April 10, 2011

Eunomia

Daniel Larison of The American Conservative notes:
The arbitrariness of the Libyan intervention has been one of its defining features, but what hasn’t been emphasized enough is its potential to subvert any and all norms governing relations between states. The principle of state sovereignty is something that could only be seen as a major problem by people who have enjoyed so many decades of general peace. Instead of being satisfied with the relative lack of international warfare, interventionists have to keep finding new reasons to initiate wars, and at some point this disrespect for other states’ sovereignty may end up affecting allies more significant than Georgia. Believing that it is acceptable and even mandatory to attack another state on account of its internal conflicts is truly dangerous. It is a constant invitation for the U.S. to enter conflicts it has no reason to join, and it creates an opening for many other governments to exploit when it suits them. In practice, such interventions make it harder for small and weak states to preserve their territorial integrity, and it invites larger and stronger states to exploit their neighbors’ weaknesses and divisions to their advantage.

I would add that the whimsicality of three of America's last four wars -- Serbia, Iraq, and Libya -- increases America's need to stay unquestionably #1 in the world militarily, at our vast expense. Our policy has been: We're #1, so we can start wars with other sovereign states as long as they are, at minimum, unpopular. In contrast, Switzerland's traditional policy -- We won't attack you, but if you attack us, we will defeat you -- doesn't require Switzerland to be #1, just strong enough to make invading Switzerland unprofitable for other countries. 

Moreover, the Swiss policy is generalizable like the Golden Rule: don't starts wars with other countries, and they shouldn't start wars with you. In contrast, post-Cold War America acts like it believes in the "Golden Rule:" he who has the gold, makes the rules. 

But are we always going to have the gold?

After all these subsequent willy-nilly wars, the Kuwait War of 1991 now seems, in retrospect, a model of statesmanship. Saddam started the war by conquering Kuwait, and George H.W. Bush had reasons of principle (we don't like aggression across state lines) and pragmatism (we don't want fewer members of OPEC better cartelizing oil), and we were able to sign up three dozen other countries to accompany us.

But, what happens when someday China is #1? Will they draw their lessons from Old Bush or from Young Bush or Obama?

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

"But, what happens when someday China is #1. We'll they draw their lessons from Old Bush or from Young Bush or Obama?"

Then, China will blow its economy and international reputation with endless wars, and that will be good for us.

Anonymous said...

I thought the first Gulf War was pushed heavily by the Israeli Lobby?

Supposedly, the story goes.... Saddam Hussein was threatening Israel with chemical/biological/nuclear annhilation back in the late 1980s/early 1990s. So the Lobby put on a lot of pressure to disarm Saddam Hussein.


When Saddam told us that he was going to seize some territory from Kuwait because they were siphoning his oil, our response was that "we have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts." Then, after Saddam invaded Kuwait, we feigned shock and used that as an excuse to go in. Essentially, the poor fool got tricked.

If you look at a lot of the cheerleaders for the first Gulf War, many of them were pretty much the same guys that cheered W's invasion of Iraq.

I remember Pat Buchanan claimed the first Persian Gulf War was started by the "Israeli defense ministry and their amen corner in DC", which earned him a lot of scorn.

Polistra said...

Yup. What makes it even stranger is that rulers like Bush and Obama like to quote the Golden Rule in an opposite-sounding context. "We do not torture", they chant over and over, because if we tortured an enemy prisoner it might inspire the enemy to torture us. Never mind that the enemy is already torturing our prisoners, we can't give them a reason to start.

Of course this apparent inconsistency covers an underlying consistency. It's not the Golden Rule that matters to Wilsonians. The only thing that matters is to consume America's resources and soldiers, to bleed America dry, to weaken America's internal defenses. All other Rules and Laws are mutable in service of this ultimate goal.

Anonymous said...

Even Lord Palmerston, Britain's notoriously aggressive and bellicose Foreign Minister of Victorian times was far more circumspect and respectful of foreign nations sovereignty than the current shower we are lumbered with.
What ever happened to the idea that war is always the very last resort a nation takes after diplomacy has been exhausted?
Believe it or not, even the ancient Romans and the other aggressive expansionist empires of ancient times generally respected that principle.

Anonymous said...

Steve, Gulf War I was a horrible stitch-up that still leaves a nasty taste in the mouth after all these years.
I hold no brief for Saddam - he was a walking disaster are a wannabe tinpot Arab Hitler, but without the brawn and brain.
But on the other hand Thatcher and Bush's determination to shore up that horrible little corrupt state, Kuwait, whilst ignoring worthier cause that do not possess oil smacks of humbug.
The horrible menopausal, penis-envying Thatcher, baying for fresh blood to rejuvenate herself, bullied wimpy Bush.Bush acted the Texan hardman.The corrupt, craven, duplicitous shit Gorbachev wagged his tail like a good little lap-dog, the rest of the world was bullied or bought off.As ever, Arab wankers were incapable of holding a piss-up in a brewery - and let the Farangs sh*t all over them.
A truly, horrible, horrible tale, with a horrible end game.

Höllenhund said...

Let me guess: Whiskey will argue that Switzerland, just like Finland, has been a free rider on America's defense since 1945. LOL!

dearieme said...

Bush the Elder was the last grown up you chaps have had as President.

He may even have been the last grown up you've had as a candidate for President.

sj071 said...

OT

RKU said...

Yes, indeed. America's behavior has certainly become quite peculiar in recent years. Frankly, it's difficult to think of any major country of the last few centuries which has so routinely flouted normal standards of international behavior, which evolved for obvious reasons of mutual self-interest.

Meanwhile, our government endlessly promotes (unilateral) "world disarmament" to everyone else, especially North Korea and Iran, urging them to abandon any nuclear programs in exactly the same way that Libya had done, and for Russia to drastically reduce its own nuclear arsenal.

Although much of this is obviously due to the lack of a traditional balance-of-power situation following the collapse of the USSR, I don't recall any of this sort of extreme behavior following in the immediate aftermath of 1991, even though America was relatively far stronger both economically and militarily at that point. In actual fact, our armed forces were rapidly reduced during that period. And it's difficult to logically plausibly connect America's current transformation as being a logical consequence of a single terrorist attack nearly a full decade ago.

When normally friendly Fido begins snarling and snapping and biting everyone around him, it's time to quickly call the vet and get rabies shots all around. I'd guess that the total weight of the rabies virus in a completely infected animal is just something like a one one-millionth percent of total body weight, but by shrewdly concentrating its presense in the central portions of the much larger organism's nervous system, the brain parasite can gain effective control over much of the host's behavior. In socio-political terms, this is exactly analogous to the mechanism of staging a successful coup d'etat. Some parasitic infections are generally lethal while others are not, and the distribution of likely outcomes is sometimes a bit difficult for anyone to predict.

On a totally unrelated sidenote, it wouldn't much surprise me if the periodic postings of our good friend Whiskey are made during bits of free time in his day-job, which is actually running American foreign policy...

Vern P said...

"But, what happens when someday China is #1."

With Bush and Obama accelerating the American car as it hurtles towards the brick wall looming at the end of the road, we'll probably get to see the answer within my lifetime. Won't be pretty...

