Democrats & Liberals Archives

Team America, &#$% Yeah!

It astounds me that people actually think America is the world’s police force and by extension Obama it’s President. But that is exactly how many people continue to see America’s relationship with other countries. And it is this belief that has lead to our disastrous foreign policy and diminished reputation around the globe.

Even with Obama putting a new face on the American brand and beginning to wash away the ugly stains of our recent past, people still want us to meddle in the affairs of other sovereign nations as if they are our children and we must constantly keep a thumb on them for their own good. This ludicrous belief has been the driving force behind Islamic terrorism against America, and people continue to push for further involvement in affairs that are not our own. In short, we cannot simply tell other countries what we want them to do just so it makes our lives a little less complicated.

A recent article entitled, Israel Defies Obama Call For A Halt To Settlements, made me jump out of my skin. The title itself drips with the sort of profuse arrogance that has caused legions of people around the world to mistrust America for years. Why is it taken for granted that Israel should defer decisions on matters of state to any American president? Why should they be expected to defer such matters at all? Isn’t it their country? Leaving all the history between our two nations aside—which would read like a trashy romance novel—the simple fact is that America has no right to tell Israel how to run their country, and has even less of a right to get upset when Israel ignores our “demands”. We don’t even treat Puerto Rico this way. It doesn’t even matter what Israel decides; illegal or not, morally reprehensible or not. Israel is not the fifty-first state of the union.

And then in a reader-write-in column of Newsday someone offered some truly fantastic advice. This person said:

“Not to meddle in another country’s affairs under normal circumstances is the right thing to do. However… [blah, blah, blah] …President Barack Obama should appoint a task force to investigate the election.”

Really? First of, logistically speaking, is Iran really going to hand over the necessary information for the US to do an impartial, independent study on the results of their election? I’m thinking no. Second, and again, what right do we have to stick our nose in anyone else’s business? Were the elections of critical importance and interest to the US? Of course, but that still doesn’t give us a right to tell another country what to do. Least of all start an investigation into their elections. What next, we demand a retroactive recount of Hugo Chavez's victory?

This pervading belief throughout American history that we are somehow responsible, if not divinely appointed to direct global affairs is a dangerous belief to perpetuate. Look at the main reasons Al Qaeda stated for the attacks on 9/11. They made it abundantly clear that our interference in the Middle East, specifically our delusion that their oil belongs to us, and that Israel is our pet lapdog, were the leading reasons for the attacks. I’m in no way justifying the atrocities they committed, but nobody can falsify their logic on that premise alone. We have been directly involved in Mid East affairs very nearly since this country’s inception. Perhaps they are tired of our collar around their neck.

And one of the latest acts of buffoonery performed so eloquently by Senator John “itchy trigger finger” McCain was to openly call for the United States to commit an act of war against North Korea. It is hard to say whether or not North Korea will launch a nuclear missile any time soon, but again, we can’t just go around searching other country’s ships at will, especially when our track record for finding WMD’s is as good as the average number of mice who get away with the cheese from the trap. Imagine if this hothead had won the election? He’s a fine man, and a hero for serving his country, but he actually suggested we do something that could in all likelihood provoke a nuclear war!

America is not the World Police despite so many people who wish it to be. Considering all the problems we have domestically, so long as people aren’t attacking our interests directly can’t we just let other countries take care of themselves and focus on our crumbling infrastructure, rancid economy, substandard educational system, and the continued denial of the rights of various groups of citizens? America is hardly in any shape to be telling other countries how to do anything.

Posted by Michael Falino at June 25, 2009 10:06 PM
Comments
Comment #283627

MF
You argued in a circle.The Israel should listen to the US president and stop the settlement for the exact reason you gave further down concerning the 9/11 attacks. Another reason is that the Big Bad US gives Israel 3 billion a year in just military aid, loan garentees, non-military aid and a ready market.We have a close ally acting badly. Those settlements are on another country’s territory. They are in violation of UN agreements. They are racist in nature. They are Jewish settlements. They are not open to Palestinians. If they were they would be called housing tracts.It remains to be seen how much BHO is able to pressure Israel to get them to start acting legally. Several presidents have failed at that task. Israel has a powerful lobby.The money we give to Israel could also be used for the needs you mentioned.
BTW The Chavez elections were internationally supervised.

