

WRONG! Prussia and Austria TOGETHER acted against Denmark. It was part of his carefully thought-out strategy. As for Austria, it was no pushover in 1866. Most commentators at the time, gave the Habsburg empire the edge by a wide margin. In any case neither act prevented France, then a major power, from declaring war on Prussia in 1870.

Your obvious final reference to Israel betrays your Jewish roots, which you'll probably deny.

Svigor said...

A beta male won't get the girls, no matter what the male to female ratio is.

What nonsense. I think the Roissy cult needs to swap "omega" in for "beta," because that's what they really seem to mean when they say "beta."

Svigor said...

Well Svig, the first 6-7 times you wrote it, I was in the "joking" camp; now I'm making my way over to "nuts."

Hey, at least you responded!

Svigor said...

Admit it, people living in Israel live horribly. It's a knife edge balance of terror. It's nothing to emulate.

Oh please. They can all move here if they want. What's stopping them?

Svigor said...

But hey, I'll go with that.

Yep, having an ethno-state is horrible.

And since white people who want for themselves what Jews have for themselves in Israel are reviled by all the good and decent folks, and, more relevantly, by the MoTU, why don't we punish them by giving them what they want?

Consign the evil honkies to the horrible knife-edge of terror by allowing them the same things the poor Israelis have.

Win-win, right?

In short, I want some of that there Briar Patch.

Anonymous said...

Svigor:

A beta male won't get the girls, no matter what the male to female ratio is.

What nonsense. I think the Roissy cult needs to swap "omega" in for "beta," because that's what they really seem to mean when they say "beta."

IME, college is a very poor place to meet women. The women there are rarely interested in the men they interact on a day-to-day basis. Many of them have the Lois Lane Syndrome - i.e. they want only Superman, but Superman is already married and has more than enough mistresses on the side.

Trust me, you're better off with the bars, buses, grocery stores, pool halls, and dating websites. And friends of friends.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, so there is ONE. One Neocon who actually has a child in harm's way.

Any others?"

What difference does that make? Is Ledeen not entitled to his neocon opinions since his kid is in harm's way? Moreover, since we Jews stick together, shouldn't one Jew in harm's way be sufficient cover for all neocons?

By the way, I'm generally sympathetic to most of the views espoused here, but the anti-Semitism is tiring, especially when I reflect on my family's 3 generations of military service to this country.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm generally sympathetic to most of the views espoused here, but the anti-Semitism is tiring, especially when I reflect on my family's 3 generations of military service to this country."

I wasn't talking about jews, but rather neocons. My comments apply to Lowry, Barnes, Hannity, Limbaugh, and all the rest of them as well.

Nanonymous said...

[own children killed in the war] If that's the standard, sooner or later you're guaranteed to be fighting such a war, whether you like it or not.

Yes, of course. And that's O.K. That's life as we know it.

BUSC said...

"Oh, so there is ONE. One Neocon who actually has a child in harm's way.

Any others?"


Doesn't Bill Kristol have a son in the Marine Corps?