Anonymous said...

China wil draw its lessons from China, as it always has.I do not believe that what we do will influence the Chinese course of action. As you have pointed out, however,the Libyan adventure will make clear to other small countries that Ghadafy/Khadafi blundered when he acceded to our threats and abandoned his nuclear bomb program.

Anonymous said...

China has its own political and especially international character. Why would it bother to learn anything from America?

Americans will definitely learn what it means to have about a billion Chinamen with lots of disposal income.

It will be a fun new world.

Big Bill said...

It seems like Bush Junior screwed up when he dummied up WMD evidence. As Obama has discovered, why bother?

Just find some Arab/Jewish/French/Philosopher dude to say there is a threat to some civilians (no matter how implausible) and liberals will give you a free pass to no fly -> cruise missile-> strafe_and_bomb-> send_in_troops as you wish.

The childless girls in government are all for it since it assuages their weepy hearts and they chance no personal suffering. "Think of the Children" after all.

The bankers are all for any war. Great profits from the war itself and from rebuilding.

What's not to like?

Anonymous said...

Wy do you assume that china will be number one? Extrapolating from current trajectories of Chinese economic growth or military spending is hardly the kind of evidence that ought to persuade anyone, and it is far from a foregone conclusion that we will permit US debt to snuff our capacity to fund the world's finest military. Seems like the reference to "when" china has the largest military is nothing more than a faith-based statement, and it is lamentable if Steve hopes that it comes about.

Chicago said...

We can attack smaller, weaker countries as long as they can be made out as "unpopular", which is usually just a result of the propaganda campaign of the moment. When you hear stories about how some country violates "human rights" by being oppressive towards woman, how they mistreat gays, then be wary; it's probably a build-up to a bombing attack.
The writer describes Georgia as one of our "allies". Hmmm, I guess I must have been asleep when that happened. What other allies do we have out there that we don't know about and exactly why are they our allies?
National sovereignty has been tossed out by the US as we've attacked one country after another. Might makes right is the real policy; it's not international diplomacy but international gangsterism.
We've created a lot of ill will out there in the world and it's all bound to add up to some form of blowback further down the road. Most Americans seem to be bewildered when told the US is not popular everywhere. How can the world not love us, they wonder. We've been influencing hearts and minds around the globe, one bomb at a time.

Anonymous said...

I'd be nervous if I were Russian and living in Siberia. In fact I read a few years back that they already are nervous. Chinese are infiltrating Siberian areas close to their borders much as Mexicans are infiltrating the U.S.. Moreover I believe China has plausible historical claims to portions of Siberia -- again like Mexico -- dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Perhaps other readers know more about this.

Of course Mexico shows no signs of becoming a world power the way China does -- a big difference.

Supposing China does invade Siberia, at what point east of the Urals would they stop? Would battlefield nuclear weapons dter an invasion force numbering in the tens of millions, spread over vast areas? I can't help wondering about these issues.

David said...

The aim of anti-nationalism is supposed to be world peace.

Now we find, as so often we do, that the diametrical opposite is the truth.

Anti-nationalism is not other than international lawlessness and war ON PRINCIPLE. Nation-wrecking requires a lot of...well, wrecking.

Nationalism, by contrast, does not necessitate flouting laws and starting wars.

TGGP said...

The U.S is like a collapsing gambler. If one intervention doesn't succeed, just double down.

Anonymous said...

Tribersity may be the future. Globalism makes for greater diversity, but human behavior keeps bringing back tribalism(or keeps formulating new variations of tribalism).
There is no fixed tribalism. In Europe, all the various white groups belong to different national tribes. In the US, almost all whites more or less belong to the same racial tribe called 'white American'. Africa has countless tribes, and the origins of black slaves sold to white Americans were incredibly varied, but in America, all those diverse African tribes turned into a single tribal mass called 'black American'.
So, even as globalism loosens, weakens, or extinguishes certain traditional tribal distinctions, new tribal identities will appear in their stead.

Anonymous said...

"Our policy has been: We're #1, so we can start wars with other sovereign states as long as they are, at minimum, unpopular."

Americans generally prefer to end wars than start wars.
Americans entered WWI late. And though it entered WWII in 1941, its waited until 1944 to liberate France.
In the case of China after WWII, US should have done more, not less.
US didn't do anything in the Yugoslavian War until all sides were nearly exhausted. Only then did the US swoop down like a vulture and carry away the prize from the Serbians, the main--though certainly not the only--instigators of the conflict.
Same thing with Libya. US did nothing and waited for events to unfold before going in, but it seems to have been both too late and too premature. Too late since Gaddafi was gaining the upperhand and the momentum of the rebels had faded. Premature since our options and the final outcome are still uncertain.

Iraq was a special case where US instigated the conflict instead of entering a war started by other parties, but if we see that war as a continuation of unfinished business in the Gulf War and the long war of attrition--sanctions on Iraqi society--, maybe Bush and neocons were following a narrative than opening a new chapter.

Anonymous said...

I supported the Iraq war because it was at the time I thought a necessary response to aggression.

For a decade before 9/11 we had been under attack by various Islamic elements. We seemed helpless because we had a self imposed restraints - we would only engage in reprisals if and when we knew exactly who was responsible.

Similarly our sovereignty is under attack from Mexico and we are restrained by self imposed rules.

The Clinton administration carried our self restraint to loony lengths. We decided we couldn't retaliate against probable enemies unless we had evidence that would stand up in an American court. We even kept our various agencies from communicating with each other so as to protect the civil rights of foreign combatants.

President Bush after 9/11 did what any sensible Nazi occupier of France would have done in the face of violent resistance. He enacted a general reprisal against anyone convenient. I would have preferred that he had bombed Mecca but in a pinch any Islamic regime would do.

The Iraqi invasion was dressed up with a couple pretexts - Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) and nation building. Both of these proved troublesome, but the real message was action. You (Muslims) bomb us. We react. We do not sit around in a muddle paralyzed by incomplete information.

In those terms the Iraqi war worked. It had a salubrious effect on several of the Middle Eastern regimes including that of Qaddafi. Alas everyone now seems to be drawing faulty lessons from that war. Republicans are moving back towards their old isolationist roots and Democrats attribute all of our problems in every sphere to that most unlikely devil - George Bush.

If Switzerland was constantly harassed by foreigners they would probably create a covert counter terrorist force. A terrorist threat to them is unlikely not so much because of their diplomatic policies as because all their adult men are required to maintain an assault rifle in their home.

Before Bush all our Presidents acted as if we had AIDS - no immune system. We need robust and fast acting defenses - a wall on the Rio Grande and the Rapid Deployment of troops and missiles if and when we are attacked.

By these criteria Libya makes no sense at all but Iraq was appropriate.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

"In contrast, Switzerland's traditional policy -- We won't attack you, but if you attack us, we will defeat you -- doesn't require Switzerland to be #1, just strong enough to make invading Switzerland unprofitable for other countries."

