Natural Law and the Global War on Terrorism: A Response to Jason Jackson

Eric Andersen Eric Andersen 24 Comments

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Thank you Jason for such a well thought out response and enjoyable read. I have nothing but respect for you. Not only for your Annapolis academic background but your hours spent reading classical sources.   You’re not only one of the most well-read persons I know, but a gentleman.

I will attempt to interact with you using the same format you shared in your piece. Thanks again for this opportunity to dialogue on an issue whose harms to our nation are so great and so rarely thoughtfully discussed.

Many statements here with which I agree. Rejection of the initiation of violence, opposition to the Iraq war, your general opposition to the use of our military as the world’s policeman or tool for the spread of democracy. I would also be remiss if I didn’t commend you for rooting your policy ideas in a straightforward way especially with a source like Locke’s Second Treatise.

Which of our freedoms are threatened?
ElkYou have responded “life, liberty and property” and have reminded me of the harms and godless behavior of radical Muslims while using a colorful illustration (elk herd threatened by a wolf pack) that asks that we not confuse our relative safety with the inherent danger always present between prey and predator.

You correctly anticipate my reply with “you may respond that we are not personally threatened” and I’ll take the bait.  I would state that for a threat to be significant enough to warrant a violent response we would not only want to demonstrate intent but ability to follow through on that intent.  Not only do I not find the elk in the middle of the herd to be in danger but I do not find those on the perimeter to be.  Indeed I would say that the wolf pack isn’t even present in the same national park.  If this is true, and you may disagree, then I am going to question the veracity of the claim that my life, liberty and property are in imminent danger.

Taking the elk herd illustration a step further, what if two males were discovered to be leaving the herd and traveling long distances to encroach on a distant wolf pack making them more angry than is normal and drawing unnecessary attention to our herd?

If we value inalienable rights wouldn’t our focus be better spent on more significant threats to our freedom? I would guess that those legislators who have taken a solemn oath to “uphold and defend” our God given freedoms yet deprive us of 30%-40% (four times the property we tithe to our churches) of our property would be a greater and more significant threat. What is life, the pursuit of happiness and liberty if one is deprived of the property to enjoy it? I would think that a lawmaker who did more than express intent but combined intent with action and signed the “Patriot” Act, Indefinite Detention, the Affordable Care Act and refuse to address state education, the Fed, state’s rights etc. … to be our first concern.  Its okay for an American lawmaker to deprive one he represents of their natural rights but not a foreign Muslim to think it? Before discounting my radical comments please recall that is was Goldwater who said “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me also remind you that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” “

Just War Theory
We may want to consider Just War Theory. Innocent life must be in imminent danger and intervention must be to protect life. Are we completely innocent or have we played a role in the destabilizing the Middle East?  What role might our unjust invasion of Iraq played in the success of ISIS? Could ISIS have arisen under the monster Saddam Hussein’s regime?  Is ISIS using American military equipment? Was OBL or Hussein ever on an American payroll or trained by our military? You and I would agree that our nation is not one hundred percent at fault.  We might also agree that our intervention contributed to more than one percent of the problem.  Somewhere between those two figures is a number that calls into question how “innocent” we are.  Once this is addressed we would still have the burden to demonstrate that our lives are in imminent danger.  I let my prior comment stand here.

What natural law principle justifies our intervention?
I like the reference to Locke. The quote you have chosen is on topic and relevant. So many things to agree with here.  Is ISIS a “dangerous and noxious creature”? Absolutely. Do I agree that we have the “right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction”? Yes.   I think where we disagree is on their ability to deliver on their intent.  You appear to see ISIS as “having the power to take away” our lives.  I do not. Far from it.  ISIS doesn’t even make my ‘Top Ten’ for most dangerous threats facing our life, liberty and property.

