OPINIONS PLEASE; Should The U.S. Be The World's Policeman?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
A Newsmax/Zogby Poll released today indicates that Americans - By Large Majorities - oppose the United States defending militarily several key allies, including Taiwan, Isreal and South Korea.
Heres the question that was asked: "If attacked by another country, should the U.S. help to defend militarily, even though it could cost American soldiers their lives,...." such hot spots as Kosvo, Isreal, Taiwan, South Korea and Kuwait.
In each and every case, a significant majority of respondents said they would oppose using the U.S. military to aid these countries, some long-time U.S. allies.
Link To Detailed Poll Results
Do you have an opinion on this poll, one way or the other?
-- Zdude (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2000
For me the answer is simple; If we dont have a strategic interest in that country then we should stay home and guard our own borders. For example we had a strategic interest in Kuwait because of our oil needs so that would be a yes in my book. But in my opinion we had no business in Kosovo that wasnt our war.
Taking it a step further I believe that Constitutionally we're only supposed to defend our own borders is that correct?
-- Zdude (email@example.com), March 02, 2000.
Your title is different from the question. Yes, we should help our long-term allies, NO we should not be the world's policeman.
-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), March 02, 2000.
Sorry about the misleading title I was trying to keep it to one line and I messed up.
-- Zdude (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2000.
We should honor our existing treaties, so they will honor theirs with us. We should be very careful with whom we ally ourselves in the future...even more careful with whom we sign treaties of mutual protection.
We should NOT be the world's policemen! Countries have rights with regard to their own internal affairs and it is NONE of our business as to how they execute those rights. I may not like how another country lives, but it is NOT my business....same thing holds for OUR government sticking its nose into MY business!
-- Alice (Looking@glassdarkly.com), March 02, 2000.
No keep out of disputes that do not affect US interests.
I do not support intervention in Yugoslavia or anywhere else for that matter, the electorate were not consulted by Blair.
I feel that it should be written in the constitution that countries should have a referendum before taking military action or declaring war etc.
-- Sir Richard (email@example.com), March 02, 2000.
The old (Tom Paxton?) song does indeed go "We're the cops of the world" ... kinda says it all! No, we shouldn't be -- but what happens when and if we don't??? No doubt some other 'bully' -- much worse than the USA -- (goose)steps in a takes over. The 1900's were rather full of just that sort of behaviour.
As for providing money to Israel, Taiwan and S. Korea -- did'ja ever hear of forward staging your supplies and having shared bases to use in the event of military unpleasantness? Just try to imagine a rapid response to sudden Mid-East oil area events without having a friend in the region! No, it's not in the Constitution (nor is it prohibited therein!) -- it just makes good common sense.
-- ReallyShould (ThinkItThrough@Folks.com), March 02, 2000.
That was Phil Ochs.
-- spider (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2000.
Policeman-No. Should we have a congress with gonads and declare war and wage war with regimes that threaten our existence? Yes. The new axis of russia/china/north korea/iran and some others have made it clear that they are out to completely obliterate us, by official pronouncements in those countries media outlets. That to me is clear cut prima facie evidence of war at some time. With that as a given, at a minimum right now, all of those countries citizens should be escorted from our border, and we should stop all trade or aid or anything with them as a first step. If they make one hostile move, they get hammered. End of story. If we wait, we will be destroyed as a country, those regimes will not hestitate to use back pack nukes, bio terrorism, electronic terrorism, as a first step towards war, then long and medium range missiles. They WILL do that, and sometime in the next few years. It is happening, we will be at war. So the question for me is now, later, or really later. Really later, at the rate that the multinationals and traitors in the administration are providing high tech equipment there, we will lose. No amount of chest beating or posturing will change that. They will have the power to either render us impotent on a large scale, or out right destroy us. Just look at the "war" in kosovo, now go look at a map of the world. Check out teeny tiny kosovo, and our unlimited airspace superiority, and then think, even using rockets, if we could stop all those other countries right now. Guess what? It's not hardly possible NOW, let alone later. We are selling and transferring the very weapons that will be used against us. Yesterday, charlie trie's testimony to congrews on transfer of bio war technology. We have Boeing and others producing planes in china, planes that can and will be used in the war effort againsyt us. Our alledged ally israel transfering AWACS electronics to china. russia taking our tax money and using it for modernizing it's military. Does anyone really think all these weapons won't be used? And on whom?
If we fail to stop china cold on taiwan, we will be at war within a few years anyway. There will be death and misery on an unprecedented scale in this country, and the "leaders" in business and government we have now, that are profiteering from this "trade" will be no where to be found. Thye'll be off in their new homes in china, in bunkers, or someplace else, but they won't be here to share in the devastation "profits".
-- zog (email@example.com), March 02, 2000.
Those opinion polls change awful quick when the american public is shown little children running ragged thru war torn streets or dead "peace keeping" soldiers being dragged naked, and hear reports of massive brutal attacks against poor defenseless villagers..and how all the women were raped, and how they butchered all the animals at the towns local zoo.
Whatever the media "shows and tells" us is going to influence public opinion. Check back on those polls the next time we get a nice visual on TV from Americas latest cause.
