The general public and members of the Council on Foreign Relations are apprehensive and uncertain about America’s place in the world. Growing numbers in both groups see the United States playing a less important role globally.... And the general public, which is in a decidedly inward-looking frame of mind when it comes to global affairs, is less supportive of increasing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan than are CFR members.
Click here for the full report, and take a look at its graphs and charts below. As you'll see if you read the full piece, the public isn't better on everything -- it's more aggressive toward Iran, for example. But nonetheless, winds of noninterventionism, even if poorly understood as of yet, seem to be blowing.
In 1928, Arthur Ponsonby wrote in his book Falsehood in Wartime, "When war is declared, truth is the first casualty."
Sadly this truism also applies to undeclared wars as well. On Tuesday, when President Obama officially announced his deployment of 30,000 more troops, the country felt a bit betrayed. The "hope" for "change" that many had invested in the Nobel Peace Prize winner seemed to be nothing more then just fooled emotions. However, in classic Obama fashion, he attempted to frame his new surge as part of his mission of peace. He stated that within 18 months those who had been deployed in this new offensive would begin to return home. So, for many who for some reason or another still give him credit as a "peace" candidate there was at least "light at the end of the tunnel."
Sadly though even this little piece of residual hope about possibly bring an end to this catastrophe known as the Afghan War but July of 2011 is not true.
I'm a proud New Jerseyian for a few reasons: Taylor Ham; Judge Andrew Napolitano and his alumni status at Princeton; and NJ is the birthplace of a great noninterventionist: President Grover Cleveland.
Yet I'm not proud of the fact that NJ is also the home of Woodrow Wilson, the standard bearer of liberal interventionism around the world. But I recently stumbled across this picture from Time:
And unfortuntely for Time, the mischaracterize the policy of NONINTERVENTION and call it isolationism. Isolationism means blocking out the rest of the world, but non-intervention is a very different idea calling for peace, free commerce, free travel, and friendly diplomatic relations wherever possible. It sounds like more Americans than ever are interested in something like that. Let's keep that trend going and spread Dr. Paul's noninterventionist ideas!
Many have called environmentalism a "new religion" for activists. It seems that everywhere you go today you are bombarded by slogans about "going green." Even major corporations have jumped on the bandwagon of environmental friendliness. So when I came across this gem I couldn't help but chuckle.
It seems that now even military contractors are trying to become more eco-friendly. According to the article defense establishment companies such as MBDA Missile Systems and BAE Systems have now made it part of their corporate plan to try to produce more "green" munitions. MBDA has joined the "10:10" Campaign, a group based in the UK whose goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 10% by 2010. When asked about why they allowed a company who creates weapons of mass destruction to be added to the roster of 10:10 campaigns they stated that it was important for MBDA to "reduce their emissions by 10 per cent... What they do with the rest of their time is a different matter, on which we couldn't possibly comment."
University of Cincinnati Young Americans for Liberty chapter president, Chris Morbitzer, comments on Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan on Newsrecord.org:
If we claim now that we must stay to train Afghan security forces and support Afghan agriculture because the elected government is inept and the people cannot be trusted to their own affairs, then we are indeed an occupation force engaging in nation building, the very activity in which the president insists we must not engage. The president stated that he is committed to full withdrawal from both Iraq and Afghanistan and the decommissioning of the prison at Guantanamo Bay according to a relatively swift timeline. However, the president’s track record so far with regard to holding fast to his early promises has been less than ideal, and only time will tell if the president does indeed follow through with his plan for withdrawal.
However, Ron Paul remains a true exception to the "gang of 535," as is noted in this recent article on him from the UK:
[Ron Paul's] ideas have struck chords with libertarian-minded college kids. Dismissed last year as the token nutjob in the line-up of Republican presidential candidates, his insurgent campaign proved surprisingly tenacious. Young people at music festivals wore "Dr Paul cured my apathy" badges, he spawned an internet fund-raising movement that had echoes of Barack Obama from the other side, and to this day he has a stronger YouTube presence than any other Republican politician.
And as always, he continues to be one of the few principled opponents of immoral and illegal war in Washington (what I like about this video is how his questioners sound like parodies of themselves -- as if they're exaggerating their stupidity to make him look even better):
Home for me is in the small town of Owego, New York, where I am represented by Maurice Hinchey (D-NY22). Hinchey for me has always been a mixed bag. He vehemently opposed torture, the Iraq war, supports legalization of marijuana and even took part in the Bush impeachment hearings spearheaded by Dennis Kucinich.
Yet he also voted for Cash for Clunkers, the stimulus package, and TARP, among other legislation that has decimated our economy while growing the state. So when he says something I at least tune an ear to it, and will listen depending on the issue being discussed. So when this came out, I felt the need to do a little research:
The President announced last night that he would be increasing the troop levels in Afghanistan by 30,000. This is an attempt to push back against the insurgents that have popped back up and are now causing troubles for U.S. troops.
But here is my question: Wasn't Afghanistan won years ago? Why are we still there?
First, I am not a neo-conservative that believes we should be policing the world and taking "the fight to the enemy" while wasting trillions of dollars. I am a traditional conservative that thinks logically and doesn't buy into the crap that we are fed by the two major parties and the mainstream media.
With that we have made a mistake in Afghanistan. And I want you to think back...
Not surprisingly, the generals are reportedly happy to have been provided with additional cannon fodder for what the Afghan defense minister called their "historic responsibility" in Afghanistan. The (literal) man on the Afghan street doesn't agree:
...Esmatullah, a young construction worker on a Kabul street corner, was unimpressed. "Even if they bring the whole of America, they won't be able to stabilize Afghanistan. Only Afghans understand our traditions, geography and way of life."
He and Ron Paul should hang out. More concerning from the Reuters report on Obama's speech:
In his speech, Obama also focused on Pakistan, saying a cancer had taken root in its border region with Afghanistan and promised U.S. help to end it. Some officials in Islamabad fear the U.S. surge in Afghanistan will further destabilize their country.
Hopefully he won't decide we need to "fix" that problem too. More here.