Diplomacy
When applying just war theory, we would approach war only after exhausting diplomacy. You may respond – we can’t sit down and practice diplomacy with a “dangerous and noxious creature” and I would agree. What we could do is listen to other Muslim nations and what they are saying.  I don’t mean the puppets who receive foreign aid and rely on our military support to remain in power but the people who are oppressed under American puppets who lack rule of law and free markets. People who lacking prosperity have nothing better to do than to take aim at the entity who they consider is keeping their leaders from listening to them. Osama bin Laden was always clear about his intent. Stop aiding their Zionist (a materialist not religious people group) enemy, remove our military from their land and allow them to choose their own representatives.  We have in the past and continue in the present to violate natural and divine law. The Muslim in the Middle East has never been able to self-govern.  The Muslim world has been oppressed under Ottoman, Russian, British and French imperialism for hundreds of years. Ideas have consequences. Cause and effect. After WWII, Eisenhower was pulled into the Muslim world by two items, a vacuum of power (French & British were too weak after the war to exert the same influence/control over their oil rich Muslim colonies and a desire to contain the Soviets. I think we have skipped a step.  We not only lack just cause but our representatives have not practiced what we preach, sincere diplomacy.

“By the laws of nature we needn’t wait for that to occur to strike.”
For reasons I have just shared I see this as justification for a preemptive attack. If you will forgive me here, when I see a case made for preemptive attack I quote Otto Von Bismarck, Prussian statesman.

          “Preventive war is like committing suicide out of fear of death.”
 
What of blowback and progressive humanism?
You correctly write that in my response to Frank I “left the field of natural law veering from principle and into the field of policy and motive.” Please let the record show not before I had shared a principled response.  When I veered from principle to policy it was only after such and in direct reply to Frank’s question, “You have yet to provide what your or any viable alternative …”

“I would suggest to Eric that in this case it is he that is playing the role of progressive humanist”.
This was a nice turn and made me smile. If I understand what you have shared I am the progressive for assigning a degree of culpability to our nation?  We may disagree on the degree of our culpability but I would not think you would make the Manichean case that we, like angels, can be absolved of any past or present accusation that our behavior has ever fallen short of the glory of God.  That would be a pretty untenable position.

A Brief Comment on the Republican Liberty Caucus
Well done. So much misunderstanding about what it means to be a Christian conservative and the just role of force and the role of government on social issues.  So many believers are comfortable picking up the sword of the state to accomplish social reform despite any biblical example for doing so. I sincerely understand it is much easier to make a law to reform my neighbor than to love him.

Thank you for the closing comment regarding the RLC, “it is the most effective group within the Republican Party to hold the party true to its limited government principles.” I believe I represent many in the RLC when I say that we too desire social reform but we will not use the state to accomplish such. To do so would be to use law progressively.

As an afterthought, I recently read something I think you would appreciate regarding natural law and divine law. I recently read a theologian who compared the two as the moon and the sun.  Each shines light.  The moon a dim reflection of the sun. When two believers are interacting on issues of law I think we should consider using Scripture. Why use a dim light when we have a bright one?  I often use natural law on Rostra because of whom I think is reading and not wanting to lose an audience of principled unbelievers by referencing a source they don’t value.

Can we now excuse ourselves to our local watering hole where I can continue to enjoy your company and thinking?

* * *

Eric Andersen is a member of the Central Committee of the San Diego County Republican Party and former Caucus Chair for the 71st Assembly District.  He is the current Chair and Co-Founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus of San Diego County and Co-Founder of im2moro.com. He is a former Rock Church Citizen of the Year.

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Comments 24

  1. Eric,
    Do you really doubt the ability of Muslim terrorists to “deliver on their intent”?
    What was 9/11?

  2. Thank you Eric for your thoughtful post. I greatly enjoyed this exchange. I am contented that we largely agree on principle even if we don’t agree on the application of those principles on this issue. I’m at peace to let our readers evaluate our respective positions on their merits. Now to the watering hole!

  3. Craig,

    What 9-11 wasn’t was an imminent threat to our existence. By way of comparison, approximately one of every 100,000 Americans were killed in the attacks of 9-11 while approximately one of every 300 Iraqis were killed in our subsequent invasion of Iraq.

  4. The question isn’t “if” …

    Major Islamic Terror Attacks over the last 15 years against multiple ethnic groups, religions, nations, targets and against non-combatants including the shooting, burning and crucifying of women and children.

    I think the “intent” is quite clear. Their is nothing noble here.