Talk is cheap. If Switzerland had been attacked by France or Germany in WWI or WWII, could it have successfully resisted the invaders and then defeat them?
Besides, America, by its very size and power, simply cannot have a foreign policy like Switzerland. It would be like comparing Singapore or Taiwan with China. Great powers need to act 'great', which, though not necessarily war, calls for greater global presence and authority, which sometimes calls for war. And given we are living in the era of human rights and universal values--indeed American might has been justified on those grounds all around the world--, those considerations simply cannot be completely ignored by Americans. We cannot practice pure realpolitik even if we wanted to.

Also, sometimes the offense is the best defense. In boxing, jabbing isn't used just to hit the other guy but to prevent him from coming closer and connect with his own blows.
During the Cold War, neither Korea or Vietnam directly threatened the US, but US entered the war to send a message to all commies around the world that US will not stand for that kind of aggression. It was defensive aggression on America's part.

To an extent, we can attribute US war policy to its giant political ego, AIPAC--given the special emphasis on the Middle East--,and the military-industrial complex, but it is also the legacy of the World War II, the 'good war'. WWII made modern America the global superpower in every respect: economic, military, political, and last but not the least, moral. In the first half of the 20th century, many people--even serious intellectuals--argued that democracy and capitalism were on the wane and that the future belonged to amoral and ruthless totalitarian states. Even as late as 1948, George Orwell wasn't kidding when he wrote 1984.
But in one big swoop, US liberated Western Europe from the Nazis and Asia from the might of evil Japan. Democracy and capitalism(and a Christian 'city on a hill' nation), seen as decadent/chaotic/divisive kicked butt. Given the moralistic aspect of WWII--human rights/dignity versus oppression/tyranny--, American sense of pride and self-worth was bound to become associated with its military prowess.

Anonymous said...

And following WWII, the world was faced with a communist threat, not least because Eastern Europe came under communist rule, much of Western Europe was ruined and exhausted and vulnerable to Soviet invasion(or communist subversion from within). And China fell to communists by 1949, and then came the Korean War. The only force standing between the 'free world' and the communist world was the US, and US played this role--heavily charged with moral righteousness--for decades. And Reagan finally ended it by speaking of 'the evil empire' and supporting proxy wars against the USSR, which is partly we are in Afghanistan today. So, even though it's true enough that the American military industrial complex is big business, there is a profound moral legacy that goes back to WWII which left US and USSR as the two giants, and then the US as the only giant with the end of the Cold War(which was not-so-cold in the Third World). It was no small matter of moral pride for US to have played a key role in the defeat of both extreme rightwing evil(Nazism and Japanese militarism) and extreme leftwing evil(communism in Europe and Asia). Of course, a very important Jewish narrative came out of WWII--white goyim in Germany killed Jews, white goyim in the US didn't do enough to save Jews. So, we see or justify--sincerely or cynically--every new crisis through the lens of WWII(or the Cold War). So, Hussein was both Hitler and Stalin. So, helping the rebels in Libya is a noble attempt to prevent a holocaust by Adolf Gaddafi or save Greeks from Stalinists. The world might see the American perspective as hypocritical since the policy of sanctions may have killed 100,000s of women and children in Iraq; Albright said that was 'worth it'.

I wonder how the world and American view of the world might have been if Hitler hadn't triggered WWII. Maybe Japanese would have been more reasonable too. With no need for US to 'save the world' by going to war in Europe and Asia, Americans might have been less engaged with the rest of the world.

Anonymous said...

Generally, worldly power/glory and spiritual morality/goodness tend to be opposites in history(especially according to Christian theology). When a Roman general returned from a great victory, it was understood that what he did was great for Rome but not great for the losers, many of whom were turned into slaves. And the wars of imperialism by Europeans were of conquest and subjugation(despite all the talk of 'white man's burden').
But America came out of WWII seeing itself as not only the greatest power but the greatest force of good in the world. US not only defeated the bad guys but forgave them and turned them into good guys. This was bound to resonate with the Christian missionary aspiration of America. America was like a tough but loving God of the Bible who smites people when they act bad but also forgives and blesses them if they act good.
Power is addictive but so is moral narcissism. It was WWII and the Cold War which wedded those two things on a global scale in the American consciousness. Americans are addicted to both power and moral upmanship.
It's not 'might is right' but 'OUR might is right'.
Of course, one could point to all the failings of American morality in both WWII and the Cold War--the war crimes, excesses, betrayals, deceptions, profiteering, etc. But just when Americans seem to be coming back down to ground and stop acting so high-and-mighty, another part of American psychology hopes to redeem its compromises and betrayals of the past by getting yet more involved in new crises. So, the Gulf War was partly a means by which America could redeem itself for having armed evil Hussein in the 80s. And then the Afghan War was a means to redeem America's role in arming Muslim extremists during the Soviet invasion of Aghanistan. And the Iraq War was seen as a way to redeem the unfinished business of the Gulf War where Bush I and James Baker 'cravenly' allowed Hussein to remain in power. One way to learn from past mistakes is to stop making new ones. But another way is to keep trying it over and over 'to do it right THIS time'. In a way, this tirelessness is part of the American character. Thomas Edison kept failing with the light bulb but he wouldn't quit. He probably wasted 1000s of bulbs before he finally came upon the right one.
So, we were told that Iraq War was a big failure, so what is the lesson of the Obama administration? That it can do it better 'this time' and redeem previous failures of American foreign policy.

Anonymous said...

And of course, many historians have said that WWII could have been prevented if Congress had worked with Wilson to engage more in Europe. If Americans had taken their role as the greatest world power following WWI and done more to help with the economic development and political peace in Europe, democracy and free markets may have a better chance in nations like Italy and Germany. But Americans lost patience, gave up on Europe--which polarized between the far anti-democratic left and the far anti-democratic right. Also, it was after WWI that US 'isolated' itself from European immigration, which might have saved Jews and alleviated political/population pressures in Europe if it had been allowed to continue. True or not, this is part of the American consciousness. Many Americans saw American involvement in WWII as an atonement for having neglected its responsibilities after WWI. And given that the 'isolationist right'--America First, Lindbergh, etc--opposed opposing the Nazis and the Japanese(until Japan attacked US first, though there some people still insist that FDR is to blame for having 'provoked' Japan), the idea of isolationism still gives off negative vibes in the American moral consciousness. For many, it raises the question: 'you mean it would have been okay if Nazis and the militarist Japanese ruled most of the world?' And for the Cold Warrior, it raises the question: 'you mean US should not have intervened in world affairs to stop the march of communism?'
Of course, the Muslims pose nothing like the threat of Nazis, militarist Japan, or communism. But some would argue that if it was our duty to care for blacks in South Africa, it's ou duty to care for people in other parts of the world, even going to war in extreme cases to prevent another holocaust. Of course, we didn't invade South Africa but if whites had begun to kill blacks on a huge scale, maybe we would have.

And of course, we cannot ignore the Jewish factor. Like Asian-Indians, much of Jewish power is found BETWEEN nations than WITHIN a single nation. NATIONAL politics or NATIONAL economics means Jews must play by the rules of the goy majority within a single nation. But politics and economics on the global scale means Jews can ply their trade to the fullest extent, playing with and off one goy nation against another. Where would George Soros be without the NWO? So, both liberal Jews and necons have worked together with the Christian Right to push America into a more active role in the world. Jews get what they want--more power--and Christians get what they want--moral righteousness, like the family in BLIND SIDE(or Bush doling out billions to wonderful African Christians).

