The Paris ISIS terror attacks are a grim reminder of what happens when western-and especially American-civilization retreats from leadership in a world where, we seem to have forgotten, the default condition under which most of mankind lives is barbarism.
Liberals and libertarians of the Rand Paul school blame this on George W. Bush. But that accusation based on events of 2003-04 skips over an intermediary period during which conditions had been, if not idyllic, then the least-worst they have been before or since.
Go to your public library and pick up a copy of the New York Times or the Wall Street journal for any day in 2007 or 2008, and you will be hard-pressed to find any front-page mention of Iraq, much less ISIS . The "failure" narrative had lost its bite. The death rate of American soldiers was barely above that of training accidents. Iraq had become the biggest non-issue of the day.
As I wrote on WesternJournalism.com on June 18, 2014, a few short years ago, "We owned the country. We operated the oil fields. Saddam Hussein was dead; his murderous Baath party was defeated; and Al-Qaeda and the jihadis, if not gone, were neutralized. At that point, we could have drafted a Constitution based on the principle of separation of powers such that conflict between Sunnis and Shias and Kurds took a back seat to aggregations of citizens along different dimensions, neutralizing the religious one. We could have supported a leader who was able, ready, and willing by principle and conviction to govern across sectarian lines; we didn't have to settle for the partisan Shia autocrat prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki; and we could have imposed the time-honored practice of term limits (even on the one we chose.) We could have given every adult Iraqi citizen, men and women, equal shares of common and preferred stocks and bonds of a fully privatized formerly national oil industry, giving them a direct stake in the defense of peaceful free-market capitalism and private property rights, as well as a sense of sharing in both the national purpose and its bounty...At the very least, we could have negotiated a realistic and appropriate Status of Forces agreement.
But all of that would be Imperialism and ugly-Americanism, of course. Unacceptable! At the very least, too expensive!"
Too expensive? As Ted Cruz famously said at the last debate, if you think it's expensive defending America, try NOT defending her!"
In a world full of ambitious tyrants, there will always be the need for a powerful and benevolent force in the world to promote peace, stability, human rights and trade. Since the end of World War II, that force has been America-the Pax Americana.
Like it or not, our domain of responsibility, though far from exclusive, includes France, western Europe, Israel and, well, the world. Spitting on the graves of our own soldiers and throwing the ordinary citizens of uncivilized nations who risked their lives to help us under the bus, is not leadership.
To return to a position of strength will probably require a leader willing to tell the American people things they would rather not hear.
See the complete article at: WesternJournalism.com
Never miss an opportunity to bash a libertarian- it’s the new great American pastime.
Further, never let us allow facts to get in the way of such good rhetoric.
Of course the ISIS attack in Paris is our fault for failing to lead (kill enough people BUT DO IT BENEVOLENTLY).
BTW I did get your hidden message that Rand Paul likely caused the Paris attacks through his weakness and is possibly even a terrorist ISIS sympathizer.
If only W had a few more years…..
We owned the country. We operated the oil fields.
How dare those pesky Iraqis think that Iraq should belong to the Iraqis. Infidels.
How could they actually think they should be allowed to determine their own government, constitution, or share of their national bounty.
You are right that they should take what we give them and be grateful for that.
After all, America knows best! We are the "dear leader" of the world and it is our responsibility to LEAD (by lead we actually mean kill).
I’m glad you agree that Reagan, Eisenhower et al were weak fools to advise against a state of perpetual warfare. America must be STRONG and we must LEAD. (The new GOP platform). Individual rights and freedom are really an anachronism in the dangerous world of 2015 where such fearsome people like Jihad Johnny are hiding under every bed. If only McCarthy were around today he would know what to do. Root ‘em out! Kill em all and let God sort them out! I mean Hitler had a lot of great ideas, he just shouldn’t have done that naughty stuff to the Jews.
We must reshape the world through force into a peaceful utopia where ambitious tyrants are vanquished from history, this is the humane solution and recent history (2007-2008) proves that it is the only viable solution. A thousand points of light! The barbarians are at the gate and these weak liberals and libertarians are, well, WEAK!
Sorry for taking your time, back to work...
Yours always humming Rule Britannia,
Howard writes back:
Thank you AG,
For the record, I don't blame Rand Paul for anything ISIS has done. I do call him out for skipping over Obama's actions in assigning causation to our current situation.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Paul a month ago in Washington D.C. at the Wednesday Morning meeting of Americans for Prosperity. He took questions in particular about Syria. While I have my disagreements with him, I respect him for being very well-informed and consistent in his principles.
...which brings us back to:Answering the Libertarian Indictments on Iraq