    October 12, 2000 – Attack on USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden. 17 American sailors were killed, 39 injured.

    December 24, 2000 – Christmas Eve 2000 Indonesia bombings of churches in eight cities, 18 killed.

    June 1, 2001 – In the Israeli Dolphinarium discotheque suicide bombing, 21 people were killed and 100+ were injured.

    9 August 2001 – The Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing was a Hamas terrorist attack on a pizzeria in downtown Jerusalem. 15 civilians killed and 130 others injured.

    September 9, 2001 – The Nahariya train station suicide bombing was executed by an Arab-Israeli who was sent by Hamas and detonated himself on the crowded platform. 3 dead 94 injured.

    September 11, 2001 – 4 airliners hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda members in the East Coast of the United States: two planes crashed into and destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and surrounding buildings in New York City, one went into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, and one crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in a failed attempt to hit Washington, D.C. (either the White House or the U.S. Capitol), after a revolt by the plane’s passengers. Total deaths were 2,996 people, including all 246 victims and 19 hijackers on board the four planes.

    April 11, 2002 – Turkey- Ghriba synagogue bombing A natural gas truck rigged with explosives detonated in front of the ancient El Ghriba synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba, killing 14 Germans, 3 Tunisians, and 2 French. More than 30 people were wounded.

    July 4, 2002 – 2002 Los Angeles International Airport shooting. 2 dead 4 injured.

    October 2, 2002 – Philippines- The first of three bomb blasts in Zamboanga City kills 4 people, including one United States Green Beret and wounds 25 others, including another United States Green Beret.

    October 12, 2002 – 2002 Bali bombings in the tourist district of Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali, killing 202 people and injuring 240

    November 28, 2002 – Kenya- 2002 Mombasa attacks Islamic terrorists launch simultaneous attacks against an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa and an Israeli charter plane. 13 people (10 Kenyans and 3 Israelis), not including 3 suicide bombers, were killed and 80 injured at the hotel, but the plane was missed by the two missiles fired at it.

    May 12, 2003 – Russia- The 2003 Znamenskoye suicide bombing. 59 killed 200 injured.

    May 16, 2003 – Morocco- A series of suicide bombings in Casablanca killed 45 people and injured over 100 others.

    February 6, 2004 – The February 2004 Moscow Metro bombing. 41 killed up to 120 injured.

    March 11, 2004 – Madrid train bombings, killed 191 people and wounded 1,800

    September 1-3, 2004 – Russia- Beslan school hostage crisis, approximately 344 civilians including 186 children killed

    July 7, 2005 – Multiple bombings in London Underground. 53 killed by four suicide bombers. Nearly 700 injured

    November 26, 2008 – Muslim extremists kill at least 166 people and wound numerous others in a series of coordinated attacks on India’s financial capital, Mumbai. The government of India blamed Pakistan based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and stated that the terrorists killed/caught were citizens of Pakistan, a claim which the Pakistani government first refused but then accepted when given proof. Ajmal Kasab, one of the terrorists, was caught alive.

    November 5, 2009 – Fort Hood shooting, at Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas. 13 dead, 33 injured.

    March 29, 2010 – Moscow Metro bombings. 40 dead, 102 injured. Caucasus Emirate claimed responsibility

    January 24, 2011 – Moscow Domodedovo International Airport bombing. 37 killed, 173 wounded

    March 2, 2011 – 2011 Frankfurt Airport shooting, Frankfurt, Germany. 2 US dead, 2 injured.

    December 25, 2011 – Nigeria- Christmas Day bombings were bomb blasts and shootings at churches in Madalla, Jos, Gadaka, and Damaturu. Over 41 people are reported dead

    September 11, 2012 – 2012 Benghazi attack on the U.S. Consulate. 4 dead, 11 injured.

    April 15, 2013 – Boston Marathon bombings. Two brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnev, planted two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The blast killed 3 and injured 183 others

    May 22, 2013 – Two men with cleavers kill British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich

    September 21, 2013 – Kenya- Westgate shopping mall attack, 67 killed, 175 wounded

    April 14, 2014 – Nigeria- The April 2014 Abuja Mall bombing by Boko Haram. 88+ dead 200+ injured

    August 2014 – ISIL fighters massacred some 700 people, mostly men, of the Shu’aytat tribe in Deir ez-Zor Governorate.