In answer to the question, every situation should be judged on it's own merit. Just as it is in everyday life on the playground. I'll help my friend if she's being picked on by five kids, but if it's just one, I might let her hold her own. There are definately times when it's better to just stand on the side and watch.
-- kritter (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2000.
World policemen? only if we get Double time pay from the cheap ass EU countries. Sick of playing policeman? Vote for Reform.
-- Herodotus (Sparta@beallyoucanbe.gov), March 02, 2000.
Richard J. Maybury. He is most helpful on this issue in his books. So, here goes. It's long, but I think you'll find it interesting . . .
To any of you: Please define what an "interest" or "stategic interest" is - as in "It's a U.S. interest, therefore we must do something." ? ? ?
To quote Maybury from his book, "The Thousand Year War in the Middle East":
The confusion about why we are in the war (constant involvement in middle east or any other foreign war, for that matter) can be seen in the use of the word "interests". At one time, American troops were expected to RISK THEIR LIVES fighting for liberty. Later the cause worth dying for was downgraded to DEMOCRACY. Now it is INTERESTS.
I have been watching the use of the word "interests" grow for twenty years, and in the 1990s, interests became the MANTRA of U.S. Foreign Policy. In the Feb. 3, 1997, ARMY TIMES, for instance, reporter Rick Maze described Defense Sec. Cohen's statements to the Armed Services Committee. Said Cohen, "Military forces should only be used if they advance U.S. interests."
What's an interest?
In Hillary Clinton's internet column on April 4, 1996, she said, "Our military power is enhancing our interests."
Again, what's an interest?
In the July 25, 1994 issue of US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, you will find the complaint by former U.S. Ambassador Harrison that "every half- baked general and warlord in the world feels free to ignore our interests."
In the November 13, 1998 WALL STREET JOURNAL, we find a similar complaint from former assist. undersec. of defense for policy planning, Khalilzad. He argues for military action against Iraq because the Iraqi government is a "significant obstacle to U.S. regional interests."
And a final example - on Dec. 16, 1998, explaining why he bombed the Iraqis, killing an estimated 2000 people the day before his impeachment was to be voted on, Pres. Clinton said it was "to protect the national interest of the United States."
I have searched the Constitution for a definition of the word "interests", but found none, and I don't know anyone who knows what the word means. ALL WE KNOW FOR SURE ABOUT AN INTEREST IS THAT U.S. SOLDIERS, SAILORS AND AIRMEN ARE EXPECTED TO FIGHT AND DIE FOR IT.
After spending four years in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, I came to the conclusion that, knowing what I know now, the ONLY THING I would be willing to die for is my home and family; I would do whatever it takes to repel an invader, to protect my homeland. When I am deciding what I think of a U.S. military operation in some far off corner of the world, I always ask the question,
WOULD THIS BE WORTH MY LIFE??
If the answer is no, then I don't think it would be worth anyone else's life either. One thing I can tell you with GREAT CERTAINTY is that I would not be willing to die for an INTEREST.
Keep an eye out for the word "interests" - I think you will see a lot of it in months and years to come, BUT I BET YOU WON'T FIND AN EXPLANATION OF WHAT IT IS OR WHY IT IS WORTH A SOLDIER'S LIFE."
END MARBURY QUOTE.
A further question for you guys:
IS TERRORISM (FROM OTHER COUNTRIES) REALLY TERRORISM, OR WOULD IT BE BETTER DEFINED AS "RETALIATION??"
After all, if we had not supported Iran and then later Iraq, Russia (WWII) and then later, everyone but Russia, Taiwan, and more recently, China (Most Favored Nation Status) . . .
. . . Then perhaps we wouldn't be hated by so many of the governments on this earth. We bail out Kuwait and the Saudi's from the Iraqi's, and yet, now they refuse to help us by lowering oil prices. Hmm. . . Think maybe they could see that our motives were selfish and that we weren't really concerned with their well-being, but only the safety of their (our) oil?
Why have we made ourselves so dependent on other countries?
A quote from the first president:
"The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connections as possible." -G. Washington
From Thomas Paine:
"Not a place on earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but trade with them." - T. Paine
". . .a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common INTEREST in cases where no real common INTEREST exists, and infusion into one the emnities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification. It also leads to concessions to the favorite nation or privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions, by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, AND BY EXCITING JEALOUSY, ILL-WILL AND A DISPOSITION TO RETALIATE IN THE PARTIES FROM WHOM EQUAL PRIVILEGES ARE WITHHELD." -G. Washington
"It is honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel. . . Do not strive with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm . . ." -King Solomon of Israel
"Let none of you suffer . . . as a meddler in other people's matters." I Peter 4:15
-- robert bright (email@example.com), March 02, 2000.
Considering the aquittal of the four NYC policeman and the LA police scandal, America shouldn't even be America's policeman.
-- Mr. Adequate (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 03, 2000.
The US conducts its foreign affairs with the same methods it uses for internal policing, i.e with OTT violence, lack of planning/intelligence leaving a situation far worse than before.
-- Sir Richard (Richard.Dale@unum.co.uk), March 03, 2000.