-- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 34, 1788
"To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude that the fiery and destructive passions of war reign in the human breast with much more powerful sway than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace; and that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquillity would be to calculate on the weaker springs of human character."
-- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 34, 1788
Since tonight's debate involves foreign policy, I thought it would be appropriate to share my response to an inquiry on this subject today:
What would justify the US military getting involved in a foreign conflict?
Of course that is a difficult question to answer for someone in my position, for several reasons. Number one, I don't have the sort of information available to me that the commander-in-chief has. Number two, lacking that vital information, we are therefore not always able to easily see the whole strategic picture that would help guide our tactical considerations. I'm not dodging the question. I'm stating the facts.
But, speaking generally, there are a number of situations that could lead us into war. Here are a few of them:
1. A threat to the lives, liberty, or property of the American people.
2. A threat to the sovereignty, security, or territory of the United States.
3. A threat to allies with which we have constitutionally-ratified and valid treaty obligations.
4. Strategic threats that could put any, or all, of the above, or the members of our armed forces, in peril.
While the commander-in-chief has the obligation to respond appropriately and immediately to all such threats where time is of the essence, morally, constitutionally, and in terms of practicality, he cannot wage war for any length of time without the involvement of Congress, and, by extension, the American people they represent.
Of course, great restraint is required at all times. Our people should not be sent into harm's way unless and until it is absolutely necessary.
Would vital American interests have to be at stake in an obvious way or would we be justified, for example, in getting involved in, say Syria, to take out Assad?
Based on the limited information that I have right now, no, I do not think direct American involvement in situations like we see right now in Syria are called for.
By the way, the last of three AIP of California presidential debates that I'm participating in is tonight, and the subject is foreign policy and defense. So, your questions are quite timely.
The debate is at 9 pm Eastern, and the live link to listen can be found at the top of the thread at this link:
Tom Hoefling to debate Virgil Goode [Last of 3 debates is tonight!] http://www.americaspartynews.com/talk/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=24214&posts=13
I know that my answers to your questions are brief, and therefore far from complete, but it's all I can muster the time for in the midst of a very, very busy schedule today.
We can always explore these important matters more deeply on one of our twice-weekly America's Summit calls should you desire to do so. That link and information is here:
Of course tonight's call is not taking place because of the debate, but we'll be back on schedule this Thursday night, Lord willing.
Thanks for listening.
For Life, Liberty and the Constitution,
Provided courtesy of the Peace Through Strength Institute
Wars begin in a thousand ways. Some begin with lies, others with truth. Some with aggression and others with appeasement. But behind those many beginnings are some familiar qualities. Arrogance, incompetence, ignorance and cowardice.
Those qualities should be familiar because we can hardly go a day without seeing them displayed behind the teleprompter in its familiar place in Washington D.C. or on the endless road trip to the Muslim world that is the Obama Doctrine. We have seen them in Istanbul and Cairo, and we can see their consequences in Tehran and Tunis. In a world where America has kept the peace, they are swiftly leading us to war.
Bombs Away in North Korea
The words “North Korea” and “diplomacy” are a running joke even in diplomatic circles, and seeing a headline like “Clinton hails North Korea food deal” doesn’t give you enough information to determine whether you are seeing a news story from 2011 or 1994. Sadly, the answer is 2011, as the Hope and Change crew have put their faith in their own diplomacy, rather than in history or common sense.
North Korea is more than just a Communist mafia with nuclear weapons; it’s the starting point in the supply chain for any Muslim country that wants its own nuclear weapons. Its ability to blackmail the West encourages nations like Iran to push for their own nuclear programs to be able to have their own atomic blackmail card… and brings us closer to the day when a bankrupt North Korea decides that America really is a paper tiger and our soldiers find themselves fighting a second Korean War.
A Cold Day in Hell in Iran
If the world were a playground, Iran would be the school bully who has been beating us up since 1979. The United States has occasionally fought back; mostly it has tried to be the bigger man in the conflict. All that changed with this administration which has signaled loud and clear that it will not fight back no matter what.
It takes a lot to get a compliment out the Iranian leadership, which views America as the Great Satan, but Obama’s “diplomacy” did the trick when the Supreme Leader of Iran said, “Two days ago, we heard the president of America say: ‘We are not thinking of war with Iran.’ This is good. Very good. These are wise words. This is an exit from illusion.”
There are diplomats in D.C. patting themselves on the back for that achievement when they should be hanging themselves instead. These aren’t words of peace, this is the leader of a theocracy that has been at war with the United States from Day One, gloating that the Great Satan has finally accepted that it can’t defeat the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.
The United States has been the last remaining restraint on Iran after the fall of Saddam. Now that restraint is gone and the Ayatollahs are off the leash and all that more eager for a fight now that they’re sure we can’t fight back.
In The Caliphate’s Corner
There’s a reason that Chamberlain merited eternal infamy for his pandering to Hitler, but even he didn’t actually invade Czechoslovakia to hand it over to the Nazis. Carter’s support for the Ayatollahs created a major threat but even he didn’t turn over half the Middle East to them. Obama has managed to combine the worst of both men and then some by backing a series of revolutions that have put the Muslim Brotherhood in the driver’s seat.