Has to be said...

"Will they draw their lessons from Old Bush or from Young Bush or Obama?"

Replace "Young Bush" with "Clinton". Kosovo war was brought to us by Clinton. Despite the current common wisdom, Bush 2 did not start wars willy-nilly. His principle seemed to be, "if you declare jihad on us, we'll take it seriously." That explains both his wars. On the other hand, he refused to send troops to countries where they had civil wars that didn't concern us (e.g. Liberia).

McVeigh said...

All this type of behaviour start with the the American Civil War, it's, I guess, a Yankee's feature. Probably a legacy of a particular Protestantism.

Daybreaker said...

"But, what happens when someday China is #1. We'll they draw their lessons from Old Bush or from Young Bush or Obama?"

Almost certainly they won't. They'll take their lead from Chinese interests, models and theories. Any reference to American presidents will be for international consumption only.

When China is #1 it will be because American Whites have kept losing their domestic struggle. That means they will be on the road that leads to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Haiti.

I don't care how the successor peoples of the anti-White coalition in North America and the West generally will go against China. That will be their problem.

Adam said...

The other problem is that we don't seem to have the ruthlessness to simply take the resources we want after defeating another nation. So there's a costly war and nearly zero tangible benefits to the US, accellerating the process of bankruptcy.

CK said...

A nation with over 4000 years of history will probably not choose to emulate anything from a nation with less than 150 years of delusion of imperial grandeur.

Steve Wood said...

All good points, Steve, but they are irrelevant to an imperial power. Ancient empires could go to war just because they felt like it. Modern empires need at least a flimsy excuse. The most modern empire - that is, us - likes to feel good about itself, so we use flimsy excuses like "support the democratic rebels!" and "kick out the tyrant!" and "save the poor [fill in local oppressed group] from genocide!"

The real question, which is never asked except on the far left and far right, is whether we want to be an empire. If asked directly, I think the majority of Americans would say no, so the question is never put that way. Instead, the question is phrased in terms of support for the military - or, in even more emotional terms, "support the troops." The question of why we need such a big military, far more powerful than needed merely to defend the home territory, is never asked any more. The occasional liberal Democrat used to ask it, but support for a strong military is so high among the public that it has become political suicide to question it.

And maybe the public is right. Whether we ought to be an empire or not, we are one, and it's probably too late to give it up abruptly. We've come too far down the road already trodden by the Romans and the British and lots of others. At this point, probably the best we can do is manage the inevitable decline gracefully and with as little damage to the home country as possible. Impulsive actions against legitimate, albeit weak and distasteful, governments is probably not the best way to do that.

The Reluctant Apostate said...

Anonymous:
Talk is cheap. If Switzerland had been attacked by France or Germany in WWI or WWII, could it have successfully resisted the invaders and then defeat them?

That's a big if. The whole point of Switzerland's policy was that it wasn't worth it, and from my reading of history, it looks like that approach worked.

Now, you have a point when you say that the situations of the United States and Switzerland aren't analogous. Regardless of the differences in situation, it remains a good rule of thumb for Americans to avoid frivolous wars. They are costly and don't improve our security.

SFG said...

"When you hear stories about how some country violates "human rights" by being oppressive towards woman, how they mistreat gays, then be wary; it's probably a build-up to a bombing attack."

When statesmen grave say 'We must be realistic',
The chances are they're weak, and therefore pacifistic.
But when they say 'remember principles', beware! Perhaps
Their generals are already poring over maps.

--W.H. Auden

Wes said...

What will China do? It has nothing to do with us one way our the other. They aren't sitting around taking "moral lessons" from us, either Bush I or II, or any other President. I don't agree with some of the recent wars, but the idea that we are somehow making China act badly in the future, by our behavior now is silly.

We can except China to act more aggressively in the future because that is what growing powers always do.

Anonymous said...

National sovereignty is an important concept, ideal, and rule in world affairs but should it be worshipped like a religion?

A good analogy would be parental authority, which all of us acknowledge and respect. The parents of every family have the right to raise and teach their own kids in their own manner. This is guaranteed by law and agreed by all members of society as a general rule. But there are exceptions, such as when parents are excessively abusive, physically or sexually. Of if the parents don't feed their children or provide them with medical attention when sick. Same goes for pets. Though dogs and cats belong to their owners, the state has the right to intervene in cases where the owners are horrifically abusive. Parental or pet-owner authority must be in sync with moral authority. Parents cannot say, "it's our kid, so we can do whatever we want." A Chinese-American cannot say, "this my dog, so I skin alive and make soup", at least not in the good ole USA. So, parental rights and pet-owner rights(or sovereignty)exists but with certain laws and moral principles.
Same goes for spouse-sovereignty. In the modern world, especially the West, the hubby cannot do whatever he chooses to his wife and say, "I can beat her up cuz she's my biatch."
While we all agree that the state has no right to violate the rights and sovereignty of decent dog-owners, most of us agreed that the state(as our legal and moral representative) was right to save the poor dogs from Michael Vick and punish Vick with a prison sentence(though I think he should have been fed to the dogs).

Since the end of WWII, a kind of international law has been taking shape around the world. There are things called 'crimes against humanity' which are supposed to illegal everywhere. Also, 'national sovereignty' is not always a good argument since the sovereignty of a nation, in many cases, rests not with the people but with a bloody dictator. Did the Iraqi people have any national sovereignty under Hussein or were they merely his personal property/chattel? What existed in Iraq and still do in nations like Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Burma is something closer to personal sovereignty over the entire nation than 'national sovereignty'. The people have no rights, no say, no nothing. If Mugabe decided to wipe out 1000s today, the people have no recourse to justice. If Kim decided to starve a million next year, North Koreans would have no choice but to die. It's less a case of national sovereignty than a nation under the whimsy of personal sovereignty of a low-life son a bitch.

Anonymous said...

So, if we were to see nations as global neighbors, should we just sit back and do nothing if a thug-tyrant of a nation were to decide to murder 1000s or even millions? Should we, as citizens, do nothing if we knew that some guy in our neighborhood was sexually abusing his kids and viciously using his dogs in dogfights?

If Hussein or Gadaffi, scummy that they are/were, had been freely elected by the people of Iraq and Libya, then I suppose the people deserve what they got. But both came to power through military coups, and they ruled their nations with an iron hand--though, to be sure, Hussein was immeasurably crueler than Gaddafi. The difference is like between Stalin and Castro.