    October 20, 2014 – 2014 Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu ramming attack. Lone attacker used his car to run over two Canadian soldiers. 1 killed, 1 injured

    October 22, 2014 – 2014 shootings at Parliament Hill, Ottawa. Lone attacker shot a soldier at a war memorial and attacked Parliament. 1 killed, 3 injured

    October 23, 2014 – Zale H. Thomson, also known as Zaim Farouq Abdul-Malik, attacked four New York policemen in the subway with a hatchet, severely injuring one in the back of the head and injuring another policeman in the arm before being shot to death by the remaining officers, who also shot a civilian

    January 7–9, 2015 – A series of five attacks in and around Paris kill 17 people, plus three attackers, and leave 22 other people injured.

    January 8, 2015 – 2015 Baga massacre. Boko Haram attacks town of Baga in northern Nigeria killing at least 200 people. Another 2000 are unaccounted for

    February 13, 2015 – Pakistan-Heavily armed militants killed at least 19 people and wounded more than 40 after they stormed into a Shiite mosque during Friday Prayer in a suburb of Peshawar.

    April 2, 2015 – Kenya- 148 people—most of them Christian students—killed in Al-Shabaab’s Garissa University College attack.

    May 3, 2015 – Two gunmen attacked the Curtis Culwell Center during a ‘Draw Muhammad’ cartoon art exhibit in Garland, Texas . 2 dead (perpetrators) 1 injured

    July 20, 2015 – 2015 Suruç bombing Suicide bombing killed 33 people and injured 104 in Kurdish majority city of Suruç. ISIL claims responsibility

    October 10, 2015 – In the 2015 Ankara bombings 102 people were killed and over 400 others injured. According to two high ranked sources in the Turkish security forces ISIS is most likely responsible

    October 31, 2015 – Bomb on board a Russian jet brings it down in Sinai, bound for St Petersburg, killing 224 people

    November 13, 2015 – A series of terrorist attacks in Paris kill 137, and wound 368. They involved a series of coordinated attacks which consisted of mass shootings and suicide bombings. This incident was the most fatal event on French soil since World War II.

    December 2, 2015 – In the 2015 San Bernardino attack, two people, one of whom posted on Facebook an “oath of allegiance” to the leader of ISIL, shot and killed 14 people and injured 21 others in a killing spree that the FBI was investigating as “act of terrorism”.

    Does anyone believe if we or our “corrupt” allies acquiesced to every demand from the array of Islamic Terror elements across the globe, these horrendous acts would just stop?

  5. FF you know better that those are overly simplified as “Islam vs the west” attacks. There is a lot of geopolitics and issues predating the rise of Islamism behind those. It’s like trying to say every engagement or bombing in the mideast is evidence of a Christian Crusade going back to 1918. ISIS pushes that and we know that is not the case or the motivation.

    The Islamists aren’t fighting us because they are hating our freedoms they are fighting us because they want to kick us out and replace us as the greatest power in the region (which is not a good thing for the people there).

  6. The people I saw jumping from the towers would undoubtedly disagree.
    (Everyone needn’t be in danger for a threat to qualify as imminent.)

  7. Post
    Author

    Frank,
    How many Americans have been killed versus the number of Middle Eastern men, woman and children killed by the West?

    Simple answer Frank. No six page 3,000+ word response. Just the death count for each side please.

  8. Post
    Author

    Craig,
    I have never seen any conclusive data for who was responsible for 9/11.

    Osama bin Laden said he didn’t do it and according to CIA counter terror staffers has always been a man of his word and very clear about his intentions. (the words of a CIA counter terror staffer, not mine).

    I know the media told me it was Muslim terrorists but the same media also told me Iraqi soldiers were knocking over incubators in Kuwait before Desert Storm. Our national media also told us North Vietnamese patrol boats brought an unprovoked attack on the U.S. Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin and that Oswald shot JFK. I also saw 7 World Trade Center fall in perfect demolition style without a plane hitting it. I am sorry. I need facts as do 1,700 architects and engineers who have come out publicly.

