Mailvox: indifference abroad

Alex writes: Pardon me while I wave the American flag, but in case you haven’t noticed, very few Americans, Left or Right, seem so apathetic about advancing basic human dignity to other countries. Go ahead, pick out exceptions, at home and abroad. But like Libertarians, most Americans agree in theory. They just can’t make it work perfectly in reality. It seems that you can find nothing supportive to say about military efforts in Iraq, for to do so would imply support for the re-election of GWB. I for one, would not be fooled.

I am not apathetic about “advancing basic human dignity to other countries”, I am against it. Among other things, that’s the United Nations’ line and I follow the Founding Fathers in this regard. Also, if we have the right to wage war in order to build other nations in our image, so does the Socialist International as well as, for that matter, the Islamic Jihad. Furthermore, in case everyone hasn’t noticed, the more America extends its power abroad, the less liberty we have at home.

I haven’t had much positive to say about the military effort since Baghdad was taken. The execution of the invasion was excellent. The postwar occupation shows every sign of what has already been admitted by the adminstration – they didn’t really have a clue as to what to do. Every occupied nation in WWII had a government-in-exile, yet we didn’t bother to build and support a credible one. I see no reason whatsoever to believe that our long-term strategy, if there is one, will be successful. If you are wondering about my increasingly pessimistic tone, I have read a lot of information recently about the structural difficulties that our forces are facing, from ammunition shortages to massive draw-downs from European depots and the difficulty of delivering supplies from Kuwait. In case you haven’t noticed, Col. David Hackworth has also become increasingly critical of the operations side as well. Supporting the troops does NOT require supporting those who are actively working to make their jobs more difficult and dangerous.

The only reason that Bush’s supporters are so annoyed now – as opposed to six months ago – is that the president, having foolishly sacrificed his conservative base, has no serious argument for his re-election other than his performance as commander-in-chief. If that performance is not looking very good these past few months, that’s his responsibility, not mine. I was calling for bringing the troops home from around the world before this bloody April and I will continue to do so no matter how the occupation continues. I hope it goes well. I don’t expect that it will.