Of course, all of this is complicated by realpolitik. For laws to have moral force, it has be carried out consistently. But US supported Hussein in the 80s. US later cut a deal with Gaddafi after 2003. US didn't do anything about China's crackdown in 1989; if anything, US rewarded China with more business. Liberals praised Nixon for meeting with China, the murderer of millions. Vietnam is still tyrannical(though economically growing), but US does business with it. US did nothing in Rwanda and Sudan. And the West did nothing to protect whites who were brutailzed and dispossessed by Mugabe in the 90s. And when millions of people in Cambodia and Vietnam were poised to be mass-murdered by communists in the 70s, the prevailing opinion among Western progressives was, 'Well, we must leave cuz it's not our war. It's a civil war, and we should let them decide--no matter how many die.' So, it is amusing that the same liberals who denounced American effort to save SE Asia from murderous communism are the same people who say we should save people from the likes of Gaddafi.
And, as Vietnam and even Iraq has shown, sometimes our desire to do good can get us mired in a kind of hell, make us kill as many or even more than we save, and screw things up even worse. Same in Somalia. We went into to do good but found ourselves fighting warlord and their minions. We went in thinking in terms of 'bad tyrant and good people', but the good people of Somalia were soon attacking US soldiers. In retaliation, Americans killed a whole bunch of Somialis.

Things get even more complicated when the horrible crimes are committed by the masses than by evil elites. Generally, we tend to think of 'evil tyrants and innocent decent masses'. But a lot of hellishness in Africa is carried out at the local level by armed thugs running around with machetes. It's one thing to take out an evil tyrant and save innocent victims--the people-of his oppression, but can we intervene to save a people from themselves?
For example, much of the violence between Armenians and Azerbaijanis happened at the communal level, sometimes against the efforts of leaderships to rein in the violence. And much of the black-on-white violence in South Africa are carried out by black masses than by the black government. What to do then?

So, this is a complicated issue. Purely on a conceptual basis, I think the idea of a decent international community coming together to save the people in nations ruled by evil thugs is a good one. Indeed, if we could just press a button and remove Gaddafi and bring happy democracy to Libya without runaway costs or complications, who would have a problem?

Anonymous said...

But of course, it's not that simple. Even the 'good decent democratic' nations have their own problems with 'human rights'. After Abu-was-Grabbed, rendition and use of torture, and etc, maybe US shouldn't be preaching to the world about 'human rights'. And democratic Israel was created through ethnic cleansing and still illegally occupies West Bank. And with decadenct sickness like 'gay marriage' looming on the horizon, does US have moral authority in much of the world to be telling the world what's what? These fellas don't think so:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1wwe9-be2Y&feature=related

But, when we look at South Africa, we need to ask some serious questions. What if Jacob Zuma shows his real face and decides to carry out mass violence against all whites: rape, torture, mayhem, mass murder. Should we just sit back and do nothing? Should we say it's within the 'national soveignty' of South Africa to do as it pleases, in the same manner that the US didn't give a crap about Suharto's mass killing of 300,000 East Timorese?
Of course, there are plenty of white liberals who'd probably say, "it's bad BUT whites deserved it for their past crimes", but should WE think like that? Would it be wrong to call on the international community to intervene in South Africa to save those whites and/or topple the evil government?

Of course, there could be an advantage to doing NOTHING if such horrors were to unfold in South Africa. If we don't save the whites, it will become a White Holocaust, and that can be politically exploited by the White Right, just like Jews have used the Holocaust to win moral advantage over white gentiles. From a purely politically angle, white genocide in S. Africa would be a boon for the White Right in EU and US. And given that the ANC was largely the creation of leftist Jews fawned over by the NY Times, Jews would have blood on their hands and not to be able to act so innocent all the time.

travis said...

All this type of behaviour start with the the American Civil War, it's, I guess, a Yankee's feature. Probably a legacy of a particular Protestantism.

How could the influence of Calvinism have one effect in the US and the opposite effect in Switzerland? The only answer I can come up with is that we, Albion's Seed, are hopelessly doomed to wage endless war. We seem powerless to stop ourselves.

Whiskey said...

That's a dumb comparison Steve. Switzerland is well, Switzerland. A tiny mountain state that depends on both absolute Finland like neutrality when threatened by a large, overwhelming threat (Napoleon, Hitler, the Kaiser) and favorable terrain for defense enhanced by big militarism.

Your mistake is to echo the idiots of Sweden who say, "if we are nice to Muslims, they'll be nice to us when we are in the minority." The Golden Rule and Turn the Other Cheek are wise rules for inside the family, pushing Christian theology in whatever form is a recipe for DISASTER. Security for America is derived by military strength and wise foreign policy alone. PERIOD.

Whiskey said...

I'd add that Ike in Crusade in Europe spends the first few chapters on just how weak and dangerous America's constant disarmament was. While most forward thinking officers knew war was coming by the mid 1930's, from both Japan and Germany, he notes how near total disarmament left the US unable to aid American forces in the Philippines or do much against Japan for years. No tanks, no planes, no aircraft, no ships, no landing craft, left America at the mercy of the Axis until industrial production could be ramped up.

You seem to think, this is a flaw of Libertarians, that human nature has "changed" because we have Iphones, or something. I'd agree that Serbia was a waste, so was Somalia as Clinton pursued it. But being weak merely gets you beaten, as Putin points out. If Georgia wants to avoid being interfered with, it better have a robust military and avoid ticking off Russia.

Anonymous said...

What existed in Iraq and still do in nations like Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Burma is something closer to personal sovereignty over the entire nation than 'national sovereignty'. The people have no rights, no say, no nothing. If Mugabe decided to wipe out 1000s today, the people have no recourse to justice. If Kim decided to starve a million next year, North Koreans would have no choice but to die. It's less a case of national sovereignty than a nation under the whimsy of personal sovereignty of a low-life son a bitch.

It's not clear that these are examples of less national sovereignty, considering that the alternative is often those claiming to act on behalf of "international law" intervening and promoting immigration and race-mixing, which wipes out the nation and thus any possibility for national sovereignty.

Whiskey said...

France has routinely interfered in say, the Congo, Liberia, and most recently against the Ivory Coast president Gbago in favor of the president Outtarra. No one cares, its just the French being French in West Africa. China interferes all the time, and has for centuries, in Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, and of course Tibet and Mongolia. France and Spain ran weak Italy like cheap colonies, and later Austria echoed that act, until unification.

The best way to get China to behave is to do what the US failed to do in the 1920's and 1930's with Japan -- build a whacking big Navy bigger than anything they can field, and more powerful. Then make sure clear lines of interest are defined, and consequences for crossing them. No one at the beach will pick fights with a bodybuilder minding his own business. Its just stupid. But China won't appreciate anything other than strength and will. Both have to be present. America's problem is that internal politics by the elite make straightforward power and will, defined in US interests, impossible to manage.

WWII was started not by "being mean to Hitler" but by being so weak that he wasn't deterred. Had the UK, US, and France built twenty air craft carriers each, and had ten of them constantly cruising in the North Sea, no WWII.

Now Europe needs military forces to deter mass refugees turning into occupying forces. North Africa is very very poor. Europe very rich. They are close by, and the sea is a highway (the cheapest and fastest way to move lots of stuff and people). That is not a good combination.

Anonymous said...

Also, it was after WWI that US 'isolated' itself from European immigration, which might have saved Jews and alleviated political/population pressures in Europe if it had been allowed to continue. True or not, this is part of the American consciousness.

It's a part of the stupid Jewish consciousness. It's not part of the American one. You seem to be almost completely ignorant of the country which you obsess over.