  9. Craig,

    If we are calling the terrorists an imminent threat based on one attack which killed .0001% of our population, I wonder what the Iraqis and the Afghanis call us.

  10. Eric,

    While you wait for Frank’s answer comparing the number of Middle Easterners killed by the West vs the number of Westerners killed by Jihadists, I will answer the same way I do when someone asks me the score of the Charger’s game:

    “A lot to a little.”

  11. “How many Americans have been killed versus the number of Middle Eastern men, woman and children killed by the West?”

    Assume it’s 1-10. 1-100, 1-1000, or even 1-10,000– what will that answer prove? The idea of military retaliation is that you kill people and break things until the attackers quit attacking– then you go home.

    Tne US has to have a goal and a strategy to achieve that goal. I haven’t seem one. We are doomed to the role of often resented police force until those are well defined.

  12. Hypocrisy,
    They probably call us the kinds of things the German and Japanese called us in WWII.
    Eric,
    (Oh, dear…)

  13. Brian,

    What if no one was attacking us?

    Your absolute lack of concern that we killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis is undoubtedly indicative of why the rest of the world loves us so much. (Sarcasm intentional)

  14. OK All- Everyone take a big breath and count to 10-

    Eric- Forgive me, but “not sure if Bin Laden was responsible..”? I don’t even know how to react to that. It is “beyond the pale ignorant” and is perhaps the first time I am questioning your grasp of reality to the present terror situation (vice your opinion..).

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/bin-laden-claims-responsibility-for-9-11-1.513654

    Answer me this- If it wasn’t AQ, then what were all those known and confirmed AQ operatives (19 in total) doing on surveillance cameras in separate airports, boarding the planes on 9/11 that attacked the buildings if it wasn’t AQ? Is that tidbit of reality also some nefarious plot cooked up by the WH and the media? What is the left wing media, who eviscerate Bush at every turn doing advancing his diabolical meme?

    Is this what you talk about at RLC meetings? This is a very parlor-game “Oliver Stone-ish” view and sounds more like “Col Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick.” No wait, I’ll bet its the “jews”., no the “Trilateral Commission”…no, the Bildibergers…wait…..no, the Fed…perhaps the Illuminati ….and its all run out of bunker in Area 51…

    You may stop reading now-

    For HQ and Others-

    Are we now going to justify the Imperial Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor because of the Japanese perception of the imbalance of the Sphere of Co-prosperity? Does that make Bataan ok?Or Justify the rise of Nazism and the atrocities of the Germans because of the slight and shame the Germans experienced from Versailles after WWI? That then puts the “Final Solution” in its proper light?

    Elliot is correct in that the perceived grievances often cited by the Terrorists (yes, not freedom fighters or “patriots”), transcend the recent regional events. However, many of you are trying to justify actions by truly evil people (you know, the Messianic oppressors of men, women, and children that if you don’t convert to their religion, they will cut off your head…those guys) …with evil as a policy goal and in their hearts with that of lawful and internationally recognized combatants. I have met and interacted with hundreds of planners, leaders, and warriors in every service in most facets of the war in the SPEC OPS, Intel and military arenas: not one…not one stepped out into harms way and said “I’m going to murder women and children today and unlawfully take orders from superiors that want to advance evil…”

    Honestly, you apologists for the Terror meme and this false equivalency should be ashamed of yourselves. Please don’t play this hypocritical game of “hate the policy, love the troops” BS (Vets see right through this menagerie) ..it is insulting and degrading to the 100Ks of real Americans that take their duty, and moral obligations very seriously. You might as well just greet them at the airport and spit on them.

    Unconscionable!

    Out!

  15. “However, many of you are trying to justify actions by truly evil people”

    Hold on cowboy; I’m doing no such thing. My point is that the war is being prosecuted poorly and causing more problems than not. Kill or capture the bad guys, come home, and leave with the admonition that it’s gonna be uglier if the US has to come back.