“This pervading belief throughout American history that we are somehow responsible, “

That is not correct. That concept did not get going till the beginning of the 19th century and was slow to take root. Our entry into WW1 pushed it farther and WW2 clinched it. We were the only major power still on its feet,at which point we took full advantage of the situation and established a global empire. Its not an empire run like the Brits or French ran theirs but it is an empire non the less.Its brought some good to the world and some bad. Its also another reason for the astounding prosperity of the US. The cost are high. We have upwards of 500 military bases around the world. We spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined. Such is the cost of empire. Lots of Americans balk at the word, empire. Historically there is no other reason for a country with friendly neighbors and surrounded by oceans to have any where near the military the US has. That makes us a big target, and yes,the worlds policeman like it or not.

Posted by: bills at June 26, 2009 8:08 AM
Comment #283631

I would like us to get out of the police business. Unfortunately, we are so big that we are always involved, no matter what we do. In our case, non-action may be the most disruptive move we can make. We tried isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s. It didn’t work out very well.

As for our enemies, and we need to call them what they are, like the leaders of North Korea or Iran, they won’t let us stand down.

Ahmandinajad has called for President Obama to appologize for his meddling and warns us against further interference. What was President Obama’s crime? The Iranians will create one and judge him to fit their own needs.

The North Koreans survive by international blackmail. Their whole business plan is to provoke until they can get some sort of payoff. We cannot “leave them alone” because they need us.

In both the cases for Iran and South Korea, the Bush administration worked through the international community. Yet the leaders of those places singled us out, as they are doing now with a new president, Barack Obama. Why?

The Russians have a histroy of invading Muslim countries. They put down and oppressed and are killing and oppressing Muslims today. Why no call for an appology from Putin? Becasue the despot don’t really care about ideals. They go after those who can pay them off or will.

I agree that the rest of the world is not pulling its own weight. They lean on our power and then complain. We should force more action. But the problem of our power won’t go away until our power does.

Posted by: Christine at June 26, 2009 10:28 AM
Comment #283633

Many argue that WW1 was the tipping point and the aftermath the Treaty of Versailles was harsh IMHO Our Senate and President Harding Agreed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knox-Porter_Resolution

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 26, 2009 10:46 AM
Comment #283636

bills

“The Israel should listen to the US president and stop the settlement”


why? so the palestenians can move in and start launching rocket attacks. every time israel gives up land for peace it bites them in the ass. short of repeating jonestown there’s nothing the israelies can do to satisfy people whos sole calling in life is to wipe them off the face of the earth, but go ahead and keep preaching that nonsense. i think they’ve already given up the golan heights, and some other areas, and what has it gotten them. listening to obama is the last thing they should be doing, he’s sent a clear messege that he is no friend of israel.