Anonymous said...

What existed in Iraq and still do in nations like Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Burma is something closer to personal sovereignty over the entire nation than 'national sovereignty'. The people have no rights, no say, no nothing. If Mugabe decided to wipe out 1000s today, the people have no recourse to justice

So? Sovereignty and justice are not the same thing, and not supposed to be. Mugabe's people have the same recourse to justice as the Founders had - they have the right to try to alter their government by force.

Anonymous said...

Since the end of WWII, a kind of international law has been taking shape around the world.

And intelligent people on the right are dead set against it.

Anonymous said...

"What existed in Iraq and still do in nations like Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Burma is something closer to personal sovereignty over the entire nation than 'national sovereignty'. The people have no rights, no say, no nothing. If Mugabe decided to wipe out 1000s today, the people have no recourse to justice"

"So? Sovereignty and justice are not the same thing, and not supposed to be. Mugabe's people have the same recourse to justice as the Founders had - they have the right to try to alter their government by force."

'Right' is uselessly abstract if the thugs have all the guns. Also, they don't have the 'legal right' under Mugabe's rule to overthrow tyranny. They are forced to suck on Mugabe's toes. Of course, Zimbabwe being Zimbabwe, it'll probably be the same hellhole no matter who runs it. But nations like Germany and Japan have made great progress under democracy and a human-rights-regimen after their psychotic regimes were removed by external force. And Reagan was right to remove the Marxist thugs in Grenada. And Panama doesn't seem to missing Noriega none.

Daybreaker said...

Anonymous: "What existed in Iraq and still do in nations like Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Burma is something closer to personal sovereignty over the entire nation than 'national sovereignty'. The people have no rights, no say, no nothing. If Mugabe decided to wipe out 1000s today, the people have no recourse to justice."

What Zimbabwe has is closer to international, politically correct, anti-racist sovereignty over the whole country.

It was the international community that imposed Mugabe in the first place, applying economic, diplomatic and military pressure that broke the spine of the previous regime, and not accepting as legitimate any effort by the conceding Whites to hand over to a less deadly rival than Mugabe.

It was obvious that this was likely to lead to disaster, but White Rhodesians had no recourse to justice.

Now the country is indeed a hell.

The "international community" and its warped post-WWII ethos of anti-racist, cultural Marxist collective action has been the problem, not the solution.

Anonymous said...

I think the concept/principle of 'national sovereignty' is important and crucial but not absolute. It's like the Divine Right of King in Europe or the Mandate of Heaven in China. They were not absolute ideals, meaning the ruler could NOT do anythign he pleased. A European King had to reign as a just Christian ruler to claim the 'divine right' and the Chinese emperor's 'mandate' depended on his being a wise leader who cared about his people.

Same thing with national sovereignty. We should respect the geographical autonomy of nations, the historical and cultural uniqueness of nations, and differences of values/customs among nations. Even among democratic nations, there are cultural and moral differences among nations. What may be criminal in Italy or Czechoslovakis may not be criminal in the US, and vice versa. So, we all need to respect and accept these differences. No nation has the right to say, 'our nation is best in everything, and we should force other nations to be just like us.' BUT, national sovereignty should not be invoked by tyrants as the license to terrorize, murder, oppress, and plunder the people as they please.

Just as not all uses of freedom are the same, not all claims of national sovereignty are the same. Some people use freedom to raise good families; some people use freedom to abuse and traumatize their families. Similarly, some societies are ruled by psychotic, murderous, and/or craven thug despots.

It's sickening to hear murderous robber-tyrants invoke national sovereignty just so they can go robbing and killing more and inflate their insatiable megalo-ego.
And it's also morally unpleasant for us to invoke national sovereignty to argue for non-intervention. I'm NOT arguing we should intervene in every world crisis. I'm saying our main reason for not doing so, even in extreme cases, should be it's often undoable, too costly, politically divisive, and things might end up worse(as too many experiences have shown). Also, in some cases, the people may initially greet us as liberators, only to turn against us as oppressors/occupiers(as happened in Philippines).

So, the issue shouldn't so much be 'national sovereignty' but realism about the nature of foreign interventionism: 9 times out of 10, it hardly does any good and very likely makes things even worse. And, it's like the roach motel: easy to enter, but hard to get out.

Anonymous said...

But, purely on an idealistic or theoretical model, I don't think morally justified interventionism is a bad policy under ideal conditions.
Suppose we create a theoretical model. Imagine a square divided into 16 smaller equal-sized squares. Let us say each small square is a separate nation and populated/ruled by decent democratic Europeans. Let us say all nations respect the concept of 'national sovereignty' as an ideal but not as an absolute ideal. Rather, it is a conditional ideal. Every nation should respect the 'sovereignty' of other nations if each nation respects basic human rights. But let's say that in one-small-square nation, an evil sonabitch comes to power via military coup, uses massive violence to take control. Suppose he has all the guns and the people have none. The people have lost their populist sovereignty to have a say in government; suppose these people want help from outside to be liberated from their tyrant. Would it be wrong for the 15 other nations to cooperate to remove the sonabitch and restore power to the people? I think that would work just fine.

The reason why we can't make such a case is because the real world isn't like that. UN is filled with nations ruled by thugs worse than Gaddafi. And the West has been two-faced and double-dealing on too many issues. And one gets the sense that US foreign policy is overwhelmningly guided by the tribal interests of AIPAC--and many nations know and resent this.
So, in most cases, intervention isn't a good thing. Not because 'national sovereignty' is an ABSOLUTE IDEAL but because IDEALISTIC INTERVENTION is too often a pipe-dream or a deception.

Anonymous said...

OT: Get ready for a large influx of inappropriate traffic:

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=13343409

Steve Sailer said...

Dear Mr. Jobs:

I own iSteve.com. You own billions of dollars. A mutually satisfactory arrangement can be worked out.

Call me.

Steve Sailer
iSteve.com

icr said...

In contrast, Switzerland's traditional policy -- We won't attack you, but if you attack us, we will defeat you -- doesn't require Switzerland to be #1, just strong enough to make invading Switzerland unprofitable for other countries.

That was of course the America First Committee's proposed policy for the US before Pearl Harbor. After 1945 the US became a worldwide empire and all the constant foreign interventions, CIA-directed coups and wars flowed from that.

Anonymous said...

'Right' is uselessly abstract if the thugs have all the guns. Also, they don't have the 'legal right' under Mugabe's rule to overthrow tyranny.

It's also useless and meaningless if you can't prevent the destruction of your nation by immigration and race-mixing.

But nations like Germany and Japan have made great progress under democracy and a human-rights-regimen after their psychotic regimes were removed by external force.

They (especially Japan) have managed to avoid at least for now the worst of what gets called "progress" under "democracy and a human rights regimen" these days. Which is why they're still decent. But it's clear that what gets called "progress" is not good at all and is nothing but the destruction of the nation through immigration and race-mixing.

icr said...

In the case of China after WWII, US should have done more, not less.

The Truman Admin. did plenty, they imposed an arms embargo on Chiang which predictably aided Mao, who received plenty of Soviet weapons.