    Stop building bad people schools and, if they want US troops to help them defend their homeland, they need to pick up the weapons first

  16. BB- Not directed at you….I have stipulated, and fundamentally agree with you, the need for US policy to better optimize the ability to remain agile and responsive while not creating center of discontent and targets for disgruntled, disaffected populaces.

    The Rosey O’Donnell-wing “9/11 was an inside job” malarkey was the target.

  17. FF,

    No one on this site, least of all me, is defending the actions of these barbaric jihadists. Likewise, no one on this site is claiming a moral equivalence between their MOTIVES and ours. However, there is also no equivalence between the RESULTS of their actions and hours.

    9-11 was a singularly horrible day in our history and 3,000+ innocent Americans lost their lives. No one is minimizing the human loss nor the fact that our country was forever changed. But it was nothing like the change we caused to a country who had nothing to do with attacking us. Our genocide (that is the correct word) of 100,000+ innocent Iraqis completely destroyed the social and political fabric of a sovereign nation and it would be nice if you, and others on this site, could admit that we are not always the beacon for all that is good and also show some empathy for the human loss suffered by the Iraqis.

  18. HQ-

    I and 10Ks like me showed our empathy by serving our country. Americans have played vital roles in countless humanitarian missions and aid relief missions to people that were overwhelmed with American compassion, resolve, and resilience in the face of horrific tragedy that had befell them (oh, and where NO one else either was willing or able to assist). Genocide?…think again…it is a very specific word for a reason…If you truly believe the American military and its personnel would participate in a modern genocide, then perhaps this isn’t the country for you. (but on a beautiful San Diego day like today, with your freedoms and ability to say what you will, maybe you’ll finally get indignant enough and leave next month)

    While innocents lost is a stark reminder of why the decision to go to war is such a vital one, they have been a result of warfare for 1000s of years. It is the pustule byproduct of the carbuncle that is war.

    There is no doubt American actions in Iraq led to the deaths of innocents; that is irrefutable and has been the case in every conflict we have ever participated in. In this particular case, we must also concede that the enemy; both Pro-Saddam insurgents and AQ and Shia Militias, routinely and constantly used Mosques, hospitals, schools, churches, and other non-combatant sites and facilities to regularly conceal, hide behind, shroud, and shield men and equipment precisely because they knew US military planners used great discretion and vigilance to minimize civilian casualties. (Russians…none at all as the decimated population of Aleppo can attest to) These Iraqi terror and insurgent elements also killed indiscriminately…women, children, elderly, gays, invalids, other ethnic and religious undesirables, whole towns, villages, schools, churches, weddings, to terrorize and intimidate the local populace…most fellow Muslims. They use children to carry suicide vests into public places and then remotely detonate the device cowering behind a distant window pane. 1000s upon 1000s of deaths were at the hands of the people we were protecting much of the population from. This isn’t Poly Anna- this is a fact.

    How many civilians died in the invasion of Okinawa, Sicily, Normandy, Berlin?- Given what the Japanese did to the Manchurians and the Russians did to the German population as Germany fell, I’ll take an “American” invasion over any other country at any other time. I don’t just regret those deaths…I lament them. The major difference with our positions is you think this all happens in a vacuum, and if we just didn’t do anything, the situation would have remained “steady-state” normal…this is the “containment” argument. If you recall; 9/11 was before the invasion..an additional attempt was tried in 1994…..what was it that precipitated the attack on the towers?..oh yeah…hate as captured in a warped and messianic view of the rise of the Mufti and the world dominance of the Caliphate… Perhaps..and hindsight is 20/20…but given Saddam had WMD, used it both against his own people, and that of his enemies, it is NOT a stretch to postulate he could have used them in more direct and nefarious ways.

    BTW- ISIS is said to possess WMD.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/02/09/top-intel-official-confirms-isis-made-used-chemical-weapons.html

    I have several Khaldian acquaintances at my church…they have a much different and more positive and grateful perspective to the American involvement in Iraq than even many on this site do.

    What is worse in your opinion-the aftermath of the immediate military victory in the invasion, or the long and laborious loss by the Obama Administration and the ignoring of the now infamous “red line” leading to the ISIS and geo-strategic chaos filling the vacuum after the US ostensibly pulled out? In 2010, we had secured a much more stable construct…then BHO’s need to quench his political aims domestically forces the withdraw..and viola…ISIS, Russia, and Iran fill the space.