The Al-Nahda Party in Tunisia, which has taken power, has been quite clear that it is the new caliphate. In Egypt, the Caliphate has proven popular with Egyptian voters who came out in droves for the Salafis and the Brotherhood. And that’s just the beginning. Libya and its oil wealth are still up for grabs and the reforms and new elections in the wake of the Arab Spring will go on swinging Arab countries into the hairy arms of the Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood is not going to be any better at running those countries than their former governments were. Even Saudi money can only buy so much free food for the masses. But there’s a time honored way to distract the people from how little they have to eat—with a war.
The first target of a Caliphate that wants to dominate the region will be us. They already have our weapons and our money. When their popularity dips, they’re going to thank Obama for putting them in power in the traditional manner… with a war.
Facing the Dragon with an Empty Hand
The last time that we got into a war with a major Pacific power it was because Japan thought we were stunting its regional ambitions. This time around swap China for Japan and we are likely to be facing the same war all over again. Except China is in a better position than Japan was and Obama’s drastic cuts to the military, particularly to the navy and air force, put us in a much weaker position to play defense.
Last year Obama showily insisted that the United States is a “Pacific Power”, even while he was stripping away our ability to be one. It’s one thing to provoke the dragon, but another to do it when you don’t have the weapons to fight him.
Obama has insisted on baiting China while weakening the United States. It’s a bad combination that can only lead to disaster.
All Quiet on the Denial Front
As a “Man of Peace”, Obama has maintained his image by selectively altering reality. Wars are no longer called wars. Terrorist attacks are no longer described as terrorist attacks. But there’s a reason why we describe certain things as “Acts of War”, it’s because the enemy is meant to know that doing them to us will result in a war. That’s no longer the case.
Before WW2 came the “Phoney War”. We’re stuck in several of those right now. But denial isn’t just a river in Egypt; it’s a way to let the enemy hit us as many times as he wants while we pretend that nothing is going on. But that doesn’t keep war at bay; it just keeps us from fighting back while encouraging greater acts of war and terror. Refusing to acknowledge aggression is the surest way of inviting war. Just ask Neville.
The Hungry Bear
Russia hasn’t gone away just because Hollywood stopped featuring it as the villain in action movies and neither have its territorial ambitions. The reset button hasn’t reset anything except the brains in D.C. and the Obama Administration’s abandonment of a missile shield based out of Eastern Europe amounted to an abandonment of Eastern Europe in the eyes of Moscow. The bear is still hungry and it won’t wait forever to take back what belongs to it. When that day comes we will either have to back NATO or abandon it in the face of a war that could have been avoided with fewer reset buttons and more reality buttons.
The War at Home
It may have escaped the attention of the White House, but these days we’re fighting fewer terrorists from abroad and more terrorists who were either born in the USA or have their citizenship. The policy of the Obama Administration is not to describe terrorists like Major Nidal Hasan as such, but it doesn’t change the fact that we are moving from a war against Jihadists from abroad to the development of domestic terrorist cells by native born Muslims. That’s no longer just a war, it’s a civil war and the policy of denial makes it impossible to address. If the cells continue proliferating, then we won’t need to go to Afghanistan to find the enemy, we’ll be able to find them right here on the home front.
Giving the Green Light for Domestic Repression
The Obama Administration’s fixation on soft power would be ridiculous if it weren’t so destructive. The twilight of the Bush Administration saw the United States in a stalemate with Russia and Iran over their aggressive moves in Georgia and Iraq, and the sunrise of the Hope and Change era saw futile attempts at a reset button push with Russia and diplomatic outreach to nowhere with Iran. These efforts did not lead to peace or improved relations; they did however give those respective regimes the confidence to steal elections while ramping up their domestic repression.
A fundamental mistake of appeasers is to assume that they are contending with tyrannies only in the sphere of foreign relations. Tyrannies are first and foremost concerned with maintaining internal order and try to avoid a combination of internal and external conflicts. When soft power eases the pressure on them externally, it gives them the breathing room they need to suppress domestic dissent and once that’s done they have the freedom to engage in external conflicts.
The Syrian Solution
It’s a sad day when Hillary Clinton is the voice of reason, but in an administration that imagines Syria will be as easy as Libya, when even Libya wasn’t as easy as Libya, she is the closest thing to a reality check. But that reality check is failing and it seems as if the United States is headed to another war in which we have everything to lose and the Brotherhood has everything to gain.
The Bolivarian Dissolution
At some point in his life, Obama no doubt donned a red Che t-shirt. South of the border though they take that sort of thing more seriously and the red sweep in Latin America is more than just dangerous, it raises the prospect of a hemispheric war. Chavez may seem like a clown, but he has helped bring together a coalition of the left and tied it together with Iran and its Shiite proxies.
Obama has cheered on the return of the reds, but red and green together may mean a war, open or covert, that he is completely unprepared for.
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Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com
URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/03/13/10-ways-obama-has-made-war-more-likely/