Earlier:
http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/FR89102.TXT
(...)
Harry Dexter White in the Treasury Department played a key role in sabotaging U.S. economic aid to the Nationalists, as even his friendly biographer admits. In a December 9, 1944 memo to Treasury
Secretary Morgenthau, White wrote, "We have stalled as much as we
have dared and have succeeded in limiting gold shipments to $26
million during the past year. We think it would be a serious mistake
to permit further large shipments at this time."89 The U.S.
government had made a commitment to Chiang in writing to supply $200
million in gold to curb inflation in Nationalist China.90 white's
policy prevented the shipment until it was too late to be effective
in stemming the inflation, a contributing factor to loss of American confidence in Chiang and thus to Chiang's defeat. White also supported the propaganda line favorable to the Communists. Reporting to Morgenthau on the Dixie Mission on October 16, 1944, White wrote that the interests of the Chinese Communist Party "."91

(...)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon_Adler#Espionage_claims
In addition to his contacts with U.S. espionage groups, while serving as Treasury attache in China in 1944, Adler shared a house with Chinese Communist secret agent Chi Ch'ao-ting[11] and State Department officer John Stewart Service, who was arrested the following year in the Amerasia case.
Together with Harry Dexter White, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and V. Frank Coe, Director of the Treasury's Division of Monetary Research, Adler strongly opposed a gold loan program of $200 million to help the Nationalist Chinese Government control the inflation that took hold in unoccupied China during World War II. Inflation in China between 1943 and 1945 was more than 1,000% per year, weakening the Nationalist government in China. This inflation helped the Communists eventually come to power in China, and in later years White, Coe, and Adler were accused of having deliberately fostered the Chinese inflation by obstructing the stabilization loan.[12]
According to a Chinese work published in 1983, from at least 1963 on Adler worked for China's Central External Liaison Department, an agency involved in foreign espionage.[13]. Adler's apartment in Beijing was also provided to Adler by the Liaison Department, which would indicate that the Department was Adler's work unit.[14]

(...)

Anonymous said...

"It was the international community that imposed Mugabe in the first place, applying economic, diplomatic and military pressure that broke the spine of the previous regime, and not accepting as legitimate any effort by the conceding Whites to hand over to a less deadly rival than Mugabe."

Mugabe may have had some international support, but he had the crucial backing of most black Zimbabweans and most of Africa. And whites in formerly Rhodesia were vastly outnumbered--probably like 20 to 1 or even worse. They simply could not put down the violent populist uprising led by Mugabe short of using genocidal violence against blacks, like what Germans did in Namibia in the early 20th century.

If national sovereignty should be based primarily on the will of the people, then there's no doubt that the will of most Zimbabweans during the era of white colonialist rule was 'Mugabe is our leader'. Mugabe wasn't imposed ON Zimbabwe but enthusiastically supported by most Mugabeans with the full support of all black African nations.

Today, blacks in Zimbabwe may feel differently, but this is now, that was then.
What the example of Zimbabwe shows is that the will of the people may not always be good for the people. Hitler too rose to power with the will of the people. Some good that did for Germany. People can be crazy too.

Anonymous said...

"Power is addictive but so is moral narcissism. It was WWII and the Cold War which wedded those two things on a global scale in the American consciousness. Americans are addicted to both power and moral upmanship. 
It's not 'might is right' but 'OUR might is right'. "

Genius, sir. You win one internet.

Anonymous said...

Chicago - What other allies do we have out there that we don't know about and exactly why are they our allies?

Well there is Israel for one, though the US receives no discernable benefit from this relationship that I can see.

Hapalong Cassidy said...

"I'd be nervous if I were Russian and living in Siberia. In fact I read a few years back that they already are nervous. Chinese are infiltrating Siberian areas close to their borders much as Mexicans are infiltrating the U.S.. Moreover I believe China has plausible historical claims to portions of Siberia -- again like Mexico -- dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Perhaps other readers know more about this."

The borders of China - Manchuria in particular - went as far north as the Stanovoy Mountains of western Siberia under the Qing Dynasty. This area includes present day Vladivostok.

Anonymous said...

I think Whiskey needs a girl. I mean that. He REALLY needs a girl. Not just for the bumping, but for the political wisdom.

He's a fascist cartoon, otherwise.

Dutch Boy said...

"Build a whacking big Navy bigger than anything they can field, and more powerful." Great idea, Whiskey. Unfortunately, you failed to notice that we are broke. We'll be lucky to maintain the navy we have.
The Christian response to Islam was not turn the other cheek, it was the Crusades. The limp-wrist approach is strictly modern liberalism.

Svigor said...

When Saddam told us that he was going to seize some territory from Kuwait because they were siphoning his oil, our response was that "we have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts." Then, after Saddam invaded Kuwait, we feigned shock and used that as an excuse to go in. Essentially, the poor fool got tricked.

Then he wanted to be tricked. What self-respecting Arab risks so much on the word of one female nobody in the State Department (or whatever it was - fact remains, she was nobody).

Kylie said...

"I think the idea of a decent international community coming together to save the people in nations ruled by evil thugs is a good one. Indeed, if we could just press a button and remove Gaddafi and bring happy democracy to Libya without runaway costs or complications, who would have a problem?"

Great ideas!

Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth....

neil craig said...

And #3 Bush did not extend his legal remit, after winning in Kuwait, by onvvading Iraq and occupying it.

And unfortunately got nothing but criticism at the time for what i consider was an act of considerable statemanship. Saddam was beaten, was goingto stay beaten, and there was no reason to take over Iraq.

But wars make good TV. That seems to be the motivating force in the Libyan war (except for France, who wants to run North Africa) & in the Yugoslav wars (except for Germany who hated the Serbs for being on the other side in 2 previous wars) & in Iraq where the thought of all those cheering crowds on the march to Baghdad was to good to refuse.

Svigor said...

Well there is Israel for one, though the US receives no discernable benefit from this relationship that I can see.

None we're willing to claim, anyway. Israel justifies ethnopatriotism, White Nationalism, White Zionism, whatever you want to call it, lock, stock, and barrel.

Anonymous said...

"But, what happens when someday China is #1. We'll they draw their lessons from Old Bush or from Young Bush or Obama?"

Neither. The Pax Sinica will result from China selfishly pursuing its own economic interests. They will become what the US once was, a mega economy consuming most of the world's natural resources. And they will play all sides against the middle. As the number one manufacturing country, they will make arms so dirt cheap that any country can afford a sophisticated mechanized war with their neighbor, even on a shoe string budget. Buy the SINOBLAST Intermediate-Sized-Conflict Super Saver Package with light armaments, rockets, drones, artillery pieces, and enough ammunition to keep your 30K man army in the field for 12 months. Instead of high quality US MREs, feed soldiers for less on a diet of Raman noodles, mooncake (which lasts virtually forever), and sorghum liquor; gameboy thrown in with every meal.

Anonymous said...

"I'd be nervous if I were Russian and living in Siberia. In fact I read a few years back that they already are nervous. Chinese are infiltrating Siberian areas close to their borders much as Mexicans are infiltrating the U.S."