    I admit I will look at the US actions in war and policy with the scrutiny to prove wrongdoing in the midst of tremendous and overwhelming good…at great cost in our manpower and treasure. …it appears there are many here (in surprising numbers) that default in searching for a scintilla of what America might do right in a world view that has America the root of all the wrongdoing.

    I’m so glad I don’t have to fake a smile or struggle with doubt in my heart when I sing the National Anthem. It must be hell.

  19. FF,

    A few concise responses:

    1. Genocide: “the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.” Sounds a lot like “Shock and Awe” to me.

    2. Your continuous attempt to compare the Iraq War and WWII: Japan attacked us. Iraq did not.

    3. Your attempt to change the definition of “just war” to include attacking any country that is not an ally and may have weapons of mass destruction: Why aren’t you advocating the invasion of Russia and China?

    4. Love of Country: I love the United States of America and believe it is the best country in the history of the world. Still, I am not blind to its faults. Mature love sees the truth; your relationship to country would be more accurately called “infatuation.”

    5. Verbose posts: Albert Einstein said “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” I believe he was referring to your posts.

  20. HQ-

    1.Tell me; was it “genocide” of Serbs when the US under Dem Pres Clinton defended Muslims in Bosnia in the 90s against the proxies of the Serbian regime? The Serbs didn’t attack us. Do you believe we should have stopped true genocide in Rwanda? Perhaps Clinton, and by extension, Democrats, were only willing to save white Europeans and ignore genocide in Africa.

    2. Germany didn’t attack us either…And yet a Democratic President declared war on them…and then presided over killing hundreds of thousands of non-combatant German citizens. (I.e. Dresden)

    3. Preemption is justified and widely recognized under JWT. Perhaps you are comfortable waiting for the Jihadists to attack here; I.e. San Bernardino

    4. I am keenly aware of our Nation’s faults..but I, unlike most of your ilk, don’t default to blaming her first. I’d say your relationship is one of convenience.

    5. “Doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting change is the clinical definition of insanity”- Albert Einstein. That about sums up the Liberal Democratic policy position of the last 50-60 years.

  21. FF,

    Your continued comparing of the IRAQ War to World War II is getting embarrassing so I will make this my final reply on this topic – feel free to continue the silliness and take the last word:

    1. We had no business invading Yugoslavia either and Clinton was wrong to do so. That being said, and this is no justification, we didn’t come close to killing the 100,000+ that we killed in Iraq, probably not even 10% of that.

    2. Yes, Germany did attack us and our allies. They sunk a number of our ships before we declared war and they invaded and took over a number of sovereign nations before we declared war. How many countries has Iraq has taken over? How many of our ships have they sunk?

    3. So two people, inspired by jihadist rhetoric, went on a killing spree and your suggestion is we wipe an entire country (more than one?) in retaliation. What should we have done in retaliation for the Oklahoma City Bombing? Kill all the “rednecks?”

    If you really believe that preemptive war is justified, why aren’t you advocating for our invasion of Russia or China? Or at least North Korea?

    4. Not worthy of a response.

    5. I would say that most residents of the United States are clearly living a better, more comfortable life today than they were in the 1950’s. Maybe those “liberal Democratic policy positions” aren’t so bad after all.

  22. 2. Just for clarity, Germany and Italy declared war on the US after Pearl Harbor because Hitler thought the US couldn’t handle a two front war. FDR wanted war with Germany because he was an obvious europhile but without Germany’s declaration of war it would have still taken months and a lot more to get especially with the war in Japan going on.

    3. I think you guys are arguing what has been going on between right and left on “what is terrorism” or what is the right response. The Clinton years (and Obama) see terrorism as a a (global) crime and a law enforcement issue. Whereas Bush (and especially Cheney) see terrorism as a method and act of war. Both administrations have tried their responses (law enforcement and war) against terrorism and still haven’t made headway. I read an article in Parameters a few years back on equating it to the piracy dilemma of the 17&1800s which seems a more applicable case.

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