Posted by: dbs at June 26, 2009 11:11 AM
Comment #283637

I agree wholeheartedly that we need to stop being the world police, however for entirely different reasons than you do. Throughout the cold war and our struggles with Russia it became our goal, nay our calling, to bring democracy to the world. When Russia was villified in the international community for espousing dictatorship and it’s overall lawless and tyrannical regimes, we saw ourselves as the hero, the savior of the people who didn’t have the means to resist the evil communist agenda. And more importantly, our allies and the rest of the world saw as a hero too. After we dispatched our villian in the 90’s, the world rejoiced. This was the chance to usher in a new, globalized era where nations can stand on equal footing and commerce will no longer be relegated to nation vs. nation, but ratehr on a massive but individual scale. Businessman can be businessmen anywhere for no penalty. Small, poor countries can attract major corporations and shipping and trade will be universal. It truly promised a new golden age for mankind. However, when the people’s were suddenly granted all their new freedoms, they didn’t want to give up on any of the old perks, and now we’re facing a situation where ideals need to be moderated with pragmatism. Small countries didn’t want to lose the backing of a superpower, and with Russia out of the picture there was only one superpower, the United States. We stretched ourselves out, guaranteeing everything we guranteed to the countries of the western bloc to the eastern bloc countries that would let us deal with them. Unfettered humanitarianism proceeded to empty our coffers and the other countries of the world delight in taking a ride atop the big guy’s shoulders. The United States had and has the most powerful economy, the most powerful military, and the most political clout of any nation currently in existence. And now, when problems arise, the world looks to us for guidance. And what’s more, they look to us to act in the best interest of humanity, even if we have to sacrifice a few of our amenities or a few of our lives to get it done, which contradicts the natural urge of self and even communal preservation. If the rest of the world wants a fair shake at trade and militarization and self government, then the onus cannot fall upon one nation to make it so. Right now we’re waiting for one nation, and all it will take is one, to step up and say, “Hey Atlas, let me help you there….” But we shouldn’t have to wait for it. Just because the world looks to us to tell them waht to do, doesn’t mean we are obligated to. Americans are generous people, but we need to stop letting that good will be taken advantage of. When people have the gall to make a villian of the superman the day superman expects a few free beers from the bar owner he just saved from the plane crash, that is when superman needs to throw up his hands and say, “Jesus Christ, it’s been 50 years. Haven’t you people learned how to save yourselves yet?!”

Posted by: Doug at June 26, 2009 11:34 AM
Comment #283638

dbs-
Look, this isn’t giving up their land for peace, but the Palestinian’s land. It was never theirs to begin with. That’s why the settlements are so controversial.

The Israelis are approaching their defense from a reactionary position, and from 2000 on, that reaction has only proceeded to allow things to get worse.

I mean, tell me, long term, what’s the plan? Kick all the Palestinians off their land? Keep those occupied territories simmering for the next forty years, just like they’ve done for the last four decades as well?

The general rule is, when neither solution fits the problem, you need to think up a new solution. And no real solution includes allowing Fundamentalist Orthodox Jews to continue appropriating Palestinian territory.

The so-called Friends of Israel have let the situation escalate, and have solved nothing. They are no better friend than the guys who take their alcoholic friend to a bar, knowing his weakness. They may be friendly, and the guy may like that these friends let him have fun, and don’t criticize his excesses like other people do, but their latitude with him is not doing the fellow any good.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 26, 2009 11:42 AM
Comment #283639

stephen

ok how far back should israel retreat? if that doesn’t satisfy the palestinians, then how much farther? the israelies aren’t leaving, and the palestinians wan’t them out. where’s the solution? if i were in thier shoes stephen every time they attacked me i would push them farther back. what would you do?

Posted by: dbs at June 26, 2009 11:55 AM
Comment #283640

stephen

BTW where do most of the jobs come from? where is the economy in that area? i’ll tell you where it isn’t, in the palestinian territory. lets face it israel is the economic engine in that region. with out israel the palestinians got jack. before israel was there they had jack. now that the jews have created an economy all of a sudden the palestinians care about thier land.

Posted by: dbs at June 26, 2009 12:02 PM
Comment #283641

“You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good bye.

Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Counter Melody To Above Verse:
Can you hear and do you care and
Cant you see we must be free to
Teach your children what you believe in.
Make a world that we can live in.

Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.”

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 26, 2009 12:11 PM
Comment #283643

“BTW The Chavez elections were internationally supervised.”
Baloney!
My wife is Venezuelan. Her sister worked at one of the polling places. There was NO “international supervision”. The voters have to give their ID numbers when voting. Any voters who did not appear by 5 PM had their votes given instead to some “Chavistas” who then cast their votes for Chavez. Some of them voted 100 times.
We have seen photos of soldiers burning an entire truckload of un-counted opposition votes. Additionally, many voters knew that if they did not vote for Chavez they would lose their jobs. In order to even get a job they have to sign papers stating that they will support Chavez and appear at his rallies.
The Venezuelan election was a total fraud.