I agree. Though Russia stole a lot of land from the Chinese, it's better that they remain under Russian control than come under Chinese control. Russians have some love of animal whereas Chinese will kill every bear for paws and every tiger for penises. (A weirdo sicko people.) Also, Russians will populate the area sparsely, leaving most of it to nature, while Chinese will just chop down every tree.

But purely from a historical viewpoint, Russia needs to worry cuz a good chunk of Siberia and Central Asia was stole from China through trickery. Russians provided a bullshit map and misled Chinese as to the agreed borders. Chinese back then were too weak, too corrupt,and too myopic to read the fine print and consult another lawyer. Chinese, for all their smarts, got gypped like American Indians by whites. But wherever Chinese go, nature goes to pot. If you want tigers, bears, and forests to survive, say NO to Chinese in Siberia.

Anonymous said...

Russians have some love of animal whereas Chinese will kill every bear for paws and every tiger for penises. (A weirdo sicko people.)

Asians claim to be so close to nature, but what have they done for it? They seem to believe that tigers, bears, and rhinos just pop out of thin air. I would have said "grown on trees", but considering how trees fare in Asia, not even that. The few nature reserves and save-the-tiger projects are run by westerners.

The only Asian country that makes any effort at locally-run nature conservation is (no big surprise) Japan.

Anonymous said...

http://takimag.com/article/the_middle_east_for_dummies1/print

Taki makes the same argument that Stanley Kurtz did in the Weekly Standard article--that the Middle East and North Africa are largely dominated with tribal mentality despite the fact they live in modern nation-states. Fair enough.
It's also been said by Western scholars that Japanese, for all their modernity, are still a people with a 'village clan' mentality or even a 'samurai mentality'--despite the outlawing of the warrior caste long ago. And it's been said of Russians that they have a tsarist-authoritiarian mentality, i.e. most Russians feel more comfortable with a strong leader than with individualist democracy.

Well... all fair enough. It's very possible that different cultures and even races have different psycho-structures and tendencies, some of them unique and some of them amoral, immoral, or negative.

But... what if someone said similar things about Jews or blacks? If it's okay to say Arab mentality tends toward the tribal "I against my brother, and I and My Brother Against My Cousin", would it be okay to say the Jewish mentality leans toward, "I with my brothers and minority groups AGAINST gentile majority, especially white Christian"? Or how about "I and my brethren divide and rule dumb goyim"?
Or how about the black mentality, "I and my homey let the good times roll"? I think someone got in trouble for suggesting as much. But hey, NO PROBLEM with psycho-cultural generalizations about the Arab mentality!

For all I know, Taki and Kurtz could be right. I've known a bunch of Arabs and Muslims in America, but they seem to get along pretty well. I never saw college students OVER HERE bicker along sunni-shia lines. I've known some who were anti-Zionist, but then most Arabs--who are non-Palestinian--didn't seemed care much(any more than Japanese or Vietnamese give a crap about Tibet).

Was the Sunni-Shia divide worse than the Protestant-Catholic divide? Maybe, maybe not. Catholics and Prots were divided pretty much evenly in Western Europe(at least geographically)whereas I think most Arabs were Sunni while most Shias tended to be on the eastern fringes of the Arab world and in Iran, an non-Arab people.
Besides, sectarianism isn't the same thing as tribalism. Tribalism can be about squabbles within people of the same race or faith, like the Capulets and Montagues, or Hatfields and McCoys.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what would have happened if the Arab world first gained global power and conquered Europe. Suppose they created artificial nations where Euro Catholics and Euro Protestants were bunched together in the same nation. Would it have led to bloodshed like in Iraq? Or would things have calmed down over time? Parts of Germany have always been Catholic but they got on pretty well with Protestant North. But I suppose it took the THIRTY YRS WAR--which wiped out third of German population--to sober them up about the futility of religious squabbles. Also, the Enlightenment played a role in secularizing much of the German elites and middle classes, whereby religious differences became less virulent. Given how Catholic Austria easily melded with mostly Protestant Germany in 1938, one might think nationalism trumps religionism, at least among modern peoples.

And maybe it could be said Iraq recently underwent something like the Thirty Yrs War, and sobered up to the futility of all this back-and-forth killing. It was ugly but hopefully the worst is behind them.

In the 20th century, it took 67 million dead in two wars to sober Europeans up about crazy radical politics and wars for supremacy. So, if even enlightened Europeans had to undergo that kind of hell to finally put on a lid on mad mentalities, maybe it'll take bloodshed in the Middle East too. Sad, but it's how history works. And America went through the Civil War over political and moral differences(some of it rooted in the religious principles of abolitionists).

Finally, was the civil war in Iraq really about sectarian differences or political power? Sunnis were pissed not so much cuz they disagreed with Shia-ism per se but because they'd gotten used to having power under Hussein. If Hussein had been a Shia who'd long favored Shias, then maybe there would have been no civil war; removal of Hussein and free elections would have kept Iraqi politics stable and continuous: Shias, who'd been dominant under Hussein, would still have been dominant. But because of the sudden power shift from Sunni to Shia, Sunnis panicked and Shias and Kurds were ready to rub it in to the Sunnies(which is why Sunnies desperately sided with Al Qaeda terrorists whom they otherwise would have rejected and despise). Sunnis had no problem with Shia-ism as a faith but couldn't stomach the fact Shias and Kurds would lord over Sunnis who once had most of the power.

Rabinowitz, Rabinowitz and Rabinowitz said...

Steve Sailer said...

I own iSteve.com. You own billions of dollars. A mutually satisfactory arrangement can be worked out.

Call me.

Steve Sailer
iSteve.com


Steve should send Jobs a cease and desist letter immediately.

Steve has a responsibility to protect his iSteve brand and intellectual property against all infrigners, especially a well-known one like Jobs.

If Steve doesn't send a letter, Jobs could hire some lawyer to argue that Steve abandoned the iSteve mark giving Jobs the right to infringe or possibly even evict Steve due to the potential customer confusion created.

Certainly Jobs would sue Steve at the drop of a pin if the shoe were on the other foot (and with some reason too).

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Besides, America, by its very size and power, simply cannot have a foreign policy like Switzerland. It would be like comparing Singapore or Taiwan with China.

Switzerland, Singapore, Taiwan and dozens of other small nations all seem to be doing fine, and many of them have been around in one form or another for longer than we have.

Sounds like a good argument for the break-up of the United States.

Dharma Hammer said...

Asians claim to be so close to nature, but what have they done for it?

What asians have you heard claim this? This is a Western projection onto the marekting here of Eastern religions.

Meticulously bending and designing gardens to an unnatural aesthetic (Japan) or holding a religious view to not kill cows (India) is not a claim to be in touch with nature.

Anonymous said...

"Asians claim to be so close to nature, but what have they done for it?"

That is the problem. They are TOO close to nature. It'd be nice if they kept a distance.

Hapalong Cassidy said...

"Asians claim to be so close to nature, but what have they done for it?"

That's just something SWPL whites like to say. Along the lines of believing that Native Americans are somehow more environmentally conscious than the rest of us. Which is false, since it's been documented that they wiped out most of the mega-fauna of North America.