Posted by: capnmike at June 26, 2009 12:17 PM
Comment #283650

Sabra(OED)
A Jew born in Palestine or, after 1948, in Israel.

1945 Zionist Rev. 16 Nov. 8/2 Of course I was born here. No, I am not a new immigrant, not even an old one; I am a sabra.

1946 KOESTLER Thieves in Night I. ii. 9 They were Sabras{em}nicknamed after the thorny, rather tasteless fruit of the cactus, grown on arid earth, tough, hard-living, scant.

1977 Time 4 July 16/1 Begin’s predecessor, Yitzhak Rabin, was a nonobservant Sabra who often seemed uncomfortable wearing a yarmulke and unfamiliar with the words of daily prayers.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 26, 2009 2:07 PM
Comment #283651

dbs
Israel should withdraw to its 1967 borders, before it violated UN Security Council resolution 242 and acquired land by force. (Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, West Bank) Israel has no right whatsoever to land in the West Bank. Israel should withdraw because its occupation is a violation of binding UN SC resolutions. (you know, the same things that let us invade Iraq)

Posted by: Calvin at June 26, 2009 2:13 PM
Comment #283652

Begin and Sadat and Carter they came a long ways baby.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 26, 2009 2:19 PM
Comment #283653

1872 E. P. BARROWS Sacred Geogr. & Antiq. i. 30 Josephus everywhere calls the Philistines Palestinians and their land Palestine, though he occasionally uses the word in a wider sense.

1920 Glasgow Herald 12 July 12 The higher ranks of the Civil Service..would consist mainly of British officials until an increasing number of Palestinians were fully qualified… Other ranks would be open to Palestinians, irrespective of creed.

1934 Mind XLIII. 388 If..Dr Inge should chance upon a plain unsophisticated Christian,…would he not be told that the Heavenly Jerusalem was incomparably preferable to the Palestinian, in which there were no abiding habitations?

1974 Times 30 Oct. 15/3 King Husain..is not himself a Palestinian and indeed has a vested interest in preventing the assertion of a distinct Palestinian identity.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 26, 2009 2:21 PM
Comment #283655

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090626/ap_on_re_eu/eu_italy_g8_mideast_3 G-8 to Israel: end settlements, open borders AND In the statement, the Quartet welcomed plans by Israel to promote Palestinian economic development and called for “robust and sustained” financial support of the Palestinian Authority. It demanded the Palestinians commit themselves to nonviolence and recognize Israel.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 26, 2009 3:01 PM
Comment #283663

Anyone believing the settlements in Palestine are about security is either ignorant or deluded.

http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/270-palestines-island-paradise-now-with-a-word-from-its-creator/

It is about taking prime Palestinian land and making Palestine an unsustainable sovereign nation.

Posted by: gergle at June 26, 2009 8:36 PM
Comment #283664

Michael,

Great post. I’m wondering why we have crumbling infrastructure, massive stimulus, and I see no progress in the pipeline towards correcting the infrastructure issues. Frankly, I’m wondering what rathole the stimulus money has been shoved down?
Today, I’m feeling like we may have been scammed by BOTH administrations.

An interesting blog I found yesterday:

http://market-ticker.denninger.net/

Posted by: gergle at June 26, 2009 8:43 PM
Comment #283682

capnmike
No , No . You don’t get to do that. According to the Carter Foundation that did monitor the elections
they were legitimate. Anecdotal accusations are meaningless and specious. If Chavez has it so wrapped up then explain why he lost election about constitutional change.

Posted by: bills at June 27, 2009 10:54 AM
Comment #283683

dbs
Do you really not get it? The land they are putting the settlements on is NOT in Israel. It is in Palestine.

Posted by: bills at June 27, 2009 11